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When I first met the women of Hleketani garden I was moved by the community vegetable project they had set up under apartheid, but I didn't quite foresee the rich research relationships that would follow. An offhand query as I prepared to return to Canada touched things off. Would any of the women like to talk to an historian about their lives? “All, all would like to talk with you,” Evelyn N told me. During the

Photo Essay: A Farm Week

Posted by Elizabeth Vibert on 
May 20, 2017

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Harvest! Mthavini, Rose, and grandson harvest mustard The art of seed saving Mmamaropeng with her seed library of heritage varieties Cherished seeds of 'traditional' (rainy season) foods: these foods 'never came from the store' Mhlava saves seeds for coveted pumpkin leaves Pumpkin leaves Dried tinyawa (bean) leaves Heritage beans This week's produce to market Mthavini and Rose harvest mustard with young helper Rose and Josephine with chard for local sale Mphepu and Rosina - effective use

Alice’s Restaurant

Posted by Elizabeth Vibert on 
May 10, 2017

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Early morning doughnuts Alice has raised the price of her legendary doughnuts. People had been telling her to do so for a long while but she worried that the school kids wouldn't be able to buy them. She needn't have worried. They still sell like -- well, like doughnuts -- and she's pocketing a little more money for her efforts. Our early morning with Alice is a favourite memory from the film shoot, not least
What a thrill to be with the wonderful women of Hleketani again, and to see the results of restored drip irrigation. The southern summer brought an excellent crop of maize from saved seed, selected for heat tolerance. 'Traditional' beans produced well but pumpkin leaves, butternut, and tomatoes were less successful in the extreme heat. The autumn crop, just starting, includes tomatoes, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard, green beans, peppers, onions, and more pumpkin leaves. The cookbooks

Local isn’t Enough

Posted by Elizabeth Vibert on 
May 6, 2017

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Category: Uncategorized

Unfiltered Sahara It takes hours to fly across the Sahara Desert. I strained my neck taking photos, trying to capture the unearthly colour on my phone. I didn’t manage but I did get some images that glow a strange golden pink. I fell asleep, tired from the effort of staring awkwardly over my shoulder. When I woke we had left the desert and entered the zone of mottled browns and greens. The flight-tracking map showed