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The Green Team

The Green Team are volunteers in Irene Glen Estate that offer their free time and often expert advice to deal with environmental issues in the Estate.The Estate is also part of the Smuts Farm conservancy. We meet once a month on the first Thursday of the month when needed. Anyone is welcome to join and to help.Conservancy meeting every 3 months on the same day.

The Constant Gardener

The garden club meets every first Monday of the month at 11am. Contact Mariane Lennon for more info.

  • Indigenous planting

    Evergreen indigeous trees in the highveld

    Highly recommended in this category is Kiggelaria africana. It is very attractive and fast growing, especially if given plenty of water. The most fascinating thing about this tree is that it attracts swarms of orange butterflies that lay their eggs on the leaves. These hatch in spring, and the Diedrick cuckoos, which live on caterpillars, arrive in their hordes and generally stay until the end of summer. Incidentally, the caterpillars do not do any damage to other plants as they seem to be specific to Kiggelaria. For best results, plant 2 or 3 specimens. Male and female flowers occur on different trees; recommended planting is 1 male and 2 females. The latter produce very pretty fruits that attract Cape Turtle Doves and Red-eyed Doves when ripe. Indigenous trees & shrubs suitable for the highveld

    Name Type     Comments
    Acacia caffra tree 7m deciduous Attractive shade tree. Used by mossies and weavers as nesting sites
    Acacia karoo tree 7m deciduous Attractive shade tree. Used by mossies and weavers as nesting sites
    Acacia robusta tree 8m deciduous Attractive shade tree. Used by mossies and weavers as nesting sites
    Acacia tortilis tree 5m deciduous Attractive shade tree. Used by mossies and weavers as nesting sites
    Acacia xanthophloea tree (Fever tree) 8m deciduous Not indigenous to the highveld but is a spectacular specimen tree
    Aloe arborescens succulent 2m evergreen Densely covered with orange flowers in winter. Much loved by sunbirds & bulbuls
    Aloe marlothii succulent 2m evergreen Striking specimen plant, attractive to sunbirds & bulbuls
    Brachylaena rotundata tree 6m semi-deciduous Fast-growing. This is the silvery leafed tree prominent on Linksfield ridge
    Carissa bispinosa shrub 1m evergreen Not indigenous to the highveld but does well in sheltered spots
    Celtis africana tree 8m deciduous Fast-growing. Excellent shade tree
    Diospyros lycoides shrub 2m deciduous Pretty shrub with bright red berries
    Erhetia rigida shrub 3m deciduous Pretty shrub with sweetly scented flowers & bright orange berries
    Erythrina capensis tree 6m deciduous Not indigenous to the highveld but does well in sheltered spots. Spectacular red flowers
    Euclea crispa tree 4m evergreen Highly recommended. Requires plenty of sun
    Greyia sutherlandii tree 4m deciduous Commonly found in the Drakensburg but does OK in Jhb. Spectacular red flowers
    Halleria lucida tree 5m evergreen Unusual tree, orange flowers grow directly from the trunk. Prefers forests so plant amongst other trees
    Kiggelaria africana tree 8m evergreen See comments above
    Leucosidea sericea tree 3m evergreen Likes lots of water but well worth it
    Olea europea, var africana tree 8m evergreen Fast-growing if well-watered
    Rhus undulata tree 3m evergreen Fruit eaten by birds
    Rhus pyroides tree 3m evergreen Fruit eaten by birds
    Rhus leptodictya tree 5m evergreen Beautiful shade tree. Prune side branches when young to encourage taller growth. Fruit eaten by birds
    Schotia brachypetala tree 5m deciduous Spectacular but very slow. Worthwhile if you want to leave a monument to yourself!
    Tecomaria capensis shrub 2m semi-deciduous Densely covered with orange flowers. Requires full sunlight
             

    Deciduous Trees Indigenous to the Gauteng Region
    • Acacia caffra - Common Hook Thorn. Large, deciduous, fast growing, drought and frost resistant tree.
    • Acacia galpinii - Monkey Thorn. Large, deciduous, Drought and frost resistant tree. Fine feathery foliage.
    • Acacia hebeclada - Candle Thorn. Medium sized, deciduous, drought resistant tree. Seed pods stand erect on tree. Fine feathery foliage.
    • Acacia karoo - Sweet Thorn. Large, fast growing, deciduous tree, attracts birds which eat the gum it produces and insects that are attracted by its yellow fluffball like flowers in summer. Described as one of South Africa's most important trees, because it is extensively browsed and used as fodder in arid areas. Strong sweet smelling scent when in bloom.
    • Acacia nilotica - Scented Thorn. Medium sized, deciduous, drought resistant tree. Attractive scented flowers in summer.
    • Acacia robusta - Splendid Thorn. Large, deciduous, drought resistant tree.
    • Acacia tortilis - Umbrella Thorn. Medium sized, deciduous, slow growing, drought resistant tree, with a large flat spreading umbrella shapedcrown.
    • Cassinopsis ilicifolia - Spiny Cassinopsis. Scrambling shrub / small tree, up to 5m.
    • Celtis africana - White Stinkwood. Large, fast growing attractive deciduous tree, attracts birds which eat the small green berries it produces.
    • Croton gratissimus - Lavender Croton.
    • Combretum Apiculatum - Red Bushwillow. Small to medium sized deciduous tree, 3 - 10m. Occurs in dry open bushy shrub like woodland.
    • Combretum erythrophyllum - River Bushwillow. Large, fast growing, deciduous, frost hardy tree. Grows along riverbanks.
    • Combretum molle - Velvet Bushwillow. Medium sized, deciduous, drought resistant tree.
    • Combretum zeyheri - Large fruited Bushwillow. Small to medium sized deciduous tree, up to 10m. Afrikaans common name - Raasblaar.
    • Dichrostachys cinerea - Kalahari Christmas Tree. Small, deciduous, drought resistant tree. Attractive Acacia type flowers pink on top half yellow below.
    • Dombeya rotundifolia - Wild Pear. Medium sized, deciduous, drought and frost resistant tree. Attracts birds which eat the pear like fruit it produces. Beautiful yellow blossoms in early spring.
    • Dovyalis zeyheri - Wild Apricot. Medium sized, deciduous, hardy tree. Attracts birds which eat the small apricot like fruit.
    • Erythrina lysistemin - Common Coral Tree. Small to medium sized deciduous tree, 6m. Beautiful red flowers before new leaves in spring on bare branches.
    • Grewia flava - Brandybush. Shrub / small deciduous tree, up to 4m. Dry woodland and bushveld. Yellow flowers.
    • Heteromorpha trifoliata - Parsley tree. Medium sized, deciduous, fast growing, multistemmed tree. Bronze coloured bark peels back in concentric rings makes this a good specimen plant.
    • Leonotis dysophylla - Wild Dagga. Small, deciduous erect shrub. Attractive orange erica type flowers in early spring.
    • Mundulea sericea - Cork Bush. Shrub / small, slow growing tree, 2 - 3m.
    • Ochna pulchra - Peeling Plane. Small deciduous tree, 3 - 7m. Pretty smooth bark which peels off like the exotic plane tree.
    • Pappea capensis - Jacket Plum. Small to medium sized tree, up to 7m.
    • Pavetta gardenifolia - Common Brides Bush. Small, deciduous shrub.
    • Peltophorum africanum - Weeping / African Wattle. Small to medium sized deciduous tree, 5 - 10m. Beautiful yellow flowers.
    • Rhus dentata - Nana Berry. Small deciduous tree, up to 6m. Red shiny fruit.
    • Rhus pyroides - Common Wildcurrant. Medium sized, fast growing, deciduous, drought and frost resistant tree. Attracts birds which eat the currant like berries in summer.
    • Rhus zeyheri - Blue Currant. Small deciduous tree, 3 - 4m. Blue grey foliage. Occurs on rocky koppies and stream banks.
    • Sclerocarya birrea - Marula. Medium sized tree, up to 10m. Frost sensitive.
    • Scolopia zeyheri - Thorny Pear. Medium sized, deciduous tree.
    • Securinega virosa - White Berry Bush. Small, deciduous shrub. Attracts birds which eat small white berries.
    • Spirostachys africana - Tamboti. Medium sized tree, up to 10m. The sap from this tree is poisonous.
    • Ziziphus mucronata - Buffalo Thorn. Medium sized, fast growing, deciduous, drought and frost resistant tree. Attracts birds which eat the large red berries it produces. Makes a good perimeter barrier as its thorns are rather profuse when young and difficult to untangle because one points forward while the other points backward. Shiny light green leaves hence the afrikaans common name Blinkblaar.
    Alien Plants

    Are you harbouring these aliens? Invasive plants compete with indigenous plants and acceptable exotics for space, sunlight, water and nutrients. They seed aggressively and spread quickly. You may not be aware you have them.

    Category 1: Trees

    The trees are: Robinia Pseudoacacia (Falfi acacia); Robinia Pseudoacacia (Black Locust); Acacia Mearnsii (Black Wattle); Melia Azedarach (Syringa).

    Category 1: Declared Weed

    The plants in Category 1 are: Lantana Camara (Lantana); Solanum Mauritianum (Bugweed bush); Ligustrum lucidum berries (Chinese wax-leaved privet); Pennisetum Setaceum (Fountain Grass); Pistia Stratiotes (water lettuce); Doxantha unguis-cati (Cat's Claw creeper); Araujia sericifera (Moth Catcher); Ligustrum Ovalifolium (Californian privet); Cereus Jamacaru (Queen of the Night).

    Category 1 plants and trees must be removed and destroyed immediately.

    Category 2: Declared Invader

    The most common Category 2 plants include: Rorippa Nasturtium Aquaticum (Watercress); Gleditsia Triacanthos (Honey Locust); Populus x Canescens (Grey Poplar); Salix Babylonica (Weeping Willow); Acacia Melanosylon (Australian Blackwood); Acacia Dealbata (Silver Wattle); Agave sisalana (Sisal Hemp); Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort); Psidium guajava (Guava); Salix babylonica (Weeping Willow). Category 2 plants and trees may only be grown under controlled conditions.

    Category 3: Declared Invader

    Category 3 invaders include the following: Acacia Elata (Pepper Tree Wattle); Cotoneaster Franchetii (Orange Cotoneaster); Cotoneaster Pannosus (Silver-leaf Cotoneaster); Eriobotrya japonica (Loquat); Ipomoea purpurea (Morning Glory); Jacaranda mimosifolia (Jacaranda); Phytolacca dioica (Belhambra); Psidium cattleianum (Strawberry Guava). Category 3 trees may not be planted at all.

    Links

    http://www.herbsorganic.co.za/pages/list%20for%20companion%20planting%201.htm

    http://sfgsa.co.za/tag/companion-planting/

    http://www.organicseed.co.za/dl/companion_planting_chart.pdf

    http://www.janesdeliciousgarden.com/online_resources

  • Companion Planting

    Click Here to download the Companion Planting chart

    HERB & VEGETABLE GARDEN

    Herb and vegetable plants are companion plants for each other. Together with a few other flowers, you would probably never have to use any chemical pest killer. Herbs need good drainage and at least 5 hours of sunshine. Some herbs are perennial like Rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, marjoram etc. Buy a good herb potting soil to plant your herbs in and for the first 2 months all you will have to do, is to water the plants. Vegetables need to be fertilized at least monthly. Cut veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, peas etc.) from the plant rather than breaking if off.
    Which plants deter pests and which attract pollinators?
    Remember, any plant with a garlic smell is a deterrent for pests. Apparently also for snakes, so I hear.
    Vegetables:
    Lettuce: Jan-Dec, plant with Dill and strawberries.
    Cauliflower : Nov – March, Plant with Mustard
    Chillies: Aug – Oct
    Broccoli: Nov – Feb , plant with cucumber, celery, thyme, onions, dill, Nasturtium (kappertjies), chamomile, oregano
    Peas: Feb – Sept, plant with Suring
    Cucumbers: Aug – Dec, plant with dill and Nasturtium (kappertjies),
    Cabbage: Aug – Apr, plant with gazanias/Arctotis (gousblom), dill, Nasturtium (kappertjies), rosemary, thyme, celery.
    Spinach: Nov – Apr, plant with catnip, parsley, suring
    Sweet pepper: Aug – Oct, plant with catnip, oregano, suring
    Tomatoes: Aug – Nov, plant with aniseed, basil, dill, catnip, celery, mint, Nasturtium (kappertjies), parsley, rocket, sage, thyme.
    Onions Feb-May, plant with chamomile, rocket, thyme.
    Pests deterring plants for the whole garden.
    Plant inbetween your other plants:
    Lavender, Rosemary, Basil, Geranium, Thyme, Catnip, Mint. Alyssum (heuningblomme).
    Plants to attract pollinators:
    Lavender, Chrysanthemums (asters), Roses, Scabiosa africana (koringblomme), Osteospernum (Madeliefies), Nasturtium (kappertjies), sweetpeas, Echinacea (daisies),
    Plants to divert pests away from vegetables:
    plant on the edge of the vegetable garden.
    Knoffelgrasui, fennel, pansies, chamomile.
    Symbiotic nitrogen-fixing plants
    These plants are soil-enhancing plants by putting nitrogen into the soil.
    Peas, Beans, Lucerne, chamomile, fennel, Nasturtium (kappertjies), Borage(komkommerkruid).

  • Gardening Calendar
  • Aliens and Non toxic weed/insect control

    Alien Invader Plants Irene Glen Estate

    Many countries battle today to eradicate plants that have been introduced either on purpose or by accident. Many of these plants have found their new location so favourable, and often without any natural enemies that they multiply without check, ultimately replacing indigenous species. South Africa has an extensive list of alien invader plants and they are categorised in three groupings.

    'Weeds' generally refers to plants that grow where they are not wanted. Many indigenous pioneering species are weeds of disturbed sites such as roadsides, overgrazed land and waste places. Alien weeds occur in the same disturbed sites and are also common in cultivated lands, planted pastures and lawns. 'Environmental weeds' are alien plants that invade natural vegetation.

    'Invasive plants', 'plant invaders' or 'invader plants' usually refer to alien plants that are capable of reproducing and spreading without the direct assistance of humans. The most aggressive invaders can spread far from parent plants and cover large areas.

    Category 1: Invader plants must be removed & destroyed immediately
    Category 2: Invader plants may be grown under controlled conditions only
    Category 3: Invader plants may no longer be planted (you are allowed to have it in your garden, but not propagate it.)

    Many of us will not even be aware that we have these plants as they have grown from seed without any interference from us. Most of these plants are category 3, as they are all propagated via birds eating the fruit and seeds. This is a dilemma, as by keeping the plant you are in fact allowing it to multiply.

    I urge all of you to have a walk around your gardens and see which of these plants you do have, unless it is lantana and prickly pear, you don’t have to remove them immediately but please start planning on taking these out and replacing them with something indigenous that is just as attractive.

    I have listed below the common invaders I have observed while walking in the estate.

    White or Common Mulberry (Morus Alba) (Cat 3)

    This tree is very invasive. It is scientifically notable for its rapid pollen movement. The flowers fire pollen into the air by rapidly releasing stored elastic energy in the stamens. The resulting movement is in excess of 560 km/h, making it the fastest known movement in the plant kingdom.

    To remove:

    Seedlings – handpull

    Adult – cut stump/frill and spray with Imazapyr 100 g/L SL (Chopper or Hatchet )

    Syringa (Melia azedarach) (Cat 3)

    To most of us the masses of lilac flowers in spring and the yellow hard berries that follow soon after are a common sight.

    The leaves are sometimes used as a natural insecticide to keep with stored food, but are somewhat risky as they are highly poisonous. Fruits are poisonous to humans if eaten in quantity. These toxins are not harmful to birds, which often gorge themselves on the fruit.

    To remove: Seedlings – handpull

    Adult – cut stump/frill. Spray with e.g. Picloram

    Privet (Ligustrum) (Cat 3)

    There are a number of ligustrum species which have been listed as invaders, but the two most common ones found in our gardens are the Japanese wax – leaved privet (Ligustrum japonicum ) and Chinese wax – leaved privet (Ligustrum lucidum). Both have been planted as ornamental trees in gardens, especially for their purple berries that are borne en masse in clusters. Birds are very fond of these berries.

    To remove:

    Seedlings – handpull

    All – cut stump

    Spray with Imazapyr 100 g/L SL (Chopper or Hatchet)

    Bugweed (Solanum mauritianum) (Cat 1)

    Bugweed, Tobacco Bush or Kerosene Bush is a small tree or shrub native to South America. The plant has a life of up to thirty years, and can grow up to 10m tall. The leaves are dull green and velvety above, white felt-like beneath and emit a strong smell when bruised. The flower is purple with a yellow centre.

    All parts of the plant are poisonous to humans, especially the berries. In South Africa, biological control has been introduced to attempt to control the plant.

    S. mauritianum is a favoured food of the African Olive-pigeon. The berries are so attractive to birds that they stop feeding on the fruits of indigenous plants increasing the risk that some may become locally extinct in their distribution areas.

    Alternatives to plant:

    Weeping sage (Buddleja auriculata), false olive (Buddleja saligna), sagewood (Buddleja salviifolia), large spurflower bush (Plectranthus ecklonii), healing-leaf tree (Solanum giganteum), wild medlar (Vangueria infausta)

    Removal:

    Seedlings < 1m – handpull

    Seedlings 0.5 – 1 m and coppice – foliar spray.

    e.g. Imazapyr

    Note: Manual removal is the removal method. You have to dig up a lot of the roots too, otherwise it can grow back. So just cutting the top off is not enough. Also when you disturb the soil, it triggers the seeds that previously fell from the tree to germinate, so you will have to go back in a few times in the next months to remove the new shoots that have sprouted.

    Black wattle (Acacia Mearnsii) (Category 2)

    Swartwattel (Afrikaans)

    Black wattle (English)

    Competes with and replaces indigenous riverine and grassland species. Extensive stands along watercourses and in mountain catchments reduce stream flow. Dense thickets invading grassland reduce grazing for domestic and wild animals. Infestations in grassland areas greatly increase the fuel load so that fires burn more fiercely which can cause damage to property and harm the indigenous flora and fauna.

    Removal:

    Seedlings - handpull

    Seedlings up to 1 m – foliar spray – various

    Up to 2 m and coppice – spot spray - various

    Pom pom weed (Cat 1)

    Pom-pom bossie (Afrikaans)

    Pom pom weed (English)

    Declared weed, prohibited and must be controlled.

    Forms dense stands. Has the ability to invade undisturbed grassland. Unpalatable, and spreads at the expense of palatable grassland species. Competes with and displaces indigenous species, reducing both the biological diversity and carrying capacity of vleis and veld.

    Alternative plants: Scabiosa africana (pincushion), Senecio glastifolius (waterholly/large senecio), Hemizygia transvaalensis (pink salvia).

    Removal:

    Three herbicides are currently registered for use on pompom weed:
    1. Brush-Off (metsulfuron methyl 600 g/kg) made by DuPont. Brush-Off is a water dispensable granular herbicide for broadleaf weed control. For pompom weed mix 25 g of Brush-Off granules in 100 litres of water, or 2.5 g in 10 litres. BP Crop Oil is recommended as the wetting agent at 50 ml per 10 litre water.

    2. Access 240 (picloram 240 g/litre), by Dow AgroSciences, registered as a foliar treatment. It is recommended that 350 ml of Access be mixed with 100 litres of water, or 35 ml in 10 litres. The wetter Actipron Super must be added at a rate of 50 ml per 10 litres of spray mix.

    3. Climax, metsulfuron methyl (sulfonyl urea) 600 g/kg, by Volcano Agroscience, also registered as a foliar treatment. The recommended dosage is 20g-30g / 100l water plus a surfactant, which could be either Volcano 90 at 100ml / 100l water, or BP Crop Oil at 500ml / 100l water. It should be applied either early summer, at the lower rate, or mid to late summer, using the higher rate Herbicides should be applied onto actively growing plants that are starting to produce inflorescences, i.e. from December onwards. Pompom weed dies back naturally in winter so spraying should stop when plants begin to turn yellow in early April. Spot-spraying in light pompom infestations should cause minimal damage to non-target plants. To minimize damage to desirable plants, the herbicide should be sprayed only onto the leaves of pompom weed, to the point at which they are shiny but not dripping. Do NOT spray in windy conditions, when the temperature exceeds 28ºC, when there is dew on the leaves or when rain is likely within the next two hours

    Physical control methods

    In general, physical methods of control, such as uprooting or hoeing, are ineffective and make the problem worse through disturbance. It is not advisable to plough lands with pompom weed as this will damage the rootstock, stimulating further vegetative growth and denser stands.

    Spread of the plant can be limited by preventing seed production. Aerial stems can be cut right back before the flowers produce seed. The bags of seed heads harvested from this year’s flowering season are bagged, and then burnt. However, be warned that the plants will be stimulated to produce more stems and in order for this method to work the plants will have to be cut back several times until the end of the growing season.

    Repeated cutting back of aerial growth should deplete nutrients stored in the roots, weaken the plant and limit seed production. This method however is only practical on a small scale. It is advisable to remove all flower heads from the site, being careful not to spread the weed further, and dispose by burning.

    In the case of single or very few pompom plants in an area, each plant can be dug up, taking care to remove at least the root crown (the area where the stem is attached to the swollen, finger-like roots) from the soil. Once the root crown has been removed, the roots will apparently not re-grow.

    It is important to cause as little soil disturbance as possible, in order to prevent the mass-germination of pompom seeds. Regular follow-up visits to the site for the next three growing seasons are essential to ensure that all seedlings have been removed.

    Biological control

    Biological control research (introducing, testing and releasing host-specific natural enemies of pompom weed) is underway at ARC weed laboratories. We hope if this is successful the biological control agent will spread here.

    Pampas grass (Cat 1)

    Pampasgras (Afrikaans)

    Purple Pampas grass (English)

    Declared weed, prohibited and must be controlled

    Forms large clumps which displace smaller indigenous species. The fluffy inflorescence causes respiratory problems in humans, especially to asthma sufferers. Leaves are very abrasive with sharp, cutting edges.

    Alternative plants: The following species all require moist conditions: Miscanthus capensis (east coast broomgrass), Pennisetum macrourum (riverbed grass), Chondropetalum tectorum (Cape thatching reed), Cyperus papyrus (papyrus).

    Removal:

    Permanent mechanical removal is recommended wherever possible.

    Control of large plants is easier and more effective if any seed heads are removed first and the plant is slashed before grubbing the crown and roots. Seed heads should be placed in a plastic bag and destroyed in an appropriate way.

    The best conditions for grubbing (mechanical removal of small plants) are when the soil is moist so removal is easier. The crown and roots must be completely removed from contact with the soil. Suitable disposal methods for plant material are necessary to prevent re-establishment.

    Smaller plants (less than 40cm) can be controlled using a wiper applicator with the recommended herbicide. For larger plants, slash the plant to reduce the foliage, taking care to dispose of any plant material in the appropriate way to prevent re-establishment, and then spray with the recommended herbicide.

    Alternatively, the plant can be burnt (if local conditions allow), allowed to recover, and any new growth sprayed with the recommended herbicide.

    Do not spray plants stressed by drought or frost, and ensure there is thorough wetting of larger plants with the herbicide. Follow-up treatment may be required if re-growth occurs.

    Pampas grass is a prolific seeder. Its potential spread can be prevented by removing the flowering plumes before the pollen and seeds develop and are dispersed by the wind.

    If removal is left until after the seed has developed, the seed head should be handled with care to prevent the seed shaking out. Any seed head containing viable seed should be burnt or rendered non-viable before discarding.

    Peanut butter cassia (Cat 3)

    Grondboontjiebotterkassia (Afrikaans)

    Peanut butter cassia (English)

    Competes with indigenous species. Poisonous.

    Removal:

    Seedlings - handpull

    Cut stump / Frill Spray with imazapyr 100 g/L SL Chopper 100 SL (L3444), Hatchet 100 SL (L7409)

    Moth catcher: Araujia serifera (Category 1)

    A vigorous climber with milky sap growing to 5m or higher. Leaves are dark green and smooth above and pale green or whitish below with short, dense hairs. White, cream or pale pink flowers appear from November to April. Green, spongy fruits which turn brown and woody and split to release numerous blackish seeds. Poisonous, causing skin irritation.

    Removal:

    Handpull

    GENERAL INFORMATION ON ERADICATING INVADER SPECIES

    Any control programme for alien vegetation must include the following 3 phases:

    • Initial control: drastic reduction of existing population
    • Follow-up control: control of seedlings, root suckers and coppice growth
    • Maintenance control: sustain low alien plant numbers with annual control

    Mechanical & chemical methods for removal of trees:

    Select from the following options:

    • Basal bark: Application of suitable herbicide in diesel can be carried out to the bottom 250mm of the stem. Applications should be by means of a low pressure, coarse droplet spray from a narrow angle solid cone nozzle.
    • Hand pull: Grip the young plant low down and pull out by hand (using gloves).
    • Ring barking: Bark must be removed from the bottom of the stem to a height of 0.75-1.0 m. All bark must be removed to below ground level for good results. Where clean de-barking is not possible due to crevices in the stem or where exposed roots are present, a combination of bark removal and basal stem treatments should be carried out. Bush knives or hatchets should be used for debarking.
    • Frill: Using an axe or bush knife. Make angled cuts downward into the cambium layer through the bark in a ring. Ensure to effect the cuts around the entire stem and apply herbicide into the cuts.
    • Where trees can be felled and removed use chainsaws, bowsaws, brushcutters or cane knives.
    • Cut stump treatment: Stems should be cut as low as practical as stipulated on the label. Herbicides are applied in diesel or water as recommended for the herbicide. Applications in diesel should be to the whole stump and exposed roots and in water to the cut area as recommended on the label.
    • Stem injection: Punch downward slanting holes into the main stem using a sharpened metal spike. Space holes around entire circumference of lower stems. Inject the herbicide directly into the plant – ensuring to inject around the stem. Follow label recommendations.

    NOTE: DO NOT USE GLYPHOSATE (ROUNDUP) AS A HERBICIDE. IT IS ASSOCIATED WITH MANY HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS! Studies have determined that RoundUp – and its combined chemical ingredients – are 125 times more toxic than glyphosate alone.

    When using any herbicide always read the label first and follow all instructions and safety requirements.

    Environmentally friendly alternatives to herbicides:

    Alternative products exist which play the same role as Roundup® in weed management. Acetic acid, fatty acids, and essential oils can all act as herbicides.

    Acetic acid, or vinegar, can be sprayed on weeds to “burn down” the plant. When sprayed on plants, it causes chemical burns which eat away at the foliage until there are no leaves remaining. On the downside, any plant the vinegar touches will be affected, so if the spray blows into your garden, it will hurt your vegetables. Also, the vinegar only attacks the leaves. It doesn’t contain a surfactant like POEA to carry it into the roots, so the weeds may grow back within a couple weeks. On the upside, the vinegar will quickly break down in the soil and water, meaning it won’t contaminate your lawn long-term and is safe to use near water or pavement. Acetic acid may even be safe to use in lake sediments against invasive plants, although this application is still being tested.

    Certain fatty acids, often in the form of soaps, are presented as safe alternatives to Roundup®. The solutions work like vinegar (and often contain vinegar as an additive) insomuch as they burn the leaves of the plant. Soon after the first application, the soap becomes inactive, so it only works for a very short amount of time, and the weeds may return. The most common fatty acid, pelargonic acid, is considered to have very low toxicity and to be environmentally friendly. However, the other ingredients in commercial herbicides are just as important as the active, so before buying any herbicide, make sure to look at the inert ingredients!

    Essential oils—such as clove, peppermint, pine, and citronella oils—have been growing in popularity as herbicides over the last several years. They operate like vinegar and soaps, wherein they burn the foliage, but not the roots unless surfactants are added. Unlike the other two, essential oils often are not fully effective because of the way they are introduced to the plants. A portion of the oil will evaporate away or become inactive in the soil before it has interacted with the plants. Most essential oils are not know to have the severe effects of Roundup® in aquatic ecosystems, but each oil has its own potential harms and benefits, so care should be taken when applying it.

    If you are thinking more long-term about your landscape, there are other options for weed control. If the tried-and-true method of pulling weeds by hand just isn’t working for you, but you don’t want to spray chemicals all over your yard, consider rethinking how you maintain your lawn. Adding corn gluten, appropriate plants, or mulching to your routine can reduce the number of weeds in it and make it easier to maintain.

  • Make your own compost

    3 Essential Elements for Perfect Compost

    It’s time to let you in on a little secret: soil building done like this is the perfect lazy person’s gardening project. Unlike weeding or double-digging, which take lots of time and physical effort, a compost pile pretty much takes care of itself. Build it right, and it will transform your growing expectations.

    1. Start with a container.

    We’re dealing with decomposing organic material, folks, so the structure doesn’t need to be fancy. You just need some sort of way to hold all of the ingredients together so the beneficial bacteria that break down the plant matter can heat up and work effectively.

    Compost bins are of two types, stationary and rotating. Both types must have their contents turned periodically to provide oxygen and combine the decaying materials. Stationary bins can be as simple as well-ventilated cage made from wire fence sections or wooden crates assembled from a kit. A well-designed bin will retain heat and moisture, allowing for quicker results. Then there’s compost tumblers, easy to turn bins that speed up the process — compost in weeks, not months or years — by frequent oxygen infusions and heat retention. Select one based on how much plant matter (grass, leaves, weeds, stalks and stems from last year’s garden) you have at your disposal, how large your yard is, and how quickly you need to use the finished product.

    When using the stationary bin method, locate the pile in a sunny location so that it has as much heat as possible. If it’s in the shade all day, decomposition will still happen, but it will be much slower, especially when freezing temps arrive in the fall. Compost tumblers can also take heat advantage of being placed in direct sunlight.


    2. Get the ingredient mix right.

    A low-maintenance pile has a combination of brown and green plant matter, plus some moisture to keep the good bacteria humming. Shredded newspaper, wood chips and dry leaves are ideal for the brown elements; kitchen waste and grass clippings are perfect for the green add-ins.

    Skip meat, fish and dairy for outdoor bins because they tend to attract pests like mice, raccoons and dogs. If you can’t bear the thought of sending your leftovers to the landfill, there are clever systems that turn them into superfood for your plants.

    If you’re using a simple container, it’s best to start heaping the ingredients right on the ground, starting with chunky material like small branches or woody stems on the bottom for good airflow. Every time you add green material, add some brown as well to keep a good moisture balance and create air pockets.

    It’s a good idea to give your new pile a jump-start to get the process started. There are several great activators that are ready to go right out of the box. No need to mix it in well. Fold in a couple shovelfuls of garden soil rich in organic matter and let the natural process begin. (See moisture below.)

    3. Remember a few simple chores.

    Taking care of a compost pile is extremely basic, but a wee bit of care makes a huge difference. Add material regularly to give the happy bacteria some fresh food to consume and enough insulation to keep the process warm.

    Turn the pile with a pitchfork or compost aerator every week or two to make sure that all of the materials are blended in and working together. After you’ve mixed things up, grab a handful to see if it’s slightly damp. Too little moisture will slow the decomposition process and too much will leave you with a slimy mess.

    In a few months, your finished product should be a dark, crumbly soil that smells like fresh earth.

    Avoid Common Mistakes

    It’s hard to mess up compost, but we’re happy to offer a little direction so you get off to the best start.

    • Don’t start too small. The breakdown process needs a critical mass in order to do its job. However, certain bins work well for small amounts of material, so choose a product for your specific needs.
    • Keep things moist. It’s easy to walk away and forget that there’s an active process going on, so check the pile regularly, especially during hot, dry weather (see Managing Moisture).
    • Don’t depend on one material. A combination of different textures and nutrients created by the disintegration of many different plants will give your plants a gourmet diet that helps create disease and pest resistance. Think about it — a huge clump of grass clippings just sticks together in a huge mat that hangs around for years. Add some leaves, stir, and natural forces like water, air and heat go to work quickly!
    • Don’t get overwhelmed. This isn’t rocket science, so jump in and try, even if you don’t have a clue. You’ll soon see what works and what doesn’t.

Environmental Management Guidelines

  • Existing guidelines
  • Burning program

    Click here for the Irene Glen Estate firebreak and veld burn programme

     
    Pupose and effect Burning Cutting grass short
    Biomass Prevents build up of biomass (that burns very warm and aggressive).  Biomass can still build up, unplanned burning can have bigger effect as when regular burns were done.
    Growth Growth is increased, revitatlises diversity of species Growth is increased
    Weed control Can help with weed control in some cases No specific advantage in terms of weed control, can actually spread more
    Bush encraochment Helps to combat bush encroachment On private stands bushes can be cut down manually
    Germination of certain plants Initiates germination in some plants NA
    Safety of property Medium risk No risk
    Financial impact Probably more than R1000, might take a few days
    Frequency Burn only when biomass is too much, typically every 3-4 years just after first rain, but not too late in the season and also not too early,  and cut twice a year the rest of the time.  (Burning only substitutes one cut). Once/twice  a year
    Precautions Make sure the grass is short before burning. None
      Make sure the weather conditions are correct (No wind).  
      Make sure the neighbour's grass is also short.  
      Do firebreak on the perimeter of the stand first  to reduce risk of run away fire.  
      Use a sub-contractor that has experience, do not attempt to do it yourself.  
      Have enough water and people to reduce risk.  
      Arrange with the IGE office. This will be done in conjunction with the burning of the Public areas. ( Fire Department needs to be informed, residents need to be aware, sufficient staff to help in case of problems, pre-inspection to make sure all precautions are adhered to)  
  • Rats and mice or Owls
    Information about owls
    Tekening vir Gevlekte ooruil / Drawing for African Eagle Owl Tekening vir Nonnetjies Uil / Drawing for Barn Owl
  • Bats

    How are bats beneficial?

    Bat. What does the word mean to you? Vampires? Blood-suckers? Rabies? Fairy tales, horror stories and rumors have given these amazing mammals a bad rap. In reality, bats are very important, not only to the environment, but to humans and the many products we use. 

    Ingesting Insects
    • Because bats eat so many insects, they lessen the need for use of chemical pesticides in agriculture. 
    • Bats can help control the populations of mosquitos, beetles, moths, and leafhoppers. Many insects can hear bats up to 100 feet away and will avoid those areas occupied by bats. Some people build bat boxes and post them on their houses or sheds. If bats occupy the boxes, insects are sure to be less plentiful around those places! Remembering these fun facts the next time you are being pestered by mosquitoes will help you appreciate these little mammals.

    Human Helpers
    • Scientists have been studying vampire bat saliva. It contains an anticoagulant (prevents blood clots from forming), which may soon be used to treat human heart patients.
    • Because bats eat large amounts of mosquitoes, they help control viruses spread by the insects. Diseases such as West Nile virus would be much more plentiful without bats.
    • Lessons learned from bats’ echolocation have produced navigational aids for the blind.
    • Bats also produce guano (their manure) which is rich in nitrogen; this natural by-product is used to fertilize lawns and gardens.

    Principal Pollinators
    • Pollination is the process of moving pollen grains from the male part of the flower (stamen) to the female part (the pistil). Bats love to drink the sweet nectar inside flowers. As they drink and move from flower to flower, they pick up a dusting of pollen and distribute it to other flowers. 
    • Bats are very important animals in ecosystems all over the world. Tropical bats are essential to the rain forest, where they pollinate flowers and disperse seeds for countless trees and shrubs.
    • Agricultural plants, such as bananas, mangoes, cashews, dates, avocadoes, peaches, cloves, and figs (to name a few) rely on bats for pollination. Bats also help distribute the seeds of these important plants, so they can reproduce and create more fruit for us humans to eat and enjoy.
    • Without pollinating and seed-dispersing bats, many ecosystems would gradually die. Plants would fail to provide food and cover for wildlife species near the base of the food chain. If these plants die, wildlife will die, causing entire ecosystems to deteriorate. 
    • In the East African savannah, the great baobab tree is critical to the survival of so many species it is often called the “African Tree of Life.” The baobab depends almost exclusively on bats for pollination. Without bats, baobabs would die, causing a collapse of one of our planet’s most amazing and important ecosystems. 

Our Wild Neighbours

  • Floodplain and wildlife

    "Living on the Wild Side"

    One of the unique and wonderful things about living in Irene Glen estate is our abundance of wildlife. 

    Apart from the animals you may see around your house, the estate has its very own animal playground: the floodplain!

    All year round, this untouched area of veld is home to many species of mammals, reptiles and birds, which can frequently be spotted living happily in their natural habitat. It is also a vital safeguard against flooding of the river, and in past rainy seasons, you may have woken up to find a dam where there was only grass before!

    The floodplain consists of 50 hectares of natural grassland and trees, with the Hennops river running alongside it. It borders onto a large area of undeveloped land, all of which is part of a nature conservancy. Wildlife spotted in this area recently include:
    - grey duikers
    - porcupines
    - wild hares
    - guinea fowl
    - of course our familiar neighbours,the snakes, bats and owls...
    - and even jackals!!!

    ***It is therefore of the utmost importance that your pets are kept from wandering into this area, for the safety of the pets and the preservation of our wild friends. It is also vital to keep the river clean, as this vibrant ecosystem relies on it.***

    ------------

    The floodplain is also a playground for humans: take a leisurely walk, go for a run, watch some birds or cycle through the peaceful and fascinating environment.

    ***There are two access gates to the floodplain, and entry tags can be borrowed from Zelda at the office.***

  • Smuts farm conservancy

    Irene Glen Estate & the Smuts Farm Conservancy

    Many of you have asked the question if IGE is part of the Smuts Farm Conservancy. The short answer is: Yes. BUT: we are a dormant member because we have not paid any fees in the past 10 years.

    What is a Conservancy?
    An area where nature and environmental management is done voluntarily and cooperatively by the community and its users and has been registered at the relevant association.
    History of the Smuts Farm Conservancy:
    The Conservancy was registered at the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (DACE) in 2000. In 2003 however, DACE decided that Conservancies would no longer be the responsibility of the Government. Some concerned citizens then founded the National Association of Conservancies/Stewardship of South Africa (NACSA). The Smuts conservancy was registered with the NACSA (as part of the Gauteng Conservancy Association http://www.conservancies.org/index.htm).
    The Smuts Conservancy consists of the land that is owned by the Irene Middle School, Taurus Estate, Wijers property, Smuts House Museum, Irene Glen Estate and Twin Rivers Estate.
    The owners of the abovementioned land drafted some documents to manage the land cooperatively. Unfortunately the documents were never signed and the owners all lost interest in the idea except the Smuts House Museum, who are currently paying the fees (a minimal amount of about R600 per year).
    Do we as IGE want to be more actively involved?
    The advantages of being part of the Conservancy are as follows:
    • Knowledge and experience concerning environmental issues can be shared and implemented, which would be beneficial to IGE.
    • Birdwalks could include our Floodplain which would add extra eyes in that area to notice any changes to the environment or possible security issues etc.
    • Improves neighbour relations with the neighbouring Landowners.

     

    There are no real disadvantages, but it does come with some responsibilities which include:

    • Monthly meetings with other members of the Conservancy
    • Yearly contributions (which is minimal as stated above)
    • Adhering to certain rules of the Conservancy. Currently there are no approved rules, which mean that IGE can influence the writing of the rules to bring it in line with the IGE rules. As we all know, this could become a lengthy process as we really don’t want more rules than what we have already.
    Conclusion:
    By being more actively involved, IGE can only benefit, as long as the rules and responsibilities are clear and acceptable to the members of IGE.

  • Bushbabies

    Protecting our Bushbabies

    Over the past few years it has been evident that there are less Bushbabies in the Estate.

    Generally, bushbabies are considered adaptable and some species may be able to cope with some habitat change.
    In Irene Glen the greatest threat to these animals is loss of habitat, owls and the common housecat.

    Help us to save these beautiful animals but protecting their habitat and choosing your pets wisely. If you do have cats, please consider putting a bell on the cat.

    South African galagos or bushbabies live in semi-arid woodlands, savanna woodlands, gallery forests, and the edges of wooded areas.

    They are often associated with Acacia trees, the exudates of which are their dietary staple.

    They can be found at all levels of a forest canopy, often resting and breeding in the holes of Acacia trees and the hollowed out trunks of Mopane trees. 

    Body length:  14 to 17 cm.
    Males:            160 to 255 g
    Females:        142 to 229 g.

    They have grey to light brown fur that lightens and takes on a yellowish tinge.

    Extremely large ears that can move independently.
    Big orange eyes that are surrounded by a dark mask of fur.
    Tail an average of 11 to 28 cm and is dark in colour.

     

    How can I help conserving our Bush Babies?

     

    If you are planning to attract them to your stand, please make wise pet choices. It would be sad if they family cat is responsible for the death of a Bushbaby.

    Consider planting  a habitat, and speak to you neighbours that you can plan t a corridor for the animals down to the river.

    Acacia karoo – Sweetthorn

    Acacia Tortiles – Umbrella thorn

     

    Acacia Nilotica – Scented thorn

    Educate others about the existence of Busbbabies in our estate.

     

  • Snakes

    Dear all

    You may have noticed by the dead snakes on the road that the reptiles have completed their winter sleep.

    There is however no reason that we should have this carnage on our roads or our stands. Snakes form an important part of the Eco system not all snakes are poisonous.

    Please educate yourself, your family and especially your staff, because most of the time they will be the fist to encounter a snake on your property.

    Here is a link to Johan Marias site. We printed out the most common poisones and the most common harmless snakes and those are at display at the Management office and the Contractors gate.
    Just a note, consider having it printed on Photopaper and then laminated, it will be better quality.

    http://www.africansnakebiteinstitute.com/downloads.htm

    For you phone
    esnakes R216.63
    snakes350 (free)
    Please navigate the application before you have to deal with an actual snake. The free one has plenty good info but it takes a few minutes to find.

    Snake catchers
    Two of the residents have volunteered to help you relocate any unwanted snakes to Rietvlei Nature Reserve
    Salo de Swart
    Pepe Petkov 082 985 9565
    Snake handling equipment also for sale on the site mentioned above

    Last of all, please notify management if you have found, and identified, a snake on your stand? We would like to indicate it on an estate map and with that we can possible locate the breeding spots of the more dangerous snakes
    Can we ask you for the same info on Owls, Bats and Bushbabies? Please remember not to use rat poisons, you may be poisoning the Owls

    The Herald snake is mildly venomous but presents no danger to man. Death to frogs and lizards. Very common in the estate. It has a very mild venom that will produce virtually no symptoms if you are bitten, even a child. The Herald snake and the brown house snake are the two most common snakes encountered around the house (although las tyear riverside residents experienced a plethora of night adders, sometimes removing two a day from the house). If threatened the Herald snake will flatten its head and hiss loudly. It also strikes readily so don't pester it. However, if you calmly move it into a pillow case you can release it easily in the floodplain where it will get on with being a snake. It presents no danger to humans, cats or dogs.

    The brown house snake is easily identified by two light bands running over the eyes on either side of the head while the rest of the body is brown. This snake has no venom at all and is a constrictor. It feeds on rodents. It also bites readily but beyond giving you a scare it is harmless.

    The night adder is very common too. This snake feeds on rodents, frogs and lizards and is predominantly brown with diamond markings on the back. Perhaps the most distinctive marking of the night adder is the "V" shaped marking on the back of the head. They are a mildly venomous snake that will cause severe discomfort if you get bitten and medical attention should be sought. They are a very calm snake and are easily removed from the house if they are calmly handled.

    There was a dog bitten last year by a puff adder. A dose of painkillers and a day of rest later he was back home and running around as if nothing happened. If you are concerned and need someone to help immediately with relocation John Deppe has no problem assisting.

    Article on Snake Bits: http://africageographic.com/blog/which-snake-is-africas-deadliest/

Green Living

  • Green tips for Spring Cleaning

    It’s nearly spring and that means it’s almost time for the big clean! Spring-cleaning can be a therapeutic experience, but unfortunately conventional cleaning products are loaded with chemicals that can do more harm than good in the long run. However, there are ways you can keep your house squeaky clean and reduce your carbon footprint.


    The good news is that most of your home can be cleaned using everyday household products that are a combination of hot water, vinegar, and bicarbonate of soda. You can also add a few drops of essential oil for scent. Making your own cleaning products will not only save you money, you will also know exactly what’s inside your spray-bottle.

    Tip: Before you start spring cleaning, pack away all your winter stuff to clear the house.

    Windows
    For windows/mirrors all you need is a spray-bottle that you can buy at your local supermarket. Mix vinegar and water, pour it in your spray-bottle and use a lint-free (no-fluff) cloth for cleaning.
    Floors
    For your floors you need white distilled vinegar and a bucket of warm water. For a pleasant fragrance you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. The vinegar smell can be a bit strong but once your floors are dry, the smell of vinegar will vanish.
    Toilet bowl
    To keep this nice and sparkling white, all you need to do is sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on your brush and start scrubbing away. To clean the outside of your toilet, you can wipe it down with a mixture of warm water and vinegar.
    Furniture
    All you need is equal amounts of orange juice and olive oil mixed. Apply a small amount on a cloth and wipe your furniture.
    Air freshener
    Finally, now that you have cleaned your house and it smells fresh and clean, you definitely want the clean smell to last longer than just a few hours. There are many ways to achieve this without using chemicals. You can always make your own potpourri with a blend of your favourite dried flowers, fragrant herbs and essential oils for your whole house. To absorb any bad odours you can add baking soda to an open container and add a few slices of lemon on top. The citrus smell from the lemon will help keep the house smelling fresh.

    Please remember to also check the internet for the many useful and effective home remedies for cleaning. Some will be mentioned here. Please inform us if you have any good recipes not mentioned here or if you have found any new organic products we have to know about?

    Make your own cleaning solutions

    Lemon
    A very effective and widely used product! Cleans and disinfects, biodegradable and non toxic!

    Biocarbonate of soda

    Can be used to clean anything from your hair and teeth to the stains on your shirt. Takes care of nasty smells.

    White Vinegar

    Clean and unblocks, softens washing and makes your hair shine!
    Salt
    Abbrasive cleaner

    Stained wood and plastic
    Use lemon on wood and plastic stains, wash off after 20min

    Furniture polish
    Mix 500ml olive oil with the juice of a lemon. Spray on and wipe off, the lemon will clean and the oil will feed the wood.

    Dirt between tiles
    Mix Cream of Tartar with Lemon and apply with a toothbrush to the grout. Give it 20min before wiping with a warm cloth.

    Stains on washing
    Mix Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar.

    Washing softener
    Replace with the same amount white vinegar.

    Vinil, Ceramic and wooden floor
    Mix equal amounts of warm water and vinegar (not for natural stone like marble)

    Windows, Mirrors and shower doors
    3 Tablespoons (45mil) white vinegar and two cups of water in a spraycan.

    Dishes
    A cup of white vinegar in the water that you rice your dishes with will make them shine.

    Microwave
    Mix 3 teaspoons white vinegar and a cup of water and microwave for 1 min on high. Afterwards you can wipe the inside of the oven with a warm damp cloth.

    Blocked pipes
    Mix one cup(250ml) vinegar and 60ml Bicarb and poor it down the blocked pipe. Put the plug back if necessary and wash down with hot later.

    Pots, pans and grout Mix salt with vinegar or lemon to clean pots, pans and dirty grout between tiles.

    Mess in the oven?
    If you can catch a spill in the oven while still in liquid form, pour salt and and clean later.

    Bad smells
    Wash, the fridge, cupboards, rubbish bins  and coffee flasks with a mix of 3 parts water and one part Bicarb.
    Pour Bicard over catsand, your running shoes ad the rubbish bin to eliminate smells.
    Cash over carrots what smell of pets and vacuum the next morning.

    Sources:
    WEG! Platteland Spring 2014
    www.sinsofgreenwashing.org

    Commercially available organic certified cleaning solutions:
    (This is an extract from WEG! Platteland Spring 2014, with notes added by the Green team)

  • Commercial Cleaning Solutions (Save Your Septic Tank)

    DISHES (2015 PRICES)

    Sunlight Liquid 750ml R22  vs

    Bloublommetjies kloof Feverfew Disghwashing Liquid
    R50 for 1 litre
    http://www.bloublommetjieskloof.com/

     

    Better Earth Dishwashing liquid
    R49 for 750ml
    http://www.betterearth.co.za/

     

    Earthsap Dishwashing Liquid
    R33 for 750ml
    http://www.earthsap.co.za/

     

    Enchantrix Clean it all
    R51 for  500ml
    http://enchantrix.co.za/

     

    Tripple Orange Gel
    500ml
    Auto dish gel (Automatic dishwasher)
    R88 for 500ml
    http://www.tripleorange.co.za/
    (Green team editor choice)

    LAUNDRY (2015 PRICES)

    Skip Auto R50 for 2kg

    Better Earth Conditioning Laundry gel
    R90 for 1 litre
    http://www.betterearth.co.za/

     

    Bloublommetjieskloof Soapwort Laundry liquid
    R45 for 500ml
    http://www.bloublommetjieskloof.com/

     

    Earthsap Laundry powder
    R104 for 1kg
    http://www.earthsap.co.za/

     

    Enchantrix I wash laundry
    R52 for 500ml
    http://enchantrix.co.za/

     

    Tripple orange
    R102 for 1kg
    http://www.tripleorange.co.za/

    TOILETS AND SHOWERS

    Toilet duck R17 for 500ml

    Better Earth toilet cleaner
    R69 for 500ml

     

    Bloublommetjiekloof Basil all purpose spray with scourer
    R35 for 1 litre

     

    Enchantrix Clean it all
    R55 for 500ml

     

    Earthsap cream sap all purpose
    R30 for 750ml

     

    Tripple Orange Bio sanitiser
    R65 for 500ml

    FLOORS

    Dettol multi surface cream cleaner
    R19 for 750ml

    Better Earth Cleaning spray
    R60 for 500ml

     

    Bloublommetjieskloof Basil all purpose cleaner
    R35 for 1 litre

     

    Enchantrix Clean it all
    R55 for 500ml

     

    Earthsap cream scrub all purpose cleaner
    R35 for 750ml

  • Pocket Guide

    Green Living

    If each of the 7 Billion people on earth use just 10ml of a chemical cleaner every day to clean their skins, hairs, animals, cars and homes, we are dumping 70 million liter  of chemicals back into the earths water system daily.
    Eventually everything we flush down the drain comes back into our drinking water.

    Most of the chemical compounds we use to clean our homes are toxic and linked to many ailments under which eczema, cancer, asthma, hormone imbalance and actual poisoning. There is no law in South Africa protecting consumers from the hundreds of toxic chemicals and pesticides used and marketed daily. No trails are run on these products before they are sold into the marketplace. The SABS only test surface cleaners every two years.

    Green products on the other hand has to prove that they are biodegradable, non toxic, free from artificial colours and fragrances, phosphates, chlorine, bleach and petrochemicals.

    In the past the price of organic products were prohibitive but with so much new local competition entering the market, all of us can now live clean, safe and green! It may take a while for you to find a product that you like and for those with help in the house, a product that your helper is happy with!

    Be carefull of products just claiming to be "Natural / organic / green". Always check the labels for Certified Organic products.

    You can download the pocket guide from Faithfull to Nature, one of the online shops here.

    Click here to view the Pocket Guide page 1 Click here to view the Pocket Guide page 2
  • Organic Food

    Currently you can order Eggs and Vegatables directly from the farmers and get it delivered in Irene Glen!

    Eggs from Marlize 082 561 8502
    Vegetables from Gert 0799994140
    Olive oil from Susan 084 504 2150
    Organic pots, earthworms and seeds from Hanlie 0825535044
    Deliveries from Organic Choice (www.organicchoice.co.za)

    Please support our local organic Market in Irene at Smuts House on Wednesdays, 9 - 12am?

  • Heritage day/Spring market

    Once a year the Green Team Organizes an informal Spitbraai and market at the fairy forest. Please do not miss it!

    View the 2014 Heritage Day Spitbraai gallery