Solar

Solar Power in South Africa Part 4: Capacity, Design and Back-up Supply; Living with Solar in Gauteng, South Africa

Capacity, Design & Back-up Supply (Author: The Economist) A real life true journey of a South African family to go off-grid on sustainable energy supply and usage. Capacity: How big must my solar system be was probably the first question that we needed to answer back in 2014. Every family will have its own needs,… Continue reading Solar Power in South Africa Part 4: Capacity, Design and Back-up Supply; Living with Solar in Gauteng, South Africa

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Food Garden · Homesteading · How to Grow · Observations · Soil care

Sustainable, Productive and Economical Vegetable Gardening (Part 4): Vegetable Garden Planting Guide & Management

When you consider an ideal vegetable garden I imagine that many of you (as well as myself at one point too) had the following image in mind: Vegetables arranged in neat regimented lines or blocks containing one type of vegetable, perfectly bordered by some type of hedging and clear weed free paths between the planted… Continue reading Sustainable, Productive and Economical Vegetable Gardening (Part 4): Vegetable Garden Planting Guide & Management

climate · Drought · Food Garden · Homesteading · Observations · Water Supply

Lessons from Gardening in a Drought: Drought Angels SA, Farmers in Distress, Boere in Nood & Water Shortage SA

In South Africa: South Africa is suffering from a crippling drought brought on by the worst El Nino in decades, starting in 2014. Cape Town (south point of South Africa) and the surrounding areas are basically in a drought disaster area at the moment as many farmers and villages do not have enough water due… Continue reading Lessons from Gardening in a Drought: Drought Angels SA, Farmers in Distress, Boere in Nood & Water Shortage SA

Homesteading · Observations · Soil care

Natural (Bio)fertilisers & Living Mulches: The Edible Legumes

I have been running several posts on using plants as biofertilisers, living mulch and even chicken feed. This post is a follow up on the living mulches that I have been experimenting with. Several plants (which include many legumes) that can be used as green manures and green chicken forage. Previously, I have used Penny… Continue reading Natural (Bio)fertilisers & Living Mulches: The Edible Legumes

Homesteading · Off Grid · Solar

Solar Power in South Africa Part 3: Solar & Seasonality, Living with Solar in Gauteng, South Africa

How’s your Solar in Winter? (Author: The Economist)   Winter sneaked up on our solar electricity system during July 2015. We hardly took notice of the change in the length of a day before installing solar and now it matters. We lose up to 6 hours in daylight from the longest day in summer to… Continue reading Solar Power in South Africa Part 3: Solar & Seasonality, Living with Solar in Gauteng, South Africa

Insect · Pest · Profile

Caterpillars – Garden Pest of the Month

Caterpillars at a glance Type of Damage Chewing Plant Symptoms Holes in fruits, missing leaves, eaten leaves, ‘felled’ seedlings Favourite Plant Most food crops, especially tomatoes, fruit trees, grapes, citrus, sweet potato, Solanum family Control Biological (predators: wasps, mantids, assassin bugs & chickens), else physical removal Quick Intro Caterpillars are regarded as one of the… Continue reading Caterpillars – Garden Pest of the Month

Food Garden · Homesteading · Observations

Sunbirds & Spiderwebs – Something Special

We have a few residential sunbirds in the neighbourhood - not the very flashy ones like those in the fynbos areas of South Africa, but none the less gorgeous little birdies. The Whitebellied sunbird, Nectarinia talatala is a common sight for those living close to bushveld towards the northern parts of southern Africa. It is… Continue reading Sunbirds & Spiderwebs – Something Special