Archive for May, 2009

23
May
09

Manukelana Indigenous Nursery and Arts Project

inspirational nurseryManukelana Nursery was started on an alien ridden piece of land in  by  men  that had nothing other than a love for indigenous trees and their physical ability. They pooled together spades and other tools.  They perspired and persevered.

Today the nursery is a source of inspiration. Small step by small step they have created a place where dedication and good intent is tangible. Everything is done with the patience and care. “The plants have to be transplanted with tender love because they are fragile. “  say the strong Zulu men.  One feels inspired and wants to get involved. So have others in the past. Different people have made meaningful contributions. There is a story behind each and every contribution: the water tank tower, the walkway to the butterfly house, the butterfly house and the used shade cloth that protects the fragile seedlings from the harsh Zululand sun. Phungula tells how impressed he was to see people from a western city world work spades and hammers as well as they could operate remote controls.

As a vegetarian I found it interesting how these men integrate their Zulu heritage with the way of living of the Rasta faith. In the zulu culture a goat is slaughtered when a new born baby reaches a certain age. The skin of the goat is used to phepa the baby (carry the baby on the mother’s back).  There is a specific part of that goat that the father has to eat. These Rasta men would eat meat only when it is part of a cultural ritual.

Phungula showed me around the project. I am interested in endangered indigenous plants that are easy to propagate and are used by traditional healers. He shows me the porcupine root (Talinum caffrum). In traditional healing it brings peace. If people are laying an ambush against you, it helps you to escape.

Howorthia linifolia or uMathithibala is used in the homestead to help people live peacefully. It is not found much in the wild, and can be found around many homesteads. It is one of the plants that the UNDP sponsored Manukelena Nursery to propagate.

How Barefoot Nature Doctor can link with Manulelana:

–          Teaching of responsible harvesting (Sangomas and their gatherers)

–          Propagation of endangered indigenous plants by Sangomas and their gatherers.

–          Accessing funds

http://manukelana.com

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08
May
09

Collecting for a Sangoma (traditional healer)

Jabulani Zikhali - gatherer

Jabulani and his gathering tools.

Jabulani and his gathering tools.

I met Jabulani Zikhali (24) this morning while I went for a walk in a spectacularly beautiful landscape near Lake Sibaya. Between his broken English and my broken Zulu I established that he was collecting bark for a small fee for a local Sangoma.  He went on to show me his homestead.  I left my camera behind.  I found a yard full of women making breakfast on the open fire and drying grass for grass mats.  I hope to win their confidence so that I can share with you their barefoot living.

08
May
09

Sunscreen

Mud Sunscreen

Mud Sunscreen

06
May
09

Mafuthi’s St Lucia Mom makes us a Special Treat: Umnqushu

Umnqushu and amasi (sour milk/yoghurt) is a traditional Zulu food.  Umnqushu is made from crushed boiled corn.  Umnqushu  looks a bit like the bits of putu that sticks to the pot. Mafuthi and I were sent home with the Umnqushu. We bought some amasi (zulu yoghurt) and enjoyed sharing itwith the whole family. It was the kids’ fist time eating this delicious traditional dish.

dried corn that was boiled enjoyed as a snack. The dried boiled corn is also used to make the umnqushu.

dried corn that was boiled enjoyed as a snack. The dried boiled corn is also used to make the umnqushu.

beautiful well used (unfortunately alluminium) kettle.

beautiful well used (unfortunately alluminium) kettle.

Harvest hanging in kitchen.  The true meaning of 'made from scratch'

Harvest hanging in kitchen. The true meaning of 'made from scratch'

the setting

the setting

We are all eating amasi and umnqushu for the first time.

Mnandi

Mnandi

06
May
09

Seedlings for Sale

Many people are planting veggie gardens at the moment. Summer tends to be too hot for most veggies.

Many people are planting veggie gardens at the moment. Summer tends to be too hot for most veggies.

Five cabbage or spinach seedlings for R5. Ten onion seedlings for R5.

Five cabbage or spinach seedlings for R5. Ten onion seedlings for R5.

05
May
09

Fresh Cabbage bought from back of pick up truck.

Steven Gumede sells these beautiful cabbages in Mbazwane from the back of his pick up truck. “His are much fresher than the onesstevens-cabbage you would find in Jock Morrison or Spar” a vendor down the road said when she pointed me in his direction.  These cabbages are grown on the Makatini flats outside Jozini. Steven says he would like to cultivate his own cabbages. He has land but no water.

03
May
09

The Hatching of Barefoot Nature Doctor

the logoToday Barefoot Nature Doctor is treading tentatively onto the Word Wide Web.




Twitter Updates

  • Having lots of fun with structure going up over the caravan.(thanks Mikael and Andgie the two architecture volunteers) 6 years ago
  • Andgie and Mikael made rice milk. I had home made rice milk chocolate. Yum. 6 years ago
  • Experimenting with blanket cooking and bottling beans. 6 years ago
  • Erin is making ripples into the community with her circle garden concept. 6 years ago
  • John has changed the soil scape of the garden with loads of 'the shit' 6 years ago

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