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life in balance

your monthly green solution to natural & eco-friendly living your free copy

ISSUE 5 J u l y/Au g ust 09


news the UPside of junk, eco-specifier, g reen bui l di ng pro ducts


innovation & design paperfoam, the art of wool, new pa r l i a m ent – sa m e cha l l enges


living & travel Wel l i ngto n t rea sure, Bushm a nskl o of – t he wo r l d’s best


food t he g reen chef t a l ks cho co l a te, co co nut wa ter, bo o k gi veaway


coffee feature cof fee – t he per fect cup, fa i r t ra de wi ns, Puro g i veaway


products & wellness loads of giveaways, meridian m a gi c, t ra i n yo ur bra i n


art & books art from the earth, on the shel f, events & cl a ssi f i eds

This issue proudly sponsored by...

02 news

welcome Life in Balance is five issues old and we have been busy moving offices – to the Creative Suites in Long St in Cape Town. In this issue the earth is our focus and you will read about a biodynamic farm in Wellington that is making a range of cleaning products that do clean beautifully and are actually kind to water purification systems and the soil. There is an update from parliament on energy matters, unusual designs made from wool and innovations in packaging. We travelled to Bushmanskloof in the Cederberg and walked the paths of the ancient San. Our chef has dreamed up some decadent chocolate delights and with the upsurge in café’ society we decided to investigate coffee. Just what is fair-trade and why is it important to be aware of the origin of the beans we so enjoy? We are micro parts of this macro whole that is our planet and the difference one person can make is often underestimated in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. One person does make a difference and if we collectively do things the effect is exponential to change. We had a lot of criticism around the polystyrene recycling advert in our last issue and this has prompted an advertorial on polystyrene in our attempt to demystify the substance as much as possible. The Green Pavilion at the Decorex show in Gauteng from the 6 - 10 August will show a green house and how these recycled polystyrene products can be put to good use. Life in Balance will be at the show so come along and say hi to us. Enjoy your read and enter the give-aways, send in your letters and as always, we appreciate and value your interaction with this paper.

our contributors Sandy Barlow studied Fine Arts, and worked in the magazine industry as a journalist. She and her brother and a friend started Seattle Coffee Company 12 years ago Pascale Hoare heads up the Training & Marketing for Puro Coffee and donates her free time to Trees4Schools. Genna Marie is a fan of yoga and the arts and writes abot the healing power of coconut water. Jean Nel, our new green chef, teaches at the Pick and Pay cooking school and believes life is too short to eat bad food. Publisher: Michael Beatham Editor: Melissa Baird Assistant Editor and subscriptions: Michele Beatham Art director: Elinore de Lisle Production manager: Janine Weaver 021 481 1836 Printing: Tandym Press Cover photograph Sally Louw ceramic detail © Life in Balance is published 10 times a year by Green Publishing (Pty) Ltd, 210 on Long Street, Cape Town, South Africa. Tel: 021 481 1836 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the prior written consent of the publishers is strictly prohibited. All prices correct at time of going to press, but subject to change. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited materials. It is assumed that any images taken from sources which are widely distributed, such as on the Internet, are in the public domain. However, since such images are passed freely between sources such as websites, the original source is not always possible to trace. It is possible that copyrighted material has ended up being treated as public domain as a result. If you see a graphic or image in this publication which is not public domain please contact Green Publishing.

talking garbage

congrats! ... to our previous winners! Elmarie Raymer won the Patron Tequila Hamper, Justin Leslie and Jason Burton each won Biofires and Yvonee Lariviere and Estelle Wessels each won a copy of “Answer is Simple” book & cards.

news flash the Upside of junk by Michele Beatham

What does an interior designer with a passion for craft do to combine her need to help others and save the planet? For Winnie McHenry, the answer lay in junk. Winnie’s journey began when she founded Crafty Corner, a web initiative to inspire and empower crafters. While this fulfilled part of her vision, she knew that many of those she wished to help, being unemployed and even destitute, had access to neither the internet nor even basic materials. It was in her efforts to recycle that she found her inspiration, and Upcycle was born. The effects of her vision are both far reaching and inspiring. Besides allowing her home to be used as a workshop, showroom, shop, and as a receiving point for anything from the tiniest unwanted beads to the bulkiest electronic waste, Winnie freely shares her knowledge, expertise, creativity and stunning, unique designs, allowing what are now 47 entrepreneurs – two of whom run lucrative, full time mosaic businesses – to create and sell their own creations. It is also to these people that Winnie turns when she has orders of her own to fill, which further assists them and stimulates local economy. Environmentally conscious companies like Cell C, Nedbank and ARUP have ordered Winnie’s upcycled creations – for use as corporate gifts or to commemorate fun events such as Valentine’s Day. Others assist with donations; the local Booysens’ Hotel provides glass bottles and Mirrordoor all its mirror offcuts, saving themselves the cost of having it removed and dumped at landfill sites (mirror is not recyclable), while SA Blood Services in Gauteng has launched a pilot project where members of the public can drop off small recyclables such us buttons, bows, ribbons and more. A fun initiative allows children to learn about and actively participate in recycling; take them along to drop off your junk and they receive a free Upcycle craft kit. These gorgeous kits also make fantastic gifts for children of all ages. By its very nature, Upcycle is a local, largely community-based project, but Winnie would love to help others set up similar initiatives countrywide. Also planned is an upgrade to her websites, with each crafter having a dedicated page highlighting their creations. But her vision doesn’t stop there. She dreams of one day having a dedicated space incorporating a workshop, a shop and a gallery to help market the work of local entrepreneurs, proving junk talk can make a difference. Find Winnie at the monthly Green Market in Pretoria, visit, or call 011 782 0351 thanks to our distribution partners...

The SABC have decided to take 50/50 off air till April 2010...and it might even not return at all. “This programme has helped to keep a check on many environmentally damaging developments and without it the potential for in-depth exposure of suspect actions by authorities and business people to exploit/ damage the environment will be seriously hampered.” Sign the petition at

big thought for the month... “Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs.” - Dr. Maxwell Maltz (founder of Psycho Cybernetics)

event review Ecospecifier launches in SA

Life in Balance attended the launch of Ecospecifier South Africa which is the first green building product verification system of its kind in Southern Africa. Ecospecifier will add product accreditation value to the fast growing green building industry and will aid builders in choosing materials and practices that are both eco friendly and sustainable. Lizette Swanevelder manages EcoSpecifier as has a very long relationship with the built environment in South Africa and has helped to bring the greening principles of construction into almost every professional practice in the Western Cape. Contact Lizette Swanevelder of Ecospecifier SA on 082 770 6552 or visit

The green team: Asa, Lizette, Lola, Tammy and Soraya.

Menopause PHYTO SOYA® is the only soya isoflavone for menopause backed by safety trials.

PHYTO SOYA® is the world’s only soya extract for menopausal symptoms that has proved its safety to the breast and endometrium. The latest research, presented at the World Menopause Congress 2008, concluded that the administration of 70mg of PHYTO SOYA® isoflavones per day to 305 menopausal women for one year did not produce endometrial or breast stimulation. Biopsies confirmed the endometrial safety and mammograms confirmed the breast tolerance. (The study is now in its 3rd year.)

Who could benefit from treatment with PHYTO SOYA®? • Pre-menopausal women who are starting to experience hot flushes. This product does not disrupt the persistent secretion of oestradiol. • Menopausal women who are experiencing hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms that affect their quality of life on a daily basis. • Women who are averse to treatment with HT, for fear of potential secondary effects. • Women with a family history of breast cancer. The soya used in PHYTO SOYA® is fully traceable, non-genetically modified and pesticide safe. (View studies on

There is no substitute. Available at pharmacies and health stores. Call Naturelife on 0861 112 758

advertorial 03

positively polystyrene A new study just released takes a life cycle look at the environmental burdens associated with the production of a number of common packaging items from a corn-based plastic, poly lactic acid (PLA), versus producing them from traditional petroleum-based plastics. Based on the life cycle data for the packaging products evaluated, neither cornbased nor petroleum-based products can be considered more environmentally sustainable than the other. However, research is needed to determine post-usage scenarios and impacts for these different packages and material types. For example, inclusion of recycling and composting data could significantly impact environmental burden levels and thus the conclusions that should be drawn between packages and materials. CFCs

The average consumer appears to be somewhat misinformed about plastics, including styrenics. Most believe they know at least a little and can usually point out where it is used in the home, but tend to confuse styrene, which is a liquid, with polystyrene, a solid plastic made from polymerised styrene. Styrene and polystyrene are fundamentally different. Polystyrene is inert and has no smell of styrene. Polystyrene is found in the home, office and canteen and comes in many shapes and forms, probably best known for its foam coffee cups and meat trays. Most polystyrene is used to make rigid durable products, such as television and computer cabinets, appliances, toys, CD cases, jewel cases and audio cassette cases. Polystyrene does get the job done. It keeps hot food hot and cold food cold. It protects fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat from early decay. It is hygienic. It is leak proof and keeps its shape. It protects valuable shipments without adding significant weight.

Nothing else currently offers the combination of strength, lightness and durability to protect valuable products. Because polystyrene can be moulded to any shape, it offers excellent cushioning characteristics.

CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons, are a family of chlorine-based chemicals which are used as aerosol propellants, refrigerants, solvents and blowing agents. Due to concerns regarding the effects CFCs could have upon the ozone layer, countries agreed, in terms of the Montreal Protocol, to reduce global CFC consumption and ultimately to stop producing them altogether. South Africa does not use any CFCs for blowing extrusion-gassed foams.



The substance we love to hate yet Polystyrene Packaging may have some redeeming qualities

5 Tips to recycle at home Keep it simple Making space next to your bin for a recycling container makes recycling as simple as throwing it away. Make life easy If there’s a kerbside recycling scheme running in your area, take advantage and use it. Contact the Polystyrene Packaging Council to find out more. Routine recycling Make a visit to

your closest recycling drop-off site part of your routine. Contact the Polystyrene Packaging Council for a full list. Remember to check for the number ‘6’ You might not think that

an item is made from Polystyrene and therefore recyclable, but double-check for the number ‘6’ and add it to your recyclable items. That includes CD cases and yogurt cups.

Styrene is a liquid derived from petroleum South Africa has a waste problem. We are and natural gas by-products, but which also running out of landfill (dumping) space at occurs naturally. Styrene helps create plastic an alarming rate. For example, Cape Town PSPC [lifeaintotal balance]march09 5:38 day PM Page 1 materials used in thousands of products dumps of 6 000 tons of2/23/09 waste every from food container to boats. The styrene - a normal 3m x 2m room filled to the roof used in these products is synthetically manuwith waste would provide 1 ton. factured in petrochemical plants. However, Research shows that Polystyrene makes up styrene also occurs in the environment and is less that 1% of landfill space. Even so, we do a natural component of many common foods, not advocate land filling, which is why we such as coffee, strawberries and cinnamon. spend our resources on ensuring that recyVery small amounts of styrene monomer cling does take place. that are not converted into polystyrene during processing do remain in finished Recycled polystyrene is particularly versatile; polystyrene products, but numerous studies some of the products manufactured include: and investigations have been carried out to - Coat hangers determine if there is a safety concern regard- Seedling trays ing the amounts of styrene that remain in - Curtain rods, finials and holdbacks polystyrene resins. Styrene is approved for - Cornices and skirtings use as a starting material for the production - Outdoor furniture of polystyrene food and beverage packaging - Poles and decking by regulatory agencies worldwide and is approved by the US Food and Drug Admindid you know? istration as a food additive. Carbon footprint

In recent years, the ‘carbon footprint’ has become a popular way of comparing the relative environmental impact of goods, services or industrial activities. But the carbon footprint tells us only about carbon emissions; it says nothing about the total environmental impact. All packaging leaves an environmental footprint regardless of material type. It takes energy and raw materials to produce, transport, and recover or dispose of all materials. So it is important to measure all of these impacts throughout the entire lifecycle of the product. To gauge and compare the sustainability of various product or packaging alternatives, life cycle studies are performed on them. These studies review the environmental effects (known as burdens) occurring from the birth (i.e., raw material extraction) to the ultimate disposal of the items being examined, hence the term ‘cradle-to-grave’ analysis.

Polystyrene can be recycled up to 20 times without any damage to its physical properties. Last year we recycled 850 tons of polystyrene. It is equivalent to 30 storeys of a rugby stadium such as Loftus. Only about five percent (5 %) of foam packaging is polystyrene, the rest is air.

Visit our website at: or send an email to or call us at 012 259 0554.

04 news & innovations

news & innovations paperfoam

From the rainbow palette of available colours to the end-of-life disposability options, Paperfoam confirms its reputation as the first successful environmentally friendly alternative to plastic packaging.

A major advantage to Paperfoam is its end-of-life recycling options. Unlike other packaging options that may require non-standard disposal, Paperfoam can be composted or recycled with paper, making it convenient for everyone. More good news is that while Paperfoam is aimed primarily at the manufacturing and business sector, Nicki Becker of Paperfoam SA has decided to make the standard packaging available to consumers. A perfect way to replace all those broken CD and DVD covers (who doesn’t have at least a few?), to store home CD and DVD compilations or to give as gifts. Contact Nicki Becker on 082 785 4573, or visit

That said there is hope on the horizon. The City of Cape Town has introduced a waste-management bylaw in line with new national legislation, which aims to regulate recovery and recycling activities and implement minimum requirements for storage and infrastructure. Provision is made for recyclable waste (the City is already piloting this project in certain residential areas), as well as regulations regarding the minimisation of waste by industry, commerce and government, and major event organizers. The City of Cape Town is the first municipality to introduce this new bylaw. Well done, Cape Town!

another first for Cape Town

Cape Town residents generate approximately 6 000 tons of waste per day - 2kg per person – and with an annual increase of around 7% its not hard to see why our landfills are nearing capacity.

New in South Africa, Paperfoam is far lighter than the standard plastic alternative. It is composed of 100% recycled and recyclable materials and studies by the RUU/Copernicus show that it emits only a fraction of the CO2 emissions and requires far less energy. The standard range includes the CD, DVD and Blu Ray packages but Paperfoam also offers custom design. International companies such as Motorola, Netgear, Apple and Plantsense have successfully used Paperfoam in place of standard packaging, as has the medical industry. Custom orders offer a range of options, including freedom of design, unlimited colours, logos, embossing, and excellent, dust-free fitting and protection.

Big brands starting to do their bit for making change. Shoprite doing it Right

Freshmark, the Shoprite Group’s fresh produce procuring and distribution arm, has implemented a Vermi (earthworm) Composting System pilot project at their Brackenfell centre in Cape Town. Vermi composting is a safe, hygienic and odourless way of processing organic waste. These little miracle workers have the ability to turn natural waste into 100% organic compost and vermi tea, which is rich in nutrients for the soil. We wish them great luck and hope to see more of these projects around the country.

did you know?

Over the last three decades, the KZNSB shark nets have killed more than 33 000 sharks, 2 000 turtles, 8 000 rays, and 2 000 dolphins? The truth is shark nets are essentially gill nets: long rectangular mesh nets designed to be just large enough for sharks to become entangled, and considered one of the greatest threats to the survival of many species of marine animals. Once trapped, the vast majority of the animals are unable to escape and die agonising deaths by suffocation. Take action today. Log on to to learn more and sign the petition.

New Parliament – Same Urgent Challenges By Lance Greyling, MP A great deal has changed in politics over the past few months. A successful general election has brought a small shift in the political landscape. We have a new President and a reconfigured and enlarged Cabinet tasked with tackling the urgent challenges facing our country, many of which are exacerbated by the global economic crisis. My initial impression is that the new administration is no longer in denial about the country’s problems and recognizes that it does not have all the

Corporate heroes in training

solutions. My hope is that Parliament can now reassert itself as an institution where issues are debated and cross-party solutions generated. This applies particularly to environmental challenges. In this regard there have been some welcome movements in the past year. The National Energy Regulator has finally promulgated Feed-in Tariffs for renewable energy at a level sufficient to get the industry moving. This is a huge victory for those of us who have long been fighting for sustainable energy, but there are still a number of issues that need to be resolved to make it a reality. Unfortunately Eskom is still designated

as the sole purchaser of power in SA, which means they can stall renewable energy producers who wish to sell power to the grid. Eskom has already held up an Independent Power Producer in KwaZulu Natal for two years by failing to sign a contractual agreement. There is also talk of limiting the Feed-in Tariff to 10 000 Gigawatt hours per year, which will severely limit the amount of renewable energy provided. All of this means that we will have to keep the pressure up and ensure we are able to iron out the details that could hold back the momentum that is building towards a clean energy revolution in SA. Lance is Chief Whip of the parliamentary caucus and the National Policy Convenor. Email:

pioneering communities

On 3 June 2009, Pula Madibogo Primary School in Mankweng Limpopo and Food & Trees for Africa, who donated 300 trees, celebrated National Environment Week with 30 local schools, community members, university students, local government departments and NGOs, to showcase how their permaculture food garden protects and enhances health and the environment. Pioneer Foods has been supporting the garden, which supplements the feeding scheme with fresh organic vegetables, eggs and fruit for orphans, vulnerable children and the community, since July 2008. They again donated thousands more vegetable seedlings for this event. Colouring the Arts Green

Over 100 000 festival goers were given the chance to colour the arts green at the 2009 Innibos National Arts Festival in the Lowveld, which took place from 1 to 5 July in Nelspruit. Sappi and Innibos have begun the ambitious yet necessary task of working towards an environmentally friendly festival. This year saw them implementing the Green Ambassador Recycling Programme. 15 recycling stations were spread across the grounds with 30 roving Green Ambassadors on hand to help festival goers Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.

design 05

green marketing

Rock Art: Ronel’s iconic hand-felted oversized pebbles

the art of wool In 2005, textile designer Ronel Jordaan began researching using felt, the oldest form of fabric known to humankind, as a creative medium. Entirely self taught, she began turning fine gossamer thread into robust felted forms by patiently rubbing and coaxing threads of wool into shapes in nature that inspired her. She went on to train a few women to help with her newly created home industry and her stunning, original and unique designs soon found a willing market – from South Africa to the US and Canada, the UK and across Europe. Using wool of the highest quality, which arrives at her workshop in large bales, slithers of the raw wool are carded and dyed and when dried, carded once more ready to be felted. The finest strands are laid flat and rubbed with biodegradable soap to open the follicles. Further layers are added and rubbed, along with other fibres like cotton and silk for colour and texture. Ronel designs individual shapes that her felters replicate, such as leaves, petals, rocks, webbed shawls and throws, which she later snips, cuts, shapes and stitches together. Like a painter with a palette, Ronel mixes her own dyes and invents descriptive names for the colours she produces. Her continually expanding ranges include everything from clothing accessories such as scarves, shawls and wraps, to household

by michele beatham

objects such as carpets, curtains, lamps and throws. The most recognisable of all her products are surely her pebbles and rocks, converted into anything from cushions to carpets, all of which are nothing short of breathtaking works of art. Consistent with being inspired by nature, the Ronel JordaanTM label is equally harmonious with nature. Waste grey water is recycled into organic food gardens, grown in containers on the roof above the downtown Johannesburg warehouse in which they work. The produce, mainly morogo and spinach, are for staff to take home for personal use or to sell. The soap, essential to felting, is a South African product and fully biodegradable and although her dyes are imported they are chosen because they are lead free and meet the European Eco-standard. While these steps alone are laudable, Ronel also places job creation at the forefront of the company’s planning policy. 40 previously unemployed women between 19 and 40 have been trained and are now felters of international standing. She has personally trained women at the Wes Randse Christelike Gemeenskap Feeding Scheme to knit, and to knit specifically for the label. A small group of men in Sebokeng outside Johannesburg supply her with wire sculptures that form the sculptural support for exotic felted lamps and a self-help co-op of Coloured ladies in the Western Cape supply her with felt sheeting. Exquisite, functional works of art combined with a respect for the planet and a passion for local job creation; without a doubt Ronel and the Ronel JordaanTM label deserve every one of their numerous local and international awards. For more info visit, email or call 011 493 5287

Todwil has introduced a new, eco-friendly product to its extensive retail-marketing solutions offerings. Xanita’s X-Board is manufactured in South Africa from recycled materials and makes the perfect alternative for temporary or semi-permanent Point-ofSale display units. A revolutionary board in its own right, Xanita’s X-Board is manufactured from a non-ozone depleting process combining post-consumer paper waste with VOC-free adhesives. The boards weigh as little as one-seventh of MDF and particleboards reducing transportation costs and making installation much easier. They carry a life expectancy of minimum three years and once the campaign is over can be re-pulped back into paper. Advertising with a clearer conscience just got easier. Visit or call 021 807 7400.

calling Naite Going green doesn’t have to mean a compromise on style or design. Sony Ericsson’s Naite offers all the tools for modern lifestyles – HSDPA, high speed browsing and downloading, camera, video calling, active desktop and interactive calendar – and a host of green innovations. One of the first GreenHeart™ pioneer phones, it includes an electronic, in-phone manual, saving over 90% in paper and reducing the impact of transportation. Made from a minimum of 50% recycled plastics, Naite includes a low-power charger, one of the most energy efficient to be introduced onto the market. Thanks to these innovations, the overall CO2 footprint of Naite is reduced by 15%. It also comes with an Ecomate application to help users make greener choices, as well as a Carbon footprint calculator. Visit

06 living organism of which all its parts (the soil, the plants, animals, the workers etc ) unite to form a sustainable ‘whole’. Central to biodynamic farming is the use of the special biodynamic preparations, made from various herbs and cow manure. These preparations are inserted into compost heaps or diluted and sprayed over crops and pastures. The preparations serve to enliven

Contacts or

Wellington treasure

* Demeter Certification thus accepts only 100% organic inputs (Organic Certification still allows up to 10% synthetic chemical or conventional input).

by Melissa baird

Tucked away in the farm lands of Wellington you will find Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm, a miracle of creation begun 35 years ago by the pioneering Jeanne Malherbe. Against ridicule and harsh criticism, not helped by the fact she was a woman on her own, Jean implemented her vision to create the first biodynamic farm in this country. It is now owner – managed by Wendy Lilje and her dedication to continuing this vision is inspirational and left a lasting impression on me. Wendy has been taking the land to new levels for the past seven years and has since had the farm certified biodynamic with Demeter (the world biodynamic certification body – see footnote) I was curious to understand more about biodynamic farming and surprised to learn of its origins. Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925), a respected and well-published scientific, literary and philosophical scholar founded The Anthroposophical Movement at the turn of the century. Anthroposophy recognises the divine in all material phenomena and tries to

consciously work with and understand these formative forces. Over eighty years later there are representatives all over the world leading the way in innovative and holistic thinking. Dr Steiner’s world view informed holistic approaches to medicine and we see the results in Weleda, Wala and Dr Hauschka products. Waldorf schools developed out of his insight but the impact didn’t stop there: It has reached out into science, philosophy, religion, architecture, drama, dance (Eurythmy) and also in agriculture (Biodynamic farming). Biodynamic agriculture adopts this divine principle in all aspects of its farming activities. Because synthetic chemicals form a barrier against the elemental, spiritual world, so farming completely naturally is a pre-requisite. The farm is seen as a living

caught – it seemed – red handed and they guiltily stopped their cackling to eye me out. Bread was being baked and there was lots that Wendy needed to do but the time spent with her and the sincere dedication of her vision left an indelible impression on me. Her focus in this pretty and peaceful place is on the whole of everything it comprises, of managing in the kindest and most conscious way a piece of ground that responds to this nurture. The farm is a microcosm of the wider world in which we live. We are all parts of that whole and I was left pondering the impact each one of us has and what could I do to improve my side of the deal?

the soil. This in turn imparts a quality to the produce which will once again enable us (who have through materialism, been cut off from the spiritual world) to re-connect with the divine, in a fully conscious way. I revel in being in the country; the air is softer, the sounds more nuanced and walking around the horse pastures, I spotted one of the three pigs, all called Matthew! How many of us actually get to see a huge pig and observe their comical nature? He was busily foraging close to the sage and lavender plants and wasn’t in the mood for visitors but he still managed to brighten the wet day. After a tour of the dairy I startled a clutch of truly ‘free-range’ chickens, who spend their days wandering around looking for mischief. They were in the old garage, making tetchy work of an old bicycle seat before they were

Produce from the farm consists of fresh dairy where a range of cheeses, butter, yoghurt etc is manufactured. Biodynamic fruit and fruit products, eggs, fresh herbs, and the Bloublommetjies range of cleaning and body products complete the list. Cottages on the farm are rented out permanently. School camps involve classes in the farm activities like milking and compost making.

“Humankind’s need for convenience and quick results”, together with our obsessive fears of contamination by what we have been led to perceive as “harmful germs”, make us “an easy target for the chemical industry.”


blooming marvellous cleaning The Bloublommetjieskloof cleaning range is 100% natural, certified organic & biodynamic. In addition 95% or more of these ingredients are grown and processed on the farm. Basil All Purpose Cleaner with scourer

Replaces ammoniated all purpose cleaners. Contains finely powdered clay as a gentle scourer. For cleaning floors, surfaces, stoves, ovens, basins, baths etc. Feverfew Dishwashing Liquid

For best results immerse dishes in hot water. Apply a small amount of dishwashing liquid to a sponge and wash each item individually. The dishwashing liquid is highly concentrated and, used in this way, very economical. Use it to wash windows (squirt directly onto pane, wash and rinse with warm water) and to wash fruit & veg before cooking (one small squirt in a bowl of cold water is sufficient).

Herbal Sanitiser

Inhibits excess bacterial growth and brings a healthy balance to the home. After cleaning, spread a thin layer of the sanitiser over surfaces. Do not rinse. Add one squeeze to the toilet bowl daily to replace highly toxic commercial toilet cleaners. Safe for grey water systems. With regular use, discourages pests like cockroaches, flies and ants. Soapwort Laundry Liquid and Paw Paw Wash Brightner

Use instead of commercial washing powders and bleaches. The laundry liquid can be used on its own, and works wonders on natural fabric. Synthetic fibres need a little extra care,

which is where the Paw Paw wash brightener is useful. Add, with the laundry liquid, to the soap tray of the washing machine. Use 1-2 TBS per normal load. Increase dose for soiled washing. For stain removal, rub undiluted laundry liquid onto the stain, leave overnight and wash as normal. Use with the Soapwort Softener, a soya-based softening agent - 1-2 TBS in the softener tray. The Paw Paw Brightener also works well as a stain remover in toilets and other surfaces. Thoroughly wet the surface, sprinkle the powder over the stained area, leave for 1-2 hours and rinse. Dishwash Paste

For automatic dishwashing machines. Should be strictly used in the dosage as indicated – a second wash is recommended for very soiled dishes. Replaces commercial dishwashing machine powders, salts and rinses. Can also be used to clean stoves, floors and very dirty, greasy surfaces. Synthetic cleaning chemicals may give instant results with minimal effort, but impact hugely on the environment. Biodynamic products require a little more effort but used correctly are as effective and enhance the environment. A sterile environment is not essential to health – in fact, the opposite. Natural variations in colour and consistency do not mean the product is inferior and long term use reveals the benefits. Grey water run-off benefits the soil.

Know your toxic chemicals

• Dishwashing Liquids and All Purpose cleaners contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Sulphonic acid, urea, preservatives and dyes. • Anti-bacterial products contain poisons, e.g. Triclosan, Chloroxylenol (PCMX), etc. • Bleaches contain sodium hydrochlorite. • Washing powders contain phosphates like sodium tripolyphosphate, coco-diethanol- amide, sulphonic acid. • Window cleaners contain solvents like isopropyl alcohol, synthetic detergents and preservatives like formalin. The toxic effects of these ingredients are heatedly debated, with the natural lobby citing carcinogenic, skin irritant and liver toxin effects. The chemical lobby counters with ‘scientific studies’ showing ‘low concentration safety’. Evident is the destructiveness of these chemicals, in contrast to biodynamic principles, which enlivens rather than destroys. Correct definitions of popular catch-words

Organic: A plant grown without chemicals – anything organic is by default natural. Natural: A substance from nature; i.e. not synthesised in a factory or laboratory and may be grown organically or conventionally. Conventional: Farming with chemicals, or factory farming. Chemical: A substance synthetically manufactured in a factory or laboratory, e.g. sodium benzoate, CDE etc.

travel 07

rock of ages

pics: Tai Chesselet

Take the N7 to Clanwilliam, and meander your way for around 3 hours to enter a red landscape that breathes out history in silent exhalations from its epicentre. A haven awaits at the other end where a dark, cool pond of water lilies nestles, juxtaposed against ancient rocky crags and vast spaces. Bontebok graze in the brush as do the Red Hartebeest with their back to front horns. Highly endangered mountain zebra cross the path and there are tracks of errant ostrich. In the large dam you will find Clanwilliam orange fish. Rim flow pools offer cool respite from the heat of the day and the birds keep you entertained with their endless calls and chirrupy chat. Huge trees frame the property and tea is taken in the shade of a giant Ficus. Acid green Feverfew trees mark out pathways to elegant and discreet rooms which are sumptuously furnished and oozing African chic. Without doubt ultra luxurious and beautiful, the rooms overlook an incredible indigenous garden. All around are the orange, red and white rocks, landscaped only through time and the earth’s changes. After iced ginger tea and a quick tour of the grounds I realised how huge this place is and what an undertaking it must have been to transform what used to be a potato farm. Ancient San artefacts are kept in museum cases as the reserve holds some of the richest treasures in rock art in the country. My first encounter of the rock paintings was like seeping into an era of mystical ages where the spirits were only a breath away. The shamanic dance trance is so clearly envisioned in these tiny, yet clear rock paintings that have remained steadfast for thousands of years. The therianthrope, with an antelope body, and strange human like legs is the shaman’s mark, made 200 generations back to when this wild and rocky place was inhabited by the San, who created over 120 sites of exquisitely fine rock art on this 7000 hectare farm. The haunting art can transport you to another time and place, when herd of antelope and elephant would wander by. The effect of the silence around you, Less than three hours’ drive from Cape Town, the lodge is located within an ecological oasis that is a sanctuary to many endangered species of flora and fauna. It is recognized as one of South Africa’s Natural Heritage sites, and is the proud custodian of over 130 pristine Bushman rock art sites - some dating back 10 000 years.

Exploring Bushmanskloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, The Cederberg. by Melissa baird

punctuated by bird calls and heat, is intoxicating and one’s senses are heightened to the nuances of nature. Sunset brings the cricket and frog song to life. There is no cell phone reception so there is no chance intrusion. This is time to relax and absorb an evening game drive through the majestic landscape, or take a massage at a small thatched wellness centre overlooking a beautiful stream. Decadent afternoon teas complete the hedonism with the absolutely best cream and chocolate éclairs known to man.

visitors to this land must have felt, like the McAdam men who saw visions in these rocks. The San believe that touch stone centres; the folds and random holes that appear in rocks, are portals to other realms, and the McAdam founders of this reserve knew they had found a touchstone to bring us closer together. A cold swim greets the new day and the English tourist asks if the excess animals are turned into biltong and how long it is before you can eat an ostrich? “One and a half years” is the answer he is given regarding the ostrich but no excess animals end up that way. They

travel snippets

And the ‘Oscar’ goes to…

The winners of the African Section of what is considered the Oscars of the travel industry – the 2009 World Travel Awards were announced at a ceremony in Durban recently. South Africa led the way in a number of categories, including: Leading Destination – Cape Town; Leading Safari Lodge – Shamwari; Leading City Tourist Board – Johannesburg; Leading Conference Centre – Durban International Convention Centre and Leading Hotel – Mount Nelson. Congratulations to all the winners, but a special shout out to Africa’s Leading Green Hotel – Nairobi Serena, Kenya. For a full list of winners visit The banquetting hall at The Mount Nelson Hotel.

Early morning brings a Mountain Chat for tea and a giant Kingfisher swoops over the dam. Rooibos bushes grow randomly. A lone Eland watches from the distance and a pretty Gemsbok is close. We are heading for Elephant cave and more rock paintings. Before us have leapt caracal and San hunters at least 1500 years ago. I learned how fynbos protects itself in these harsh conditions, it turns red to prevent photosynthesis and I see little red pockets all around me. I wonder what the first


Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat has been voted the Best Hotel in the World in the 2009 US Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards reader’s survey. It also took pole position as Number 1 Lodge/Resort in Africa and the Middle East.

are re-located in the quest for conservation. At the riverside boma, you can sip a delicious vodka martini whilst looking upwards of an evening. You will see shooting stars and satellites move their circular way through our atmosphere; the Milky Way a sparkle, silhouetted by the branches and leaves of the mystical Feverfew trees. People from all over the world come here and the languages spoken before dinner are a test of geographical and phonetic acumen. Dinner at the open-air Makana restaurant is a culinary experience, complete with delicious wines including the best of the Bouchard-Finlayson vineyard (the owners of which also own Bushman’s Kloof). You will definitely not forget this magical, mystical, mythical place…

downtown in Cape Town

Cape Town’s central city area has been recognised as “Downtown of the Month” by the International Downtown Association, a Washington DC based organisation that comprises more than 650 member organizations on four continents. View the full report at

08 food

the green chef thing is that she will gladly give you her secret chocolate pancake recipe – as long as you visit them. (021 418 0440) I was honoured to do a workshop with Australian chef Skye Gyngell. We cooked a summery chocolate panna cotta with warm berries and honey. It’s rich, creamy and a little wobbly but oh so decadent. A chocolate dessert is always part of my repertoire for my cooking classes at the Pick ‘n Pay school of cooking. Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing an anxious, yet eager student prepare to cook this dish, and their happy face after it is cooked with success. I thank the Aztecs. To them chocolate was a source of spiritual wisdom, tremendous energy and enhanced powers. Here is my favourite chocolate dessert recipe for you to enjoy...  Until next time. Happy cooking!

cure it with coconut

the human bloodstream instead of saline – a practice often utilised in emergency situations during the Vietnam War. As an added bonus, coconut water also promotes weight loss – and at 45 calories per


Hot chocolate chilli cupcakes

We hav e two c opie yummy book to s of this g a lucky , sweet- ive away to toothed Please reader. em michele ail your detail s to @lifeinb a with “C akes” in th line. En tries clo e subject se 31 A ugust.


’s c h o i

wine sense Hooray for innovation and acting on bright ideas. This marvellous little kit is all you need to finally demystify the flavours you taste in your everyday glass of wine. Handy cards and a booklet turn this lesson into fun and games that perk up any gathering. Tartaric acid, Fructose, Tannin, Oak, sulphur dioxide are demystified and your taste buds respond showing you just how your tongue is able to discern the tastes. Volatile acidity and ‘corked wine’, which are common faults in wine are also unmasked so in the end the promise is you will know more about wine than 95% of all wine drinkers. Visit or email

By genna marie

At the heart of the unripe, green-shelled coconut lies water from a veritable fountain of youth. Not to be confused with coconut milk, this clear beverage is loaded with potassium, magnesium, calcium, and electrolytes. It is also low in sugar and 99% fat free – sipping just one of these slightly sweet treats is enough to noticeably elevate mood; two servings hydrates the body after a long workout at the gym, and three can annihilate even the most persistent hangover. From the unspoiled shores of Costa Rica and Panama to the idyllic beaches of India and Africa, the water from this exceptional nut has long been prescribed as a holistic treatment for headaches, fevers, obesity, kidney stones and even the pains of pregnancy. In fact, the sterile substance is so metabolically complete that it can be infused directly into

Italy abounds with these quintessentail biscuits, baked twice according to tradition to give them their unique crisp texture. Originating in Tuscany, Italy, Biscotti or Cantuccini are traditionally enjoyed dipped into sweet wine, coffee or cappuccino. Many varieties are found in Italy, including nuts, chocolate and dried fruits. These Biscotti Leone are made with cranberries and almonds, and flavoured with a hint of vanilla. Available at Pick ‘n Pay stores nationwide

185g best quality dark chocolate 185g butter cubed 1tsp dried chilli or 1 fresh chilli, finely chopped, include seeds 3 egg yolks lightly whisked 50g flour 4 eggs 70g castor sugar Preheat the oven to 180oC. Grease 12 large dariole moulds or ramekins. In a double boiler, melt the chocate and butter together until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the chilli, then the egg yolks and flour. In the the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture. Bake for 10 minutes, not longer, as the cakes set outside the oven. Let stand for 5 minutes. The cakes have a soft centre. Serve warm. Recipe taken from the book Cakes by Callie Maritz & Marie-Louis Guy

serving, even the most dedicated dieter can guzzle them down guilt-free. After soaking up the health benefits of this invigorating drink, don’t forget to slice open the shell and devour the milky fruit inside.


I am a chocoholic. I am obsessive about everything and think nothing of driving kilometres for the perfect hot chocolate. I certainly would love to celebrate my birthday every day, just to have a slice of Melissa’s chocolate fudge cake or to bake a tiramisu cake for my birthday guests. It’s sensational – a billowing assembly of soft sponge cake, cream, mascarpone, a touch of alcohol, chocolate and coffee. Tiramisu translated from the Italian means ‘pick me up’. Heaven knows why, unless it means “Be a darling and gather me up when I collapse in a groaning heap from eating too much of this pudding”. The end of May is always very important in my diary as it’s four days of food heaven with chefs and foodies alike gathering for the annual Good Food and Wine show. And, was it a chocolate affair! I met Camil Haas and his lovely wife Ingrid. Ingrid owns a Parisian pancake salon in the heart of the city called Crepe Suzette, and one in Franschhoek, and it reflects the romance of Paris. The best

100g blanched almonds 100g pitted prunes 50ml medium cream sherry 200g dark couverture chocolate (70 % cocoa solids) chopped 80ml double cream 20g unsalted butter, chopped Method • Preheat the oven to 200oC. • Place almonds on a baking tray and toast till golden (approximately 10 minutes). Leave to cool and roughly chop into pieces. • Soak prunes in sherry until all the liquid is absorbed, then chop into pieces. • Place chopped chocolate, cream and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and cover the bowl with plastic film. (This prevents steam or moisture getting to the chocolate. Contact with water can make the chocolate seize or become grainy). • Fold chopped prunes and almonds into the warm chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. • Line a non-stick baking tray with baking paper and pour the chocolate mixture, onto the tray and spread it evenly to make a slab. • Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for about an hour or until set. • Break into irregular shapes and sizes for a homemade effect. Serve with coffee or dessert wine. • If there is any left, store in a sealed airtight container in a cool, dark cupboard.

Craberry & Almond Biscotti


Chocolate slab with almond and prunes

coffee 09

know your beans Ever since Seattle Coffee Company opened its doors to South Africans eleven years ago, it has considered ethical trading to be one of its most important principles and Seattle’s partnership with their roasters in London is built on these shared values. While the company applauds the work of Fairtrade Certification bodies, they believe that more input is required, in particular by helping smaller farms obtain certification; which is why their roasters go beyond current norms and standards. Seattle Coffee Company’s roasters purchase high quality green coffee from family-owned and managed farms, small holder producer cooperatives and coffee growers associations. Some are Fairtrade accredited and some not. As part of the agreed purchase price for the coffee, the roasters engage with producers to define specific projects related to social and economic development in the produc-

just java

By Sandy Barlow

‘Fairtrade’ and ‘Social Responsibility’ have become far more than just trendy buzzwords among the environmentally conscious. Even in South Africa, more and more consumers are questioning where products are grown or made, and by whom. Coffee is just one example, but given that many of the regions in which it is grown and produced have suffered the consequences of war, famine or bad governance it is perhaps one of the most important. Countries like Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Brazil are blessed with the ideal altitude and climate to produce some of the world’s finest coffees, yet in many regions farmers are exploited by unethical trading practices and forced to accept very low prices. This is where Fairtrade comes in. Fairtrade certification is designed to help consumers identify products that meet minimum environmental, labour and developmental criteria. Independent auditing of producers ensures that these standards are met and companies that comply may then apply for a Fairtrade Certification Mark. However, it seems that currently this cer-

Rwanda’s good news coffee

tification is only available to co-operatives of small farms. Individual family-run farms and plantations are excluded, perhaps due in part to lack of skills and finance – certainly something that needs to be addressed by Fairtrade authorities. In its 7 December 2006 issue, Economist magazine raised these concerns, maintaining that certification is predicated on political assumptions about labour organisation. From the farmer to the mill, the transport company to the roaster, each participant in the process has a clearly defined and equally important role to play, yet roasters tend to buy from brokers through commodity markets, in a world where buyer and seller never meet. It is only when all role players work together with transparency, commitment and without competing interests, that sustainable livelihoods in coffee-growing communities will be successfully achieved. For sourcing to be ethical, it must be targeted at the coffee growers. Anyone who enjoys their coffee knows that producing a good quality coffee is a skill that deserves recognition and reward. Before buying coffee it is worth investigating where one’s favourite blend or single origin is sourced. Coffee has been grown in Rwanda for many years, but never of gourmet quality. Now, Rwanda Maraba Bourbon, a single origin coffee from the Abahuzamugambi Ba Kawa Co-operative in the Maraba district, is changing that. Harvested from a rare tree variety called Arabica Bourbon, it is seldom grown commercially. Launched in 2003 as part of the Red Nose Day campaign, Rwanda Maraba Bourban, with the help of Seattle Coffee Company’s input and investment, has since helped transform the local district. A medical centre, school, bank and even a hairdressing salon have contributed to the creation of a vibrant community where once there was only despair.

the Seattle Coffee Company

ing community - determined by the farmer themselves - to improve the levels of health, social, education and economic services. Ethical sourcing is not a black and white issue. Although basic principles are adhered to, Seattle Coffee Company believes there is room for flexibility and that the process is one of continuous improvement in working and living conditions for farmers and workers, and respect for the environment. For this reason they select from certified farms as well as single-estate farms ineligible for accreditation on the basis of quality and social, environmental and economic considerations. Seattle Coffee Company is about to embark on a campaign to educate their customers about each of the whole bean coffees they offer as well as the signature blend used in all their espresso based coffees. Each has a story of its own and each has been sourced and purchased ethically.

10 coffee

conscience coffee By Pascale Hoare

Customers purchasing a Fairtrade product have peace of mind that their money will not be used to further exploit third world communities. The Fairtrade global strategy is to alleviate poverty and create sustainable development in coffee communities, thereby creating opportunities for producers and workers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalized by the conventional trading system. Miko, a Belgian coffee roaster who has been in operation since 1801 has two Fairtrade brands, Puro and Puro Organic Coffee that distribute across Europe, Australasia and Africa. In South Africa they offer their clients a personalised coffee assessment and ensure inspirational staff training to bring you a consistently great cup of coffee.  In addition to the Fairtrade commitment, the Puro brand contributes a further 2% of its international turnover to the World Land Trust who actively buys and protects rainforests in South America. Puro is the only Fairtrade coffee brand that works with the World Land Trust and so far Puro has saved roughly the size of 2 000 football fields.  In South Africa they actively support the Trees4Schools Trust whose vision is to educate the youth, who are our future leaders while planting trees and veggies  at as many local schools as possible.



Four lu hamp cky read er e Coffe r from Pu s can win e, ea ro Fa a ch coffe ir e cup consist trade ing o s and Puro ft c s tin, s offee wit aucers, a wo h stu ome bag o nn bi Puro cap. scuits to ing stora f Emai dunk ge mich ly ,a e “Pur le@lifeinb our detai nd a o ls a line. Giveaway to Entri z ” a wi i n t es cl ose 3 he subjec th 1 Aug t ust.

For more info visit or

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the perfect cup Want the perfect cup of coffee? Try the following: • Use only high grade Arabica whole coffee beans • Beans should be freshly roasted (less than 3 months old) • Arabica beans are best • A dark roast yields better flavour • Use filtered water • When buying decaf check for the Swiss water or carbon dioxide extraction method • Always keep beans in an air tight container as oxygen destroys flavour and beans absorb other odours easily

Some things to look for when choosing a pack of coffee • Single origin coffee will display the name of the farm on the bag. • A blend is a combination of two or more single origin coffees. • The Fairtrade symbol is always good to look out for, although there are non-certified farms that receive a good income for their beans. • Organic coffee is best. • Bags should always specify whether it is Arabica coffee or not. • There should be a roasting date on the bag, which will determine freshness.

Brad Armitage and Rui Esteves, the lads that brought European café culture to the pavements and shopping malls of South Africa have unveiled their latest venture, &Union: a shrine to hand-crafted, artisan beers and extraordinary coffee. No strangers to a well-extracted shot of espresso, their 100% organic coffee line is served alongside artisan cheeses, locallygrown olives and a spread of charcuterie from local farmers. Topped with organic milk and sugar the Arabica bean from Nicaragua, springs to life in your cup. &Union is open Monday - Saturday, 7am - 12am, so you will never be short of the perfect shot. Visit or call 021 422 2770


@union pics: greg beadle

Cape Towns Nicaragua

advertorial 11

what difference does it make? Pick ‘n Pay are leading the green generation in their quest to recycle and offer products with reduced packaging, as well as their range of organic produce and biodegradeable cleaning products. There are so many small steps that you can take that end up making a big difference in the products you choose and what you do with them thereafter. Visit the Pick ‘n Pay Green Pavilion at Decorex show from 6 - 10 August to see a green home in action and find out the difference you can make.

We share our planet with 4 700 bacteria, 5 000 viruses, 40 000 algae, 47 000 fungi, 21 700 fish, 4 700 birds and 4 600 mammals. South Africa is the third most biologically diverse country on earth. Amphibians are the most threatened group of animals on our planet and they play a key role in our ecosystems as they act as both predator and prey: they keep the insect population in check and feed on algae, which keeps water systems clean.* (1 Source - Red Data Books) As the earth is a closed system for matter, everything that is generated does not leave earth! The natural cycle is for the waste products to be recycled by the myriad organisms that make up an ecosystem, in an endless chain of birth, death and rejeneration. That’s why disposing of your waste intelligently by recycling and reusing what you can is vital. Landfills are brimful and as we hardly see them we think they do not exist and are not vaguely aware of their toxic fall out. When waste is not properly managed, soil and groundwater can be poisoned. Management of waste starts at home, with you, me and everyone we know. How you dispose of your waste helps down the line.

Keep three bins in your home:

Labelled with Plastic, Paper and Glass. Once fill take them to be recycled at your closest depot.

Feed your organic waste to a worm bin: They are surprisingly easy to set

up, don’t smell and all the organic waste goes back to where it should, to the worms. This then becomes food for the soil and lessens landfill.

Use less electricity:

Recycle every piece of paper you can: For every ton of paper recycled, 17

trees are saved. Recycle your plastic: Eleven recycled

plastic bottles can make a pair of men’s trousers when recycled into polymers. Recycling tins and cans saves about 95% of the energy needed to make a new can from iron ore.

A leaking, dripping tap at 1 drop per second will waste 30-60 litres of water. Don’t run the tap when you brush your teeth.

Improve your CO2 footprint, beautify your surroundings and plant trees:

For every 5 new trees planted in the right environments that live for 50-100 years, 1 ton of CO2 (carbon dioxide) is offset. Different trees absorb different amounts of CO2 and older trees offset greater amounts than younger ones. It takes 16 trees to supply enough oxygen for one persons life.

Turn off your geyser for a few hours every day. Switch off your lights and only use what is necessary. Most of South Africa’s energy comes from coal, a non-renewable resource. Our electricity is generated from coal burning, and large amounts of CO2 (carbon dioxide) are released into the atmosphere when it is burned. South Africa produces about 8 tons of CO2 per person each year. This is twice as much as the global average of 4 tons per person; and the rest of Africa only produces, on average 1,1 tons of CO2 per person each year.

12 products light news

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our stamp of approval

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Soylights candles are soot-free and offer a 50-hour burn time. They are made from the purest, raw GM-free soy and are free of paraffin wax and other additives, making them suitable to use as a therapeutic skin oil for relief from dry skin; cracked heals; eczema; minor abrasions, etc. Non toxic and biodegradable, all the packaging is locally sourced and packaging re-used. Choose from eight different blends including lemongrass, lavender and lime for rejuvenation; rosewood and ylangylang for a romantic touch; geranium and jasmine for harmony and cedar wood and pine (popular blend for men) for tranquility.

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wellness 13

meridian magic

by Melissa baird

If you thought Swedish massage was deep then it is a shallow pond in comparison to the depths that Dr - Qiang Yi – “Paul Yi” – Chinese Tui Na master and acupuncturist reaches when he works on your body. Dr Yi trained at the Chang Hang Hospital of Chong Qing in the early 1980’s and learned his techniques from a master healer who only taught 45 students in his lifetime. His teacher was a fourth generation, traditional Chinese medicine practitioner specialising in Tui Na (pronounced ‘twee naa’) massage. Dr Yi is an embodiment of this continuing wisdom and this knowledge informs his massage techniques and understanding of the body’s energy levels, or Qi (pronounced ‘Chi”) in a unique way. He works with three techniques in his massage, the first being a general massage which is the most standard method. This is good for maintaining a state of balance within the energetic system as well as being marvelous for soft tissue complaints and overall relaxation. The next technique he uses is more in keeping with that of a sports massage and it is effective in treating specific

did you know

ailments like frozen shoulders, stiff and sore muscles from over-exercise or repetitive strain injury. His real treatment secret, though, is Meridian Organ massage, a technique we are not readily familiar with in this country. He was one of the few taught by his master to administer this treatment and this form of massage takes a bit longer than usual to perfect. Meridian Organ massage is very good for treating digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and can aid in helping to rebalance the hormonal system, making it an effective way of treating irregular periods and sexual dysfunction like low libido. He also says he can assist in treating physical causes of impotency. His success with IBS is most notable; one of his clients who lived with this debilitating illness had no more symptoms after five weeks of being treated by Dr Yi. His hands also work magic on treating chronic sciatica; migraines; old injury pain and digestive ailments by activating the body’s innate healing system in order to shift conditions that have

been stuck for months. A simple diagnostic procedure precedes the treatment including a complete analysis of your energy system and the condition of your major organs by feeling your pulse and looking at your tongue. Traditional Chinese Medicines relies on these seemingly strange diagnostic tools to give the practitioner an overview of your body’s wellbeing. To his trained eye the condition and colour of your lips tells him the condition of your spleen. The depth and rate of your pulse gives him clues to your overall energy levels and the shape and size of your tongue is also a key indicator in determining your state of health. Once the diagnosis is complete a massage technique is chosen focusing on the relevant meridians needing care. My condition showed a weakness in the kidney meridian which explained my low levels of energy. He reactivated my kidney meridian giving my body enough motivators to re-energise itself. Each of us represents yin or yang characteristics and in the general massage he activates the acupressure points that will rebalance your system. It is not always pleasant as some of the points can be quite sensitive but the relief you experience after a treatment is worth so much more than a few moments of sensitivity. As is true for all great healers a sixth sense is also part of the treatment process and he told me that when he works he listens to his hands that give him information about the person. He is highly intuitive and specialised and to experience being so well-read is very reassuring and enables you to feel instantly at ease and to trust the whole process. Treatments for long standing ailments are better done on a regular basis as it will take a few sessions to totally shift. He is skilled and compassionate and reads your body so well, being the master that he is of the universal language of energy and health. However you may feel after your treatment, be it great, drained, ill or reborn it is only the first feeling to emerge before you reach the transcended state of wellness that happens when you are re-connected to your energy frequencies. All your switches are on, your energy has been shifted, your body has that ‘light bulb’ moment which is its memory that health is its natural state.

brain train to wellness When Kelly Burke met with Kerry Swarts she was, as she says, slightly intrigued, sceptical and a little concerned at the idea of neurofeedback and Brain Harmonics. Within five minutes her fears were eased as Kerry took her through a brain mapping session. Brain Harmonics is similar to a comprehensive exercise program because it builds and strengthens neural pathways while increasing mental endurance and flexibility. At the same time it allows one to drop old pathways that are no longer needed and the brain learns to lessen negative reactions. It also increases awareness of the central nervous system which off-sets or stops the pathology as it begins to happen neurologically. At its most basic level, brain training can simply help with day to day life, but research and proven studies show that Kerry’s brain training also helps with disorders such as insomnia, post traumatic stress, ADHD, mild brain trauma, pain and stress, addictions, depression and unresolved emotional issues, all of which affect one’s daily life. For over 30 years neuro-feedback has also transformed the lives of those with seizure disorder and epilepsy, closed-head injuries and headaches, as well has those with agerelated cognitive decline. Kerry is happy to do a brain mapping session on you to show you where you might have slight imbalances within your brain and how her neuro-feedback could help you to correct these. To learn more or make an appointment, call Kerry on 083 266 9183 or 021 785 3937 or email

Cape Town Medi Spa, 99 Kloof Street, Cape Town. Call 021 422 5140, email or visit

Tui Na massage has been used in China for over 2000 years and has been used to treat, or complement the treatment of musculo-skeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive; respiratory and reproductive systems.


Professional and Self Help for personal transformation Jin Shin Jyutsu® Physio-philosophy is the knowing of the body’s vital life force or the “battery” from which Universal revitalising energy flows. When this energy flows unimpeded then we are in harmony. Ongoing practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu releases tensions, discomfort and pain. It enables energy to flow through the body and thereby heal itself. More generally, it is the awakening to awareness of complete harmony within the self and the universe, physically, mentally and spiritually. For information on Sessions, Self Help classes and book resources available please call 0826571809 or email me on or go to

14 art & books

the art of changing lives Toni Burton describes Zizamele Ceramics as “making art that makes a difference” and from its inception it has done just that. By Michele Beatham

Sally Louw Ceramics Sally works with clay because of the connection it gives her to the earth. She can feel the thrill of creating something out of earth when she crafts exquisite and fine ceramic bowls and platters. Sally loves experimenting with textures and colours achieving some astonishing results. The combination of rich reds, pewter and textured patterns are what makes Sally’s pieces so instantly recognisable. The highly polished surface of the glaze combines dramatically with the naturally porous texture of the clay. Her organic shapes draw reference from the sea and other natural forms of inspiration. Her work is collected by her loyal clientele from all over the world. View Sally’s pieces in Cape Town at Africa Nova in the Cape Quarter; Artvark in Kalk Bay and Clementia Van Der Walt Gallery at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. Call 072 713 8907

rather than craft. Besides the full time staff, Zizamele has a part time artist who works twice a week and a network of trained potters who are called upon for large orders such as corporate gifts. Commissions and corporate gifts are a large percentage of their business, made easier by the fact that Zizamele is able to offer all types of ceramic work, including thrown, cast, hand crafted and sculpting. Remarkably, Zizamele has never received any direct funding or assistance, so its success thus far is an almost miraculous achievement in itself. This includes numerous awards and international recognition, as well as the Bambanani bowl being chosen to be part of the Corobrick Permanent Collection, which showcases the history and art of ceramics in South Africa. But Toni’s vision for Zizamele is far from complete. There is no doubt that skills development and entrepreneurial opportunities are vital in South Africa. Despite this, Toni notes that government authorities are closing most of

the ceramics training facilities in the country and worse, many of the indigenous crafts and skills are not being passed to younger generations, with a real danger of them dying out. Toni dreams of expanding the workshop in order to train many more up and coming young artists and crafters, as well as building a gallery and store in order to market their work more extensively and for, ultimately, the artists to run the business themselves. For more information or to arrange a visit to the Zizamele workshop, please contact Toni Burton on 084 556 6423, email info@ or visit

on the shelf Reviews by The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town. 021 462 2425

Going Green Simon Gear If you haven’t yet acquired a copy of this book, do so now. Simon Gear offers 365 ideas for not only a healthier planet but also healthier, more balanced lives. From the extremely easy (covering pots when cooking or reading to your kids) to the more involved but no less interesting (getting a degree or making your own cheese), he offers sound, practical advice in an easy to read format. ISBN: 9780143025931


In 2002 Toni was approached to run a job creation project at the Noordhoek campus of False Bay College – an 18-month Learnership followed by a six-month Learn-and Earn programme. The range produced during this programme was based upon the original Bambanani bowl – a press moulded bowl with a circle of African women holding hands around the rim – from a previous production unit at the college, which was improved and decorated in Zizamele’s now distinctive colours and patterns. With the Learn-and-Earn course complete, students were expected to leave campus and set up their own businesses - completely unrealistic given the costs involved in financing a ceramics facility. Toni fought for the students to remain at the campus and Zizamele was born. The five full time Zizamele artists produce exquisite, sought-after ranges that grace homes, galleries and offices worldwide. The now iconic Bambanani bowl, available in various sizes, is adapted as trends change, but remains the piece that truly represents the company and its community work ethic, symbolised by the women holding hands. Other products include the Bambanani Boxes and the very popular Big Five tea light holders, which are snapped up by anyone wanting a perfect gift, as well as foreign tourists. Every Zizamele ceramic is a one-off, making each piece truly unique and epitomising the vibrancy that is Africa, and why their work could arguably be classified as fine art

Australian Gardens for a Changing Climate Jenna Burns Although more a coffee table book than a ‘how to’ guide, this book will definitely provide inspiration and ideas that are easily adaptable to South Africa. The book is divided into five broad categories – the city; rural; coastal; desert and country – within which individual properties are highlighted. Interspersed throughout is information on everything from mulch to microclimates and windbreaks to water. Beautifully illustrated in full colour with photographs by Simon Griffiths. ISBN: 9781920989859

Penq u three in are giv in c Emai opies of g away Goin l you g Gre r det mich ail en. e with le@lifeinb s to “Goin alanc g Gre Givea za e w Entri ay” in th n/Pengu in es cl e sub ose 3 j 1 Aug ect line. ust.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things Michael Braungart and William McDonough Most of us recycle, and do our bit for the environment – but what about industry, where the real damage is being done? The industrial approach has always been a ‘cradle to grave’ manufacturing model – which creates huge amounts of waste and pollution. This book challenges the model and instead looks to nature to find a production system which mimics nature’s model, to our commercial and environmental advantage – a system in which waste equals food. First published in 2002, this updated edition is a bold and important manifesto for a new vision of industry. ISBN: 9780865475878


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31 July - 2 August Enjoy three days of cheese, wine, food, cooking and fun at the George Cheese Festival, including a kids’ zone, fashion show and music arena. or call 071 191 8536 30 July - 2 August Stellenbosch Wine Festival Taste over 500 wines, meet the winemakers and watch professional chefs battle it out. Enjoy historic tours, food, arts and crafts, a children’s entertainment area and more. or call 021 886 4310 31 July - 12 August SA Women’s Arts Festival, Playhouse Company, Durban, celebrates women with cutting edge productions of poetry, music, comedy and drama. www.playhouse or call 031 369 9540 1 August Green Market – Recycled Art and Natural Living, 9:00 -14:00. This month’s theme will focus on fun for the kids. Venue: Rademeyers at Moreleta Park, Pretoria. Call Melissa on 083 562 5249 or email 6 - 10 August Celebrate the arrival of the Southern Right Whales at the Hermanus Times Kalfiefees. A variety of festivities are on offer to suit all ages and tastes. Call 028 316 1687 7 - 9 August Voted one of the ten best in SA, the Hermanus Food & Wine Fair celebrates over 200 wines from more than 70 producers, with tastings, auction, cocktail evening, gourmet food and more. www.hermanus or call 028 316 3988 7 - 9 August Oppikoppi Festival, Northam, Limpopo – over 70 artists, four stages, a full house of music styles, local and international artists, and three days of non-stop music. or call 012 327 6601

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Jason’s Garden Jason Harttman, recent idols winner and front man for Jason’s Garden is on a mission to get South Africa planting. He, in conjunction with Trees4Schools will also be holding concerts across South Africa starting in Cape Town on 19 September 2009, followed by Knysna on 25 September and Durban on 14 November. Jason’s Garden is also part of Midgard’s “Green Pavilion” at the Decorex show in Midrand from 6 - 10 August which will be a display of partners and a call to action in order to promote sustainability and conscious consumerism. For more information or tickets go to

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7 - 10 August Join Kosi Moon and Sundancer for an Elemental Experience Nature lovers can break away from winter climes to Northern KwaZulu-Natal and explore the beautiful landscape where you can immerse yourself in the richness of the elements at play. Contact Diana on 082 300 8117 or email 14 - 16 August The inaugural Klein Karoo Klassique in Oudtshoorn offers a weekend of classical music, regional food and wine, and art, and promises something for everyone. Full pro-

gramme available at or call 044 203 8600 27 - 30 August Hopefield Fynbos Show: view 200 species from the Hopefield district, enjoy lunch/ tea and stalls with a variety of traditional produce. Follow the flower route and visit the museum, which showcases fossils and life from a bygone era. Call 022 723 1720, 073 187 6764 (a/h) or visit 27 August - 2 September The Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show once again welcomes visitors to marvel at the beauty of the wild flowers that transforms the region into a floral fantasy. Various fun and interesting activities for old and young alike. Call 027 482 2024 29 August McGregor showcases wines from the surrounding region, delicious country food, produce and local art and craft. or call 023 625 1954 30 August Whether you walk 5km, 10km or the more demanding 20km, you’ll enjoy beautiful views, fun with friends and strangers, and know that your R25 entrance fee will feed 21 children. Enter the Blisters for Bread walk online at or call 021 447 6020 4-6 September Appletiser Healthy Living Expo, Fountain Court, Sandton showcases the latest in supplements, products and equipment to aid a healthy lifestyle, with a wide selection of interesting products on show, demonstrations, as well as giveaways. 5 September The Green Market Recycled Art and Natural Living – celebrates Arbor Day. 09:00 to 14:00 at Rademeyers, Moreleta Park, Pretoria. Call Melissa on 083 562 5249 or email 13 September - 4 October The 13th Annual Cape Town Comedy Festival The largest comedy project on the continent – again features the best local and international comedy stars. Book at Computicket. 24 - 27 September Earthdance Johannesburg offers a soulful, green, family charity event. This year’s theme ‘Blessing the Children’ will incorporate kids’ performances and a fully facilitated programme. Call Diana on 082 300 8117 or visit

in August & September 9 August National Women’s Day 9 August International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 12 August International Youth Day 19 August World Humanitarian Day 8 September International Literacy Day 16 September International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer September National Heart Awareness Month

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ISSUE 5 J u l y/Au g ust 09


news the UPside of junk, eco-specifier, g reen bui l di ng pro ducts


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Life in Balance issue 5  

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