Tag Archive for: home grown

moonbloom planting guide

I’m so excited to introduce you all to the brand new Moonbloom gardening guide and calendar, it’s an absolute must-have for anyone who loves to grow their own food or feels inspired to do so in the new year. It’s practical, easy to use and is based on the ancient method of planting by the moon to increase plant strength, survival and yield. It’s the brain child of a dear friend of mine and I’m so proud of the contribution she is making to the food growing revolution in South Africa!

Moonbloom is a yearly, easy to read gardening guide to sowing and planting by the moon. Moon cycle gardening is based on the theory of the gravitational pull on the Earth’s water and how this affects plants and seedlings. Each month features vegetable and herb suggestions to suit all rainfall areas in South Africa and to maximise growing success.It’s a great asset for anyone growing their own food or herbs or for planning small tasks on your weekends, especially if you have a busy life, in this simple tear-off month-by-month notepad – make your notes… put on your fridge… pin it… or give it to your gardener. 

gaye_1_moonbloom Gaye Boshoff, Moonbloom creator, lives on a farm on the Garden Route where she not only grows her own vegetables, but harvests honey, raises free range chickens for eggs and lives entirely off rainwater, not to mention running her graphic design hub and racing her two children to their next surf contest! She had this to say about the inspiration behind Moonbloom, “Growing food in my vegetable garden is one of my little life pleasures. Through the years I have planted my seedlings in sync with the cycles of the moon, something I believe has contributed to my successful harvests. Thus I had the urge to create Moonbloom, a simple planting guide, just to remind me when to plant throughout each month. I would love it to reach everyone, especially the folk in the cities, to show them that it’s not that difficult to have your own little veggie patch and how easy it is to grow your own organic delicious food. Moon cycle planting can be looked at scientifically in terms of the role the force of gravity plays on water in the soil and although it plays a small part in a plant’s life – every element on earth is significant.”


To find out more about the Moonbloom guide visit their Eco Atlas page with details of which outlets stock them, how to order one online or who to get in touch with for wholesale orders. They are hot off the press for the first time and will make great Christmas presents!!

…and enter the competition to win one, just for luck 


Get the inspiration going for growing your own vegetables and herbs next year, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or have a few pots on your kitchen windowsill.



1. Like the Eco Atlas Facebook Page and look for the Moonbloom post.

2. In the comments tag the person you would love to grow and share organic veggies with. Easy Pea-sy!


Optional – for extra entries and to increase your odds of winning you can….

1. Share a photo or selfie with some food you’re growing, whether it’s basil on your windowsill or a big delicious veggie garden, everything counts!

2. Give the Moonbloom page on Eco Atlas a LOVE. (Look for the Love This button)

3. Tweet us on @EcoAtlas if you love to #GrowYourOwn


Looking forward to all your delicious entries! Competition closes on Thursday 29 October 2015, winners will be announced via Facebook on Friday 30th October 2015.



faithful2nature competition


Children love to harvest in the veggie garden

Children love to harvest in the veggie garden

I always dreamt of having a veggie garden where the vegetables would tower over my children as they walked down the paths, enticing them with a smorgasbord of flavours and smells. And there really is a lot of power in the mantra of choosing the life you would like to lead. Although my children are growing rapidly and the new veggie garden is not as yet towering over them I still garner such satisfaction from watching my fussy ‘I-don’t-eat-vegetables’ 4-year-old picking fresh mange tout by the handfuls and happily crunching all their sweet nutritious goodness right there in the garden. My reasons for wanting to leave the city with my first-born and lead a simple country life with an emphasis on fresh air, open spaces and healthy living are coming to fruition and I’m realising that we’re living the life I’ve chosen and dreamt of.

Eating our own home grown veggies is such a vital element of living the good life because it covers so many bases, it’s the ultimate manifestation of thinking global and acting local! By growing your own veggies you cut out the whole string of events that finally allows a pesticide sprayed and well-travelled veggie from landing up on a supermarket shelf. I was so amazed to find out from a local organic farmer that, although it was great that a huge national supermarket chain was buying her produce to sell at the local store, the poor veggies had to travel 300km to the nearest city and its distribution depot and then back again before landing up in the local store’s display fridge. Instead of travelling 15km from farm to shop they were travelling 600km just because they had to be part of the formalised distribution process! Crazy, but true. Especially when those lovingly grown organic veggies would have lost most of their nutrition on the journey. Veggies only have a set amount of nutrients and begin losing them the minute they are harvested as they consume their own nutrients to stay alive. So, the shorter the distance between farm and fork, the better. Which multiplies my joy when I see my children eating straight out the garden because the distance the nutrients are travelling is literally from hand to mouth! And I would far rather wander down the paths of a veggie garden with all its interesting diversions than down the aisles of a supermarket and ITS diversions with two small children. Any young mother will know what I’m talking about! Never mind the actual effort of getting them in the car, out the car and into the shop. I’d choose to walk down the garden path any day…

But, I hear you say, you don’t live in the country, so how can you grow vegetables? Well you can grow them on a stoep in a high rise flat, all you need is a few containers and a sunny spot. And, if you remember your school biology, all the plants will need to grow is good soil (preferably enriched with your own home made fertiliser from your earthworm farm), sunlight and water, and what they didn’t mention in biology was that plants thrive on a whole lot of love. So whether you live in a flat or a sprawling suburban home, growing your own veggies in the city is all about your choice to do so. And the benefits to your family in terms of nutrition and less exposure to pesticides will be phenomenal. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be doing your bit for the planet by not supporting the pesticide infused agricultural system which takes its toll on local ecosystems. So what are you waiting for, go dig out those old gardening gloves and try out your green fingers.

The reality is, though, that we don’t always eat at home, what about when we are on holiday or eating out, how can we ensure that we’re getting the freshest and most nutritious food. Luckily, there are establishments around the country that have committed to growing organic food not only for themselves, but for their guests too. Let’s take a quick tour from Gansbaai to Hoedspruit for a virtual visit with some veggie growing guest houses.

Farm 215 is a private nature reserve in an undisturbed valley between Stanford and Cape Agulhas in the Overberg. In the reserve is a small-scale sustainable and strictly laid-back guesthouse offering tranquility and an overpowering sense of space. And besides their many ethical practices which include planting trees for tourism and empowering the local community, guests will also be treated to fresh organic produce grown right there on Farm 215. Sounds to me like a truly healthy break from the city.

Further up the coast in the heart of the Garden Route is Fynbos Ridge Private Nature Reserve with a guest house and self-catering cottages set in the fragrant fynbos and spectacular views of the Tsitsikamma mountains. Delicious dining and alfresco breakfasts are available or they invite you to pick your very own salad from their organic vegetable garden. A holiday treat that is indeed good for the body and soul, to be enjoyed with a clear conscience.

And from there we skip straight to the bushveld where you will find Garonga Safari Camp, an eco friendly oasis for the discerning visitor. Situated in the greater Makalali Conservancy west of the Kruger National Park, this unassuming sanctuary promises an intimate wildlife encounter in an unhurried environment where you can unwind, sleep deeply and be yourself. And yes, you better believe it, they too grow their own organic vegetables in that dark red soil and serve the bounty to all their guests.

With Spring finally in the air may you feel inspired to grow your own food, eat your own food and support the places that do the same.