Hornbill, one of the regular visitors

We went to East London yesterday, a city like any other. We realized once again how expensive it is to buy more natural products. Cheapest shampoo is R 60.00, why is that so? I guess demand and supply is one reason, but I do feel ripped off.  I guess I will start making my own cleaning materials, I saw some “recipes” for making your own on the Internet. Actually I have had it at the back of my mind to look at making my own and maybe producing an affordable range of green clean. We also bought General Purpose cleaner instead of Dish washing liquid, so this morning I was forced to make my own or go without. Bicarbonate of soda, soap flakes (from a soap bar I grated)  and lemon juice (from our trees) and a bit of water. I just mixed the lot, it kind of foams up when you add the lemon. It did a great job, but looks a bit weird, but I am working on that.

After having a further look at producing these products I realized that even the raw materials for making your own cleaning materials is rather expensive. I would also like to keep it cruelty free, Liquid Castile Soap (a vegetable based soap you can use as base for almost anything) is not available in South Africa, or let me rather say I have not been able to find any. The bars are available but cost about Zar 80.00 each!

Recycling, that is one of the reasons we went to EL. It was a bit of a disaster and we brought back most of it, but now we know better and we know exactly what they take etc.  Now we still have lots of soft plastic and some scrap metal and I am scratching my head here…. what to do with it.  Here are the options – Dig a whole and bury it, or burn it, or feed it into Haga Haga system (the local municipality removes rubbish from Haga Haga 3 times a week), if we drop 3 bags a time we will have the mess sorted soon, but what is the right thing to do?  Burning is not a good idea.  I am starting to realize that there isn’t always a right and a wrong, sometimes you just have to pick the lesser “evil”. The ultimate idea would be not to have these plastics etc. to deal with.



The recycle area was a bit of a nightmare

On the positive side, we found Inca Gold in the rubbish we returned ! Inca gold is actually seeds. One of the bags we brought back broke and all these seeds spilled out. Somebody that lived here just dumped lots and lots of seeds, nicely packed in those round little film containers.  I am sure some of them are old and dead, but a lot of it looks fine.

Seeing that we are low on greens, I have decided to grow sprouts. You have food in three days. I also found another way of growing them, instead of in jars, you put some soil on a flat tray, then you put the sprout seeds on top, keep it moist and in the dark (cover with another tray). I have realized that this method does not work so well, firstly your sprouts are full of soil and secondly it takes a full five days, while with the bottle method you have sprouts ready in three days. I still need some practice here before I start sharing ideas, I will keep on experimenting and tell you all about it a later period.

Madala Maduna is driving Riaan nuts today, he is building at his house/houses/huts, (an extended family lives together, but not all under one roof, individuals and smaller family groups have their own hut, very much a communal setup). He is busy building a new hut and  Riaan now have to take windows down the hill for him (in a vehicle) and every now and then he is back, looking for another tool he wants to borrow and it is hand signals and body language, because one speaks Xhosa only and the other does not understand Xhosa, very entertaining to watch.

It is extremely windy outside today, every now and then you hear a tree fall.



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