Eidin Griffin – aka Rebel Seed – lives on Edge Farm in Nottingham Road, KZN where she grows and harvests fruit and vegetables in her permaculture garden.
My very local Green Route starts at my permaculture garden with the three noisy ducks. I pick some aubergines, a few handfuls of flowers and the last of the basil and check on the pumpkins that are finally drying off their vines.
One of my passions is open pollinated seeds (Rebel Seed on Facebook) so on sunny dry days I am gathering crispy dry bean pods or baskets of sunflower heads.
If I am not in the garden I am nearby in the shed preparing for an upcoming workshop, I host workshops at home for the ‘naturally curious’ such as zero waste, natural perfume and ethical gardening. (The Hedge Shed on Facebook)
Just down the road from our place is King’s School. This remarkable primary school is only one of three schools nationally to have been a WESSA Eco-School for fifteen consecutive years. Alan Paton once said ‘If you want to see what a South African school should be like go to King’s’.
The school is full of creaking wooden floors, children’s laughter, ancient trees and creative learning. An Outdoor Classroom with a cob pizza oven and small food garden is part of the grounds and it really is a magic place for both children and adults (www.kingsschool.co.za)
Heading out towards the N3 is Fordoun Hotel and I was delighted to be invited to help design and implement the Fordoun Farm Village Garden. This busy garden is nestled near the wedding venue and is full of box gardens, a woven wattle sculpture, a small essential oil distillation unit and is alive with fragrant edible herbs, flowers, vegetables, indigenous and a variety of fruit trees.
Later in the year we will be opening the gardens to the public in the Open Midlands Gardens programme and I look forward to showing people around and sharing ideas on seed saving and regenerative systems. (www.openmidlandsgardens.co.za)
Fort Nottingham Nature Reserve is 14kms from Nottingham Road and is a tiny village surrounded by paddocks of grazing thoroughbred brood mares and their foals. The Nature Reserve is on the right as you approach the village. It takes just over an hour to walk this lovely route and is a real tonic for the soul.
Take a picnic but remember to leave no trace. There are guided walks once a month that give access to the more remote areas. If you are interested in history continue onto the village and visit the museum there. (www.kznwildlife.com or http://www.wiki.sabirding.co.za)
On every second Saturday there are two exciting events in Rosetta, the bi-monthly Rosetta Market for some good coffee, excellent bread, and delicious berry products from local growers. If you are a carnivore be sure to get some home-cured ham products from Franco who ethically grows his own pigs in the beautiful Kamberg Valley.
Around the corner from 10am the local Barter Meeting at the Wine Cellar is always an interesting event. Locals with excess veggies, flowers, even household items meet up to swap and trade. (On Facebook Midlands Barter Markets).
The Wine Cellar is a family run business that has a glorious selection of wines, ports and champagnes to choose from as well as snacks and is a perfect place to stop off and enjoy a glass under the autumnal trees. (phone 033 267 7044)