Green Living Vegetarian Braai in Cape Town

vegetarian-braaiIf you’re a green living vegetarian, you may not be all that excited about the recent hype leading up to South Africa’s National Braai Day on the 24th September. Braais after all generally feed off the over-the-top South African meat culture, with old jokes about chicken being the vegetarian option. If you’re lucky you’ll get a braaied mealie, otherwise it’ll be salads again.

Not so if you head to Deer Park Cafe in Vredehoek, Cape Town on Saturday 24th September. Here you can revel in a full on braai with not a trace of meat to sully your vegetables – braaied mushrooms, mealies and a whole lot more will be on offer, in a delicious braai buffet. The proceeds go to Beauty without Cruelty. More information available in National Braai Day for Vegetarians.

And just to prove that the South African braai isn’t all about meat here is a whole batch of vegetarian braai recipes. And a recipe for butternut, foil wrapped and cooked on the braai. Vegetables taste great braaied, especially if you can keep them away from the boerewors!

Here’s another green event happening on National Braai Heritage Day – this time all about tree planting.

September is Tree Planting Month In SA


© Yury Shirokov |

If you haven’t planted any trees yet this winter, now’s the time, while spring is still mild and occasionally wet and before summer heat sets in. Arbor Day has been celebrated here since 1983, encouraging individuals and communities to plant trees in their own gardens, in schools, along pavements on community land and wherever there is space. Arbor Day then became Arbor Week in 1999 and now the events go on all month, so there’s no excuse to miss it!

I still need to decide on what trees to plant on our farm, having promised my daughters to plant them each a tree. And should I plant a small tree that will take a while to settle in and find its roots, but then should grow well once it has established a deep enough root system? Or large trees that we can enjoy in the landscape from the start, but which will generally take a lot more careful looking after, especially through their first two or three summers?

Whatever trees you plant this month, it’s not just about the planting. Someone needs to make a commitment to tending the trees, giving regular watering through the first few years until they are properly established. But it’s worth it as trees can transform a garden or a dull community space. And trees are one of the most basic but also the most beautiful ingredients of green living.  Besides the huge benefits to the environment on a global scale!. So get planting.

Check out this list of indigenous tree species, designated as trees of the year, if you want inspiration of what to plant.

Check here for more green events in South Africa this month.

Green Cheese – Fairview Doing its Bit for the Environment

Fairview goatsSolar panels may not be the answer for every energy application, but they sure do make a difference, especially in a sunny country like South Africa.

I was really happy to read that my favourite wine farm and cheese making establishment – Fairview – is just installing a flotilla of solar panels in its cheese-making factory. They need huge amounts of hot water in the process to turn out their delicious goats and cows milk cheeses. The fuel used to heat the water will be reduced by two thirds once the solar panels are up and running –still not quite carbon neutral but a huge improvement.

A big thumbs up to Fairview and here’s hoping that more businesses will follow their lead!