Bamboo presents an eco-friendly solution to the deforestation of the earth and the depletion of our natural resources. Bamboo grass plants are a completely sustainable resource because they are naturally anti-bacterial and grown without pesticides or fertilisers. The plants grow in both wetlands and arid conditions, utilising less water and rejuvenating up to 35% more oxygen than the equivalent tree forest land.

(Beautiful Bamboo-products, January 2015).

Of mites and round worms:
Mites (arachnids) are distantly related to spiders and scorpions. Some mites feed off plants, while others are ecto-parasites on the skins of both humans and animals. Except for mite species such as ticks that can bite you en spread diseases such as scabies, there are also spider mites (smaller than 1mm) that can cause damage to crops. Dust mites are smaller than 0,5mm and moult as they grow bigger. Their old skin and excretions cause allergies and asthma. There can be thousands of mites in 1g of dust.

There are about 25 000 known species of the nematode or round worm. One handful of garden soil contains thousands of round worms. They are probably the most plentiful animals on earth and represent at least 90% of all life on the ocean bed. These parasites can attack both humans and animals.

(Huisgenoot, 22 January 2015).

Snippets from KZNCA News, January 2015:

On our planet there are about 10 000 species of birds, 5 500 species of mammals and up to 2 000 000 species of insects.

Our official rhino figure of 25 000 is wrong – there are only about 20 000 rhino left in SA.

The amazing Welwitschia mirabilis in Namibia’s Kaokoveld can live over a 1 000 years and, in spite of its tangled appearance, it only has two leaves.

Amphibians are currently the most rapidly declining group of vertebrates on earth, with over a third of all species listed as threatened. The causes of declines are many and varied, often working together to create the perfect storm for extinction. Habitat destruction is responsible for the majority of declines by a factor of four over the next major threat, pollution. In South Africa, 30% of our frog species are red listed as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable (email received on 6 January from Thorntree Conservancy).
Request from GECKO: Please report any sightings of bullfrogs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on Facebook at A bullfrog information booklet is also available (GEKCO Newsletter, 26 January 2015).

Cost-effective deforestation:

The main purpose of deforestation programmes is to develop new agricultural land. There is, however, a close and very important relationship between deforestation and its negative impact if deforested land is not managed properly. Indications of primary soil deterioration such as soil structure changes and an increase in soil-related plant diseases, as well as secondary indications of veld deterioration, such as bush encroachment and an increase in invader plant species will decrease soil capacity to an even larger extent. Deforestation projects linked to bad management of agricultural projects are often viewed as the main reason for the decline of the biosphere, with a loss of biodiversity and extreme weather conditions as an indication thereof. Effective utilisation of deforested material with market value (e.g. firewood and charcoal, as well as rests that are left to degrade), and to convert marketable deforested wood into valuable serrated/sawn wood, are good examples of cost-effective deforestation. Serrated wood can also be used on the farm itself and can be sold at a much higher profit than firewood (ProAgri, no 175, September 2014).

Where we stand… (from commentary by Pete Bower, Gauteng Smallholder, December 2014/January 2015):
“We stand for the use of natural pest control methods rather than the use of chemicals, for the use of organic growth rather than chemically fertilised growth, and for the active conservation of the fellow creatures who share our land, such as insects, birds, reptiles and mammals.
We stand for the experimentation with and adoption of technology that makes the home self-sufficient, not because we are pot-smoking bunny hugging greeny-beanies, and not because we are overly concerned with the deterioration in the quality and delivery of services by our municipalities, but rather simply because taking advantage of the natural resources bestowed upon us, in a sustainable way, seems infinitely preferable to destroying non-renewable resources just because we, probably the most innovative bunch of self-taught mechanics, engineers and ”maak-‘n-planners” around, are too lazy to try something different”.