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Join Jane Griffiths for a talk on Jane's Delicious Urban Gardening at Windmill on Main

Invite to Jane Griffiths's book launch

Jane’s Delicious Urban GardeningThe Beaulieu Garden Club invites you to a talk by Jane Griffiths to launch her latest book, Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening.

Griffiths’s bestselling book, Jane’s Delicious Garden, led to a vegetable revolution in South Africa, with thousands of people following in her footsteps. Her latest book, Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening, is packed with inspirational ideas and practical information on all aspects of eco urban living.

At the talk, hosted by the Windmill on Main, Griffiths will show you just how easy it is to achieve a flourishing food garden, no matter how small your space.

The event takes place on Wednesday, 17 February at 9:30 for 10 AM. Tickets cost R170. Refreshments will be served and there will be fabulous prizes up for grabs.

See you there!

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 17 February 2016
  • Time: 9:30 AM for 10:00 AM
  • Venue: Windmill on Main
    54 Main Road (M71), corner Ash Road
    Kyalami, between Lonehill and Kyalami
    (Please note that different GPSess also seem to provide different results and sometimes Main Road is referred to as MacGregor Road) | Map
  • Refreshments will be served
  • Cover charge: R170
  • RSVP:, 083 300 6402

Also read:

Book Details

Don't miss the Wits Origins Centre talk on Climate Change by Mary Scholes, Mike Lucas and Robert Scholes

Climate Change: Briefings from Southern AfricaWits University Press and the Origins Centre invite you to a public lecture on climate change with Climate Change: Briefings from Southern Africa co-authors Mary Scholes, Mike Lucas and Robert Scholes.

The lecture will focus on the projected impacts of human-caused climate change on South Africa, and how we may be affected by the greenhouse gas reduction agreement reached in Paris in December 2015.

This lecture accompanies the book, published by Wits University Press, and the current exhibition at the Origins Centre.

The lecture takes place on Tuesday, 2 February at 6 for 6:30 PM. Tickets cost R60 for adults, R48 for Wits staff and R30 for students and can be purchased on Webtickets.

Question you can expect to be answered include:

How hot will it get?
Will South Africa run out of water?
Are South Africa’s birds taking flight?
Do cow-farts really cause global warming?
Can solar and wind power meet our energy needs?
How can I reduce my carbon footprint?

See you there!

Event Details


Book Details

How to grow your own food in the city: An excerpt from Jane's Delicious Urban Gardening

How to grow your own food in the city: An excerpt from Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening

Jane’s Delicious Urban GardeningJane Griffiths is the author of the bestselling Jane’s Delicious Garden, which led to a vegetable revolution in South Africa.

Jane’s Delicious Kitchen and Jane’s Delicious Herbs followed, but Griffiths’s latest book, released at the end of last year, is Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening.

In her newest, Griffiths offers inspirational ideas and practical information for those who love living in the city but dream about growing their own wholesome fruit and vegetables.

Read the Introduction:

We live in an old double-storey house covered with green creeper – literally a ‘green house’. When we moved in, there was a classic English-style garden with lawns, roses and a large swimming pool. In the 22 years that we have lived here, much has changed. Most of the lawn has given way to a vegetable garden or beds planted with herbs and water-wise plants. The roses intermingle with fruit trees and the pool is now filtered by a wetland with fish, frogs and water plants. Under the bay tree live Itchy and Scratchy, my two egg- and manure-producing hens. A vertical strawberry garden wraps the rainwater harvesting tank and succulents cover the greywater tank. Outside the back door, containers and pots overflow with edibles and herbs. In every available space are fruit trees, including ones in pots and espaliered against sunny walls. At last count our urban orchard included 24 fruit trees and 10 different types of berries and vines – and we live in the middle of the largest city in South Africa: Johannesburg.

When I wrote my first book, Jane’s Delicious Garden, I knew hardly anyone who grew their own food. That has changed. Growing organic vegetables, once a fringe activity, is now mainstream. When people begin growing their own food, it changes them. Awareness of the environment increases as resources such as water, space and nutrients become important. Once the vegetable gardening bug bites, people begin growing herbs and then fruit. They become avid recyclers and junk collectors. When eating out they want to know the origin of their food and whether it has been farmed ethically. Dinner conversations include heirloom seeds and composting tips. These small changes multiply and make a big difference.

I have been both a participant and a beneficiary of this expansion. I have learned (and continue to learn) so much more about growing food and sustainable living since I wrote my first book seven years ago. I’ve been lucky enough to meet many inspirational, passionate and knowledgeable food gardeners. Urbanites, with no desire to move to a farm or smallholding, are finding innovative and productive ways of growing healthy organic food in limited city spaces. From people in the queue at the supermarket, who proudly show me cell phone photographs of their vegetable gardens, to women in townships who are growing food for Aids orphans, from roof tops to converted bowling greens, public alleyways to pavement gardens, there is a growing green revolution spreading throughout South Africa. With predictions that by 2050, up to 70 per cent of our population will be living in cities, and food production will need to double to feed an increasingly affluent population, urban farming will supply the food of our future.

However much I like the idea of living off the grid, becoming completely self-sufficient while living in the city is a rather daunting idea. Instead, I aim to create an environment that is as eco-friendly as possible. Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening is about exploring and sharing ways that urbanites can live a more connected and sustainable life in the city. How, even with our demanding schedules, we can become a part of nature instead of living apart from nature. Whether it’s growing vegetables or harvesting rainwater, contributing kitchen waste to a community farm’s compost heap or converting a chemical pool to a natural one, all urban dwellers would benefit if each of us took a few steps towards becoming more environmentally aware urban farmers. As our gardens transform slowly into urban oases, they improve the quality of our lives and reduce our impact on the environment. By creating an interconnected ecosystem we lessen our reliance on increasingly unstable urban supply systems.

In our 21st century of absolute convenience and consumerism, we have become disconnected from nature. We somehow believe that not only can we live separately from nature, but that we can also take as much as we want without giving anything back. And that is not how a successful relationship works. We are a part of nature and if we continue to live as if we are a privileged and separate species, we risk losing everything. The multitude of problems facing us as human beings on this planet can be overwhelming and daunting. But one thing each and every one of us can do is to take personal responsibility to cultivate a better relationship with the piece of planet on which we live.

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Book details

Join Mary and Bob Scholes for cocktails and Climate Change conversation at The Orbit, Braamfontein

Wits Press would like to invite you to an exciting event with Mary and Bob Scholes, co-authors of Climate Change: Briefings from Southern Africa.

Climate Change: Briefings from Southern AfricaWhat is the fingerprint of human-caused climate change? Is today’s climate system outside the zone in which advanced human societies developed? Can we blame climate change for the extreme weather in South Africa in 2015/2016? What is the feasible range to which future climate change can be limited? And, most importantly, how does one distinguish science from non-science in the climate space?

Climate change is higher in the public attention than ever before, because of the historic agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reached in Paris in December 2015, as well as the current drought and heatwave affecting large parts of southern Africa. Nonetheless, there are persistent denialist voices in the media, claiming that this is all just natural variability; or that it doesn’t matter; or that it is a plot to thwart development; or that there is nothing we can do about climate change anyway.

Professors Bob and Mary Scholes from Wits, who, together with Professor Mike Lucas of UCT, are co-authors of Climate Change: Briefings from Southern Africa, will present the science that underpins global concerns about climate change, and give guidance on how to distinguish the valid evidence from the deliberate obfuscation.

Afterwards, some of the coldest cocktails on the planet will counterbalance the effects of global warming, while Janus van der Merwe’s Donkey plays grimy (but environmentally friendly) nu jazz.

Entrance to the event costs R20. Doors open at 6:30 PM, no admittance after 8:00 PM. No registration is necessary but guests are strongly encouraged to arrive early. Dinner is served from 6:00 PM. Guests wishing to have dinner before the event should book in advance with The Orbit and arrive by 6:30 PM.

See you there!

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2016
  • Time: 6:30 for dinner and drinks, talk starts at 8 PM
  • Venue: The Orbit,
    81 De Korte Street
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Speakers: Bob and Mary Scholes
  • Refreshments will be served
  • Cover charge: R20
  • Book for dinner: The Orbit
  • More info: Science and Cocktails


Book Details

Fires keep raging in the Cape Peninsula, task team set up to investigate

Fires once again raged in the Cape Peninsula earlier this week, and right through the festive period, reminding us of the devastation caused when the Deep South burned last March:

Daily Maverick‘s Marelise van der Merwe reports that a special task team has been established to investigate the high number of fires in the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. According to a report in the Cape Argus yesterday, “the City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service has responded to 495 fire calls since Thursday”. These range from shack, train and electrical fires to veld and mountain fires.

“Does the formation of a task team represent a turning point in the management of the Cape’s annual fire season? It’s hard to tell. Statistics are not yet available to compare the damage of this summer’s fires to the same period last year,” Van der Merwe writes.

Read the article:

As it was announced that a task team had been set up to investigate the many fires that had ravaged the Cape over the summer, police remained tight-lipped about the process underway. For those affected, the long wait is just beginning.

Visit Eyewitness News to read their comprehensive coverage of the recent fires, including striking photos and video footage:


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Burning Table MountainBurning Table Mountain: An Environmental History of Fire on the Cape Peninsula by Simon Pooley is an in-depth study of the social, environmental and economic impact of fires in the Cape Town region.

Fire is Not Only Bad News: Simon Pooley’s Burning Table Mountain Launched at Kalk Bay Books

“We Need Fire”: Watch Simon Pooley’s Discussion of Burning Table Mountain

Popular Misconceptions About Fire in Cape Town (Excerpt from Burning Table Mountain)


Book details


Image courtesy of Thomas Holder/EWN

DIY this Christmas - 7 Books to Inspire the Perfect Homemade Gift


Hands up if you’re making gifts for your family and friends this Christmas?

In 2015 we saw a return to the trend of doing things ourselves. Why would you buy Christmas crackers from the store if you can make it yourself and add that extra personal touch? Who doesn’t love a sweater or a throw pillow lovingly crocheted by someone close to you? What’s a home without a garden, especially if it grew from your own fingertips?

We’ve compiled a list of seven fabulous DIY books that were published this year. They will either make the perfect gift, or inspire you to create something unique for your loved ones this festive season.

Have a look at the DIY books of 2015:


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1. SuzelleDIY

SuzelleDIYSuzelleDIYSuzelleDIY: The Book gives DIY a humorous twist. Julia Anastasopoulos, aka Suzelle, shows us how to deal with household chores, maintain your car, live green, make braai day a day to remember and how to minimise the hours you spend in the kitchen. Marianne, her friend, joins her and takes a special interest in our furry friends. The DIY diva also shares her DIY and beauty secrets, while also entertaining us with the best recipes from her kitchen. DIY? Because anybody can.


2. Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening

Jane’s Delicious Urban GardeningDo you love living in the city but dream about growing your own wholesome fruit and vegetables? South Africa’s organic gardening guru, Jane Griffiths, shows you just how easy it is to achieve a flourishing food garden, no matter how small your space.

Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening is packed with inspirational ideas and practical information on all aspects of urban eco living.


3. Party Time

Party TimeParty Time is the ultimate party-planning book for parents! It contains 12 fun themes and is jam-packed with inspirational ideas. Planning an exciting party has never been easier! A CD with printable templates for signage and décor is also included.

Not only are there themes for boys and girls but unisex themes have also been included. The parties cater for all budgets. Those recipes that are included are easy to follow and can either serve as a starting point or can be adjusted to suit your specific theme by changing, for example, the colour of the cake icing.


4. Braids: Step by Step

BraidsVlegselsMarie Wivel and Laura Arnesen have known each other since kindergarten. In those days braiding was something they did for fun, but today it has become their passion.

In April 2013, during a school strike in their native Denmark, the two friends decided to try out some new braiding techniques to pass the time. They searched the Internet for different braids and documented their progress on their Instagram account. They were surprised by the many girls who shared their interest!


5. Crochet Know How

Crochet Know HowCrochet Know How 2Crochet Know How is a guide to the basic techniques and stitches of crocheting, and also offers additional information on how to care for crocheted products.

This book is not only the ideal starting point for those who would like to learn to crochet, but also discusses interesting stitches and could become a handy resource for experienced crafters.

Also available in Afrikaans as Alles oor hekel and Alles oor hekel 2.

6. 50 Upcycling Projects

50 Upcycling Projects50 Upcycling-projekteUpcycling refers to the process of converting old or discarded materials into something useful and beautiful. This 224-page book shows you just that – how to transform trash into treasures. At the hand of Misi Overturf, well-known creative consultant, no less than 50 exciting projects are undertaken ranging from easy to the more advanced. Clear step-by-step instructions and beautiful pictures ensure that the techniques are mastered. The projects cover the whole home and even include the garden.


7. 150 All-Time Favourite Crochet Blocks

150 All-Time Favourite Crochet Blocks150 All-Time Favourite Crochet Blocks brings together the classic patterns of the blocks that all avid crocheters love.

Each crochet block is categorised by skill level, with a crochet chart and row-by-row instructions. A short description focusing on each block’s special features and characteristics has also been included.


Book details