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Feeding the Self

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Strange gardens for strange times

So the gardens we’ve been putting in recently are much more interesting than the old square-bed ones. The last couple of weeks we’ve been hatching a plan for building a spiral garden you can see from clear across the valley in the township. Here’s the beginning…  ...

Attack of the slugs

Three weeks ago, we had a lovely crop of Chinese cabbages and pak choi coming up (which you can get from the plant guys outside Tip-Top Butchery). Just when the weather started to turn and everything started flowering, the slugs attacked. First they came for the soft veggies, then they came for the spinach before they turned their merciless attention to the cabbages.
This is part of a series on gardening in Grahamstown, published in Grocotts Mail, the local newspaper.

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Adopt A River cleans up Lavender Valley

Water is big news at the moment, with five provinces declared as drought disaster areas. South Africa uses almost all of its available water already, and there’s more demand all the time. It’s important to remember that water affects everything – it’s not just drinking and washing, but also irrigation, industrial processing, and ecosystems that suffer.
This is part of a series on gardening in Grahamstown, published in Grocotts Mail, the local newspaper.

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Some great activites from Gardening with Children

Gardening With Children produce some stellar activites for getting kids engaged with the garden. Download these worksheets for illustrated step-by-steop guides. How-to-Grow-Plants-in-a-Window-Box (gardening with children) How-to-Grow-Seeds-in-Trays-and-Pots (gardening with children) How_to_make_compost in schools (gardening with... read more

Building the world’s tiniest greenhouses

It’s been a long, hot summer, and there’s probably more to come. Pretty much the only thing growing in my garden at the moment are indigenous succulents and stuff that’s well protected from the sun. It’s very hard to do any new planting, or grow from seed, when it’s like this. To be honest, even finding the energy to go into the garden is hard when it’s so hot.
This is part of a series on gardening in Grahamstown, published in Grocotts Mail, the local newspaper.

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Summer protection and maintenance

The sweltering heat this week has announced the start of summer in stone country. There’ll still be the odd cool day, but from now on the soil will be warm, and your garden beds are going to bake in the sun. You might even be leaving town or very busy over the Festive season, so there’ll be no-one to water your garden for a bit. This week’s column is about how to deal with that.
This is part of a series on gardening in Grahamstown, published in Grocotts Mail, the local newspaper.

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Bamboo-zling the greedy goats

When I first came to Grahamstown, I was told that people in Grahamstown East weren’t interested in gardening, and it was a fool’s errand to try. I struck on anyway, and found out that this was only half of the truth….

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Poems & Verbal Reasoning tests

This is a set of verbal reasoning tests I found online years ago, but which have proved very useful in teaching people close reading. Each question has a yes/no/not given choice of answer. Highly recommended. sample poems & verbal reasoning tests (the poems are the ones I use to teach people how to read poetry – they all have clear, regular rhythm and... read more

The guide to reading poetry

We wrote this for some tutoring we were doing for kids who needed a crash course introduction to poetry that would give them everythign they needed to talk about it like scholars and think about it properly. Includes a range of carefully-chosen tonal rhythmic and evocative poems and verbal reasoning tests and practice.... read more

The Dummies Guide To Gardening

Our most popular resource, used by everyone from pre-primary teachers to prisoner rehabilitation centres. Introduces permaculture in a simple, 12-session plan designed around teaching academic concepts and practices. Other variations and additions include full inc-curricular lesons plans, with objectives designed to be adaptable across a wide variety of courses. The Dummies Guide To Gardening by Feeding The Self (small)... read more

The guide to writing

Chirag wrote this while running a student support service. It’s designed to deal with all the most common avoidable mistakes students make, as well as provide a useful reference for anyone from high school to postgraduate. Essential reading if you’re in school or university. The Guide to... read more

Norms and Standard For Educators

Everybody working in a schools environment in South Africa shouidl be conversant with this document. it’s well worth a read, since it sets the baseline the teacher behaviours that the government builds the education system around.... read more

Nursery activities for kids

If you have a nursery local to you, it’s a good idea to take schoolkids along to it. Here are some activites we developed for taking children to an indigenous nursery. Nursery activity 2 Nursery activity... read more

The Dummies Guide To Gardening

Our most popular resource, used by everyone from pre-primary teachers to prisoner rehabilitation centres. Introduces permaculture in a simple, 12-session plan designed around teaching academic concepts and practices. Other variations and additions include full inc-curricular lesons plans, with objectives designed to be adaptable across a wide variety of courses. The Dummies Guide To Gardening by Feeding The Self (small)... read more

General articles

Useful NGO articles, guides we’ve found helpful in teh past, and other bits and bobs.

Useful SARS forms

these are the forms you’ll need to send to SARS to register your PBO through them. Higly recommended, especially if the department fo social devcelopment is giving you hassle.   SARS IT77_v2011 SARS PBO_tax exemption SARS form 2... read more

Some legal help

  Getting your head around the legal environment of NGOs is pretty confusing,. here are some simple documents top help you work out what the conmpanies and NPO acts actually mean for you.   WHAT DOES THE NPO ACT DO companies act 2008 and NPOs... read more

Promo photo book

this is a promotional photo & info book we produced to make the results of our projects more visible and approachable FTS_promophotobook read more

SARS PBO form 1

Want to register as an NGO but having trouble with the Department of Social Development? Try registering as a PBO instead, using this form from SARS (along with a standard business registration form). It gives you exactly the same legal and tax status, and it’s nowhere near as ridiculously overcomplicated. Applic Form... read more

Example annual report

A lot of people have trouble working out how to write annual reports… here’s a sample that we found that gives a useful model to build from.... read more

PBO guide 2

A very useful guide from Business and arts South AFrica on how to establish a PBO. A Public Benefit Organization is much like an NGO legally but you don’t have to deal with the Department of Social Development and jump through ridiculous hoops.... read more

The Orange Book

Ever wanted a contact and address book for sustainability practitioners, NGOs, and schools in Durban? Well, here it is. Send us you details and we’ll put you in there, too. The FTS Orange book (Final... read more

Our constitution

Our constitution, from back in the day when we were engaged in the Sisyphean struggle with the DSD. Apotheosis Constitution [edited nov... read more

Lesson Plans

A complete guide to using the garden in the classroom and in the curriculum. v2 lesson plans read more