What is foodscaping?

Foodscaping, sometimes called edible landscaping, is a type of landscaping in which major areas of a property are used to grow food. It can be considered as a hybrid between farming and landscaping in the sense of having an “all-encompassing way of growing a garden, feeding yourself, and making it look pretty with an “integrative landscape”.

Trees, grass and shrubs are combined or even replaced with berry bushes, fruit trees and other plants which yield fruits and vegetables which can mean lower bills at the grocery store and optimal use of water supply. In contrast to having a backyard vegetable garden or raised bed for flowers or other enclosed or fenced-in spaces where fruits and vegetables are grown, foodscaping is more extensive, with “implementation of edible foods into the landscape.

Instead of just planting shrubs, trees, vines, grasses and ground covers, foodscaping involves adding edible plants that add interest, color, texture and, of course, taste.

Terra Madre SA has a vacancy for a 3 month internship

Have you completed your Permaculture Design Certificate/agriculture/horticulture education? Or are you an experienced conventional gardener wanting to develop your skills?permaculture-wordle

This hands-on position is designed to prepare participants to implement or lead permaculture projects. The internship program uses lectures, followed by practical applications, to thoroughly cover the techniques of project development and maintenance. The successful candidate will be fully involved in all aspects of urban food garden and farm activities. The goal is to apply the designs and practice the methods that pertain to everyday permaculture farm situations.

During the internship, a design application will be realized in an urban environment. Working with a local, in-need applicant homeowner, we’ll go into the community to design and implement a residential lot. This program advances community food self-reliance, household economy, cultural integrity and nutritional improvement, all while minimizing the local carbon footprint.

Working alongside the landowner, together we’ll design an appropriate food systems based on both general nutritional needs and the landowner’s preferences. The successful Intern will gain the experience and confidence of implementing their first, real-world consultation and application.

Learning will include animals, aquaculture, earth works, chicken systems, soil fertility and waste water, natural soil fertility maintenance, composting systems, waste systems, nursery systems, food forests, urban gardens, organic pest control.

Set tasks and routines include: general urban garden and farm maintenance, tools and equipment use, food storage and processing, seed saving and propagation.

Remuneration will take the form of a monthly stipend of R 3000. If successful, the intern will be offered permanent employment.

Send your resume and a brief motivation letter to terramadresouthafrica@gmail.com

Fermentation workshop

bottled produce at Terra Madre SA

Saturday 17 June 10am to 3pm

Saturday 22 July 10am to 3pm

Saturday 19 August 10am to 3 pm

Come and spend a fun day learning how to make your own kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi

Health begins in the gut. Learn about your microbiome and why an organic diet is a necessity for health. Gain an understanding of the fermentation process making 3 examples (kefir, kombucha and Kimchi)

Fermentation: The benefits of fermented foods on your microbiome and immune system is substantial.

I will tell you all about it and demonstrate how to make some of them. You will also learn why its beneficial for you and when is it appropriate to consume.
Cost R400 (includes your own jar of Kimchi and kombucha and notes)

You can also purchase additional kombucha, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, Kefir grains and scoby’s on the day.

Where: 91/3 Northfolk Road, Carlswarld, A.H, Midrand

Payment will confirm booking:

Terra Madre SA (Pty) Ltd
Bank: FNB
Account no:62473027764
Branch no: 261649
Cheque account
Email proof of payment to terramadresouthafrica@gmail.com with reference Fermentation and your name

Is our food killing us?

How are you feeling today? What you put in is what you will get out

I have treated numerous clients who were diagnosed with cancer and other auto immune diseases. They had been suffering from ‘allergy symptoms’ for years before being diagnosed. Many have shown vast improvement since eating only clean, organic and hormone free food and drinking clean living water. Now I don’t have any scientific research but the evidence good enough for me.

(Yes, in order to heal, other nutritional and emotional, physical and medical interventions are sometimes also required but that is a discussion for another day.)



What’s happening to our seeds?

Seeds can be categorised into three groups:

  1. Those that are farmers’ varieties have been selected and bred naturally over time with open pollination (heirloom)
  2. Hybrid seeds that are specially bred in labs to get better yields
  3. GMO’s that are artificially made in laboratories using genetic engineering techniques.


Genetically modified (GM) seeds have been created in a laboratory. In genetic engineering, the ‘genes’ responsible for a specific characteristic (trait) are taken from one organism and forced into the DNA of another organism.

Scientists are not sure what impacts these new crops might have on our bodies or on the environment over time. It is just too soon to tell as the science is too new and not enough independent research is being done.

Dangers of GM food

In America 80% of food contains GMO’s. I am unclear on the percentages in South Africa as I can’t find concrete facts. Supposedly, the only GM crops in SA are mealies and cotton. While there aren’t really enough studies to prove GMO’s are the direct cause of cancer, ADHD, allergies, gluten intolerance and auto immune diseases, these conditions are on the rise with no real cause identified except maybe because of increased toxicity in our foods, water, air.

Jeff Smith in his book Seeds of destruction – Rats fed GM potatoes had smaller livers, hearts, testicles and brains, damaged immune systems, and showed structural changes in their white blood cells making them more vulnerable to infection and disease compared to other rats fed non-GMO potatoes. It gets worse. Thymus and spleen damage showed up; enlarged tissues, including the pancreas and intestines; and there were cases of liver atrophy as well as significant proliferation of stomach and intestines cells that could be a sign of greater future risk of cancer. Equally alarming, results showed up after 10 days of testing, and they persisted after 110 days that’s the human equivalent of 10 years.

Consider corn varieties engineered to produce a pesticidal protein called Bt-toxin. Farmers use it in spray form, and companies falsely claim it’s harmless to humans. In fact, people exposed to the spray develop allergic-type symptoms, mice ingesting Bt had powerful immune responses and abnormal and excessive cell growth, and a growing number of human and livestock illnesses are linked to Bt crops.

Arpad Pusztai and other scientists were shocked at their results of animals fed GM foods. Independent studies showed stunted growth, impaired immune systems, bleeding stomachs, abnormal and potentially precancerous cell growth in the intestines, impaired blood cell development, misshaped cell structures in the liver, pancreas and testicles, altered gene expression and cell metabolism, liver and kidney lesions, partially atrophied livers, inflamed kidneys, less developed organs, reduced digestive enzymes, higher blood sugar, inflamed lung tissue, increased death rates and higher offspring mortality as well.

Two dozen farmers reported their pigs and cows fed GM corn became sterile, 71 shepherds said 25% of their sheep fed Bt cotton plants died, and other reports showed the same effects on cows, chickens, water buffaloes and horses. After GM soy was introduced in the UK, allergies from the product skyrocketed by 50%, and in the US in the 1980s, a GM food supplement killed dozens and left five to ten thousand others sick or disabled.

Rats fed genetically engineered Calgene Flavr-Savr tomatoes (developed to look fresh for weeks) for 28 days got bleeding stomachs (stomach lesions) and seven died and were replaced in the study.

Rats fed Monsanto 863 Bt corn for 90 days developed multiple reactions typically found in response to allergies, infections, toxins, diseases like cancer, anemia and blood pressure problems. Their blood cells, livers and kidneys showed significant changes indicative of disease.

Mice fed either GM potatoes engineered to produce Bt- toxin or natural potatoes containing the toxin had intestinal damage. Both varieties created abnormal and excessive cell growth in the lower intestine. The equivalent human damage might cause incontinence or flu-like symptoms and could be pre-cancerous. The study disproved the contention that digestion destroys Bt-toxin and is not biologically active in mammals.

Workers in India handling Bt cotton while picking, loading, weighing and separating the fiber from seeds developed allergies. They began with “mild to severe itching,” then redness and swelling, followed by skin eruptions. These symptoms affected their skin, eyes (got red and swollen with excessive tearing) and upper respiratory tract causing nasal discharge and sneezing. In some cases, hospitalization was required. At one cotton gin factory, workers take antihistamines daily.

Sheep grazing on Bt cotton developed “unusual systems” before dying “mysteriously.” Reports from four Indian villages revealed 25% of them died within a week. Post mortems indicated a toxic reaction. The study raises questions about cottonseed oil safety and human health for people who eat meat from animals fed GM cotton. It’s crucial to understand that what animals eat, so do people.

Nearly all 100 Filipinos living adjacent to a Bt corn field became ill. Their symptoms appeared when the crop was producing airborne pollen and was apparently inhaled. Doing it produced headaches, dizziness, extreme stomach pain, vomiting, chest pains, fever, and allergies plus respiratory, intestinal and skin reactions. Blood tests conducted on 39 victims showed an antibody response to Bt-toxin suggesting it was the cause. Four other villages experienced the same problems that also resulted in several animal deaths.

Iowa farmers reported a conception rate drop of from 80% to 20% among sows (female pigs) fed GM corn. Most animals also had false pregnancies, some delivered bags of water and others stopped menstruating. Male pigs were also affected as well as cows and bulls. They became sterile and all were fed GM corn.

German farmer Gottfried Glockner grew GM corn and fed it to his cows. Twelve subsequently died from the Bt 176 variety, and other cows had to be destroyed due to a “mysterious” illness. The corn plots were field trials for Ag biotech giant Syngenta that later took the product off the market with no admission of fault.

Mice fed Monsanto Roundup Ready soybeans developed significant liver cell changes indicating a dramatic general metabolism increase. Symptoms included irregularly shaped nuclei and nucleoli, and an increased number of nuclear pores and other changes. It’s thought this resulted from exposure to a toxin, and most symptoms disappeared when Roundup Ready was removed from the diet.

Mice fed Roundup Ready had pancreas problems, heavier livers and unexplained testicular cell changes. The Monsanto product also produced cell metabolism changes in rabbit organs, and most offspring of rats on this diet died within three weeks.

The death rate for chickens fed GM Liberty Link corn for 42 days doubled. They also experienced less weight gain, and their food intake was erratic.

In the mid-1990s, Australian scientists discovered that GM peas generated an allergic-type inflammatory response in mice in contrast to the natural protein that had no adverse effect. Commercialization of the product was cancelled because of fear humans might have the same reaction.

When given a choice, animals avoid GM foods. This was learned by observing a flock of geese that annually visit an Illinois pond and feed on soybeans from an adjacent farm. After half the acreage had GM crops, the geese ate only from the non-GMO side. Another observation showed 40 deer ate organic soybeans from one field but shunned the GMO kind across the road. The same thing happened with GM corn.

All type GM foods, not just crops, carry risks. Milk, for example, from cows injected with Monsanto’s bovine growth hormone (rbGH), has much higher levels of the hormone IGF-1 that risks breast, prostate, colon, lung and other cancers. The milk also has lower nutritional value. GM food additives also pose health risks, and their use has proliferated in processed foods.

What’s happened to our soil?

Industrialised farming methods and the overuse of chemical fertilisers has left the soil barren. The microbiome of the soil has a direct impact on the quality of our food. Modern farming methods include over tilling and no mulching – both strips the soil of nutrients.

What’s happened to our water?

Mining, the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers and effluent pollution which filters into our water system and then the subsequent ‘cleaning methods’ of our waters has made it toxic for human consumption and growing food. In my opinion, if you ask any doctor what’s one of the most common symptoms they see today its UTI’s. Why? Again, in my opinion, because our kidneys cannot cope with detoxing of all the harmful toxins we are consuming.

What can we do?

  1. Grow your own food
  2. Support small organic/permaculture farmers
  3. Eat free range, organic, hormone-free meat
  4. Eat less processed and packaged foods. Look at the labels to make sure there are no GMO’s
  5. Find a clean source of commercial drinking water and install decent filters in your home


We need your help

Pigs ‘n’ Paws is a registered NPC– they take in un-wanted, abused and abandoned pet pigs and give them sanctuary, allowing them to live as natural lives as possible.

They have recently been asked to move from where they had the sanctuary but luckily a generous supporter has offered a permanent lease on a smallholding in Pretoria. However, there is a lot they need before they can move in at the end of April.

The plot is run down. New fencing needs to be installed. The house is unlivable and needs roofing, electricity and plumbing. All the pig camps need to be built and they require assistance with the moving of 250 pigs. Quite a daunting task.


The owner, Leslie’s life is devoted to the Sanctuary and she works a full time job to just to keep it going. Her salary goes into the feeding, vet care and upkeep of the animals in her care but it is never enough. She is in constant need for a cheaper source of feed, for free vegetables and fruit for donations towards vet bills, anything that will allow her to keep on doing the amazing work she is doing.

There are various ways that companies and individuals can assist:

  1. You can become a sponsor by making a cash donation directly into their bank account and will be mentioned in all their marketing material as a sponsor, should you wish.
  2. You can donate building materials, corrugated iron, bricks, shade cloth, pallets, fencing, electric fencing, solar accessories.
  3. You can donate blankets, straw for bedding and breakfast in bed, fruit, vegetables, bread, oats hay, all welcomed.
  4. You can donate all your unwanted items, which they can resell in their second hand store in order to further raise funds.
  5. If you have access to a large truck which can be used to safely transport animals that would be a huge help.
  6. And YOU. Volunteer your time and assist in the moving and renovating of the new premises. Spend time with the pigs and belly rub to your heart’s content. Come and experience the pigs.


Account details:

Pigs ‘n’ Paws

Standard Bank South Africa

Northgate Branch

Branch Code 001106

Current Account

Account No. 301 134 537.

If you are able to assist in any of the above ways, please contact Gillian at terramadresouthafrica@gmail.com

Thank you in advance x

Grow your own food forest


The idea of forest gardens (food forests) was first articulated by Robert A. de J. Hart in his book “Forest Gardening” and subsequently became one of the key concepts in permaculture.

A permaculture forest garden mimics the architecture and beneficial relationships of a natural plant/animal community that occurs in that climate. Food forests are not “natural”, but are designed and managed ecosystems that are very rich in biodiversity and productivity.
At our new demonstration site, the food forest will be designed to meet several goals that are universal, and that are specific to us:

  • to produce food for ourselves
  • to produce indigenous forage and serve as habitat for beneficial insects, pollinators, chickens, goats and birds
  • to create a wildlife habitat
  • to provide nourishment for our bodies through herbal teas and concoctions
  • to create beauty and sense of well being
  • to create shade and increase ambient humidity in hot dry climate of Johannesburg
  • to mitigate climate change via water wise gardening
  • to create a self sustaining food forest with its own micro climate
  • to create an additional revenue source

What you will learn:

  • How to analyse soil and correct your growing medium
  • The various ways to make soil
  • How to plan and design your food forest
  • How to work with factors and zones
  • Working with swales and guilds
  • How to plan what to plant

Where: 91/3 Northfolk Road, Carlsworld, A.H, Midrand

How much: R500 (Includes beverages, a light lunch and notes)

Payment will confirm booking:

Terra Madre SA (Pty) Ltd
Bank: FNB
Account no:62473027764
Branch no: 261649
Cheque account
Email proof of payment to terramadresouthafrica@gmail.com with reference Food Forest and your name.