Monthly archives "April 2011"

I am grateful

Gratitude is a key to happiness. When we are more grateful, we are happier. Gratitude is also much like love. It’s easy to apply conditionally – to be grateful for wonderful food, or wonderful people and experiences. It’s not so easy to apply unconditionally. How can we be grateful when people and experiences don’t seem so wonderful?

The key seems to be practising gratitude directed at these very things that don’t seem so wonderful. So that soon, gratitude is not just being grateful for something pleasant, but a permanent experience. Instead of “I am grateful for”, it becomes just “I am grateful”.

Holiday madness and a new collection point
After all the long weekends, with many of our suppliers taking a break (not to mention our customers) there’s still one more long weekend to go, but this week we’re almost back to normal with most of our suppliers back from their holidays, and most of our collection points open again.

We also have a new collection point opening, in Noordhoek.

Drift Packhouse
Drift Farm have been making some videos about their farm recently. Last time we featured their wind turbine, and this week we’ll feature their video providing a glimpse into their packhouse. You can view it here.

Have a wonderful week,
Ian and the Ethical team

To order, head on over to www.ethical.org.za

Drift Packhouse

In this video Drift farm provide a glimpse into their packhouse as well as the packaging they use.

Rollon Mother Nature

Some wonderful news this week from Bolivia, where the country that stood up for strictest cuts to greenhouse gasses, being widely pilloried by the industrial world, is drafting legislation to enshrine the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans.

Bolivia plans to enshrine eleven rights for nature, including the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.

In a media that rushes from disaster to disaster, news such as this has received little coverage. It may take years for the legal framework to catch up with the ramifications, but it’s tremendously exciting to see a country take such a progressive step.

Wind turbine in action
While the not-so-progressive debate around nuclear power goes on, inflamed by the tragedy in Japan and a number of prominent green figures switching viewpoints and throwing their weight behind nuclear power, it’s good to see some are just going ahead and doing the right thing.

In this week’s video, one of our suppliers, The Drift, have installed a new wind turbine, and its resulted in dramatic cuts to their electricity bill. Click here to view the video.

It wasn’t guinea fowl causing havoc this time, but Drift this week had much of their carrot and beetroot crop destroyed by porcupines. I’m sure the porcupines have come from far afield to try Drift’s unusual candy-striped beetroot and purple dragon carrots!

Deodorants
Our deodorant offering has been a bit whiffy recently with supplier shortages, so we’re very happy to be offering two of Victorian Garden’s rollon deodorants. Victorian Garden products are made in South Africa, and focus on using as near 100% certified organic and natural ingredients as possible. We’re also offering a day cream, a night cream, a shower gel and a foaming gel cleanser. We’re planning on expanding our offering of their range, so if you have any favourites or requests please let us know.

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

To order, head on over to www.ethical.org.za.

The Drift’s new wind turbine

One of our suppliers, Drift, have just installed a new wind turbine on their farm, resulting in a drastic decrease in their energy bill. In this video, Drift’s Sales and Marketing manager Jason Snell talks about the device.

Spreading the Love

There’s a saying that thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. We live in a society that tells us there is scarcity, that we have to hold on, even to take from others to survive and thrive.

But happiness does not decrease by being shared – it increases.

What about food? We’re told that there’s not enough food for all, and that we need corporations to genetically modify and patent our food so that they will grow enough for everyone. What rubbish!

There is enough food, and enough capacity to grow much more if we use our open spaces. Even small gardens can support a tree that grows far more than a household can use, and the only thing to do in that case is share with your neighbours and community.

Growing up we had a large guava tree in the garden, and there were always far too many guavas to know what to do with. As a child I remember making jam, and even selling some in a local shop. I’m amazed looking back that the shop took it, what with one jar being light pink, near-raw, mush, and the next being scarlett overcooked mush.

It gave me a great appreciation for those who can make good food, something I’ve never quite mastered.

It also meant I always expect guavas to be free and abundant in season, so I’ve never quite got my head around buying them. If I still lived with a guava tree, I wouldn’t have to!

Seeds
For those of you not just relying on an old tree, but actively growing your own food, we have new stock of Sandveld certified organic seeds. The seed business is a monopoly, and mostly controlled by the biotech companies, so we’re very happy to offer local and organic seeds from two of our organic farms, Sandveld and Camphill. There’s a huge and constantly increasing variety, so if there’s something you’re looking for in particular, let us know, and we’ll see if we can get it.

New seeds include Fordhoek Giant swiss chard, sweet basil, Great Lakes lettuce, Italian parsley, red onion, Ultra butter and Cos lettuces, and broccoli.

Back in stock we have Nantes carrots, Detroit beetroot, Bella Rosa and Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes, Carentan leek, rocket, Snowball cauliflower and jumbo green pepper.

Holiday availability
With all the holidays in April, some of our suppliers have been taking a well-earned break, and you’ll notice that a few of the regulars aren’t there. But with the change of season into autumn there are some returnees, including my one of my favourites, satsumas, from Eikenbosch, as well as a variety of new heirloom lettuces from Drift farm.

Price increases
We’ve held the price of the mixes boxes stable for a number of years, but this week, rather than shrink the boxes, we’ve finally had to put the price up. The family box now costs R133, and the small box R85.

The boxes offer superb value. Ordering all the items in the family box separately would last week have cost R151, and the small box R100, so there are substantial savings from ordering the mixed boxes.

Each week you can see what’s in the boxes by clicking on the product name and “More info” – by Sunday night the forecast is normally quite accurate, although they’re always liable to last minute changes if the goats break free, or the truck breaks down!

With the petrol price skyrocketing, and the new financial year, there are unfortunately a number of suppliers increasing their prices which we’ve had to pass on, but with our model of ordering on demand and delivering to your door from our warehouse, our prices are good value.

Talk to me
Are you experiencing any problems with our service? A number of people have tracked me down in desperation with unresolved issues – if this has happened to you, and you haven’t been as industrious as some in hunting me down, my apologies! If you’d like to contact me directly about any issue, I can be reached at ian@ethical.org.za

Have a lovely week,
Ian and the Ethical team

To order, head on over to www.ethical.org.za