Monthly archives "February 2013"

Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm

We’ve been offering Bloublommetjieskloof products since we started in 2005.

Bloublommetjieskloof was started in the 60’s by Jeanne Malherbe, a single woman in a conservative and male-dominated farming environment, and quickly became well-known in Cape Town organic circles. It’s still going strong under farmer Wendy, and is now certified biodynamic by Demeter.

Organic certification is mostly exclusionary (prohibited chemical pesticides and so on), while biodynamic farming requires much more, and is always organic by default.

Based on the anthroposophical principles of Rudolf Steiner (also responsible for Waldorf Schools), it sees the farm as an organism with its own individuality that needs to be nurtured to get the best results. Fermented herbal and mineral preparations are used as compost additives and field sprays, and an astronomical sowing and planting calendar is used.

It’s a diverse farm, providing everything from fresh vegetables, herbs, eggs and dairy to body and cleaning products, with most of the ingredients grown on the farm.

There’s lots of fresh produce available from other suppliers too this week, including watermelons, sweetcorn, purple beans and cucumber, but with the first signs of autumn leaves, the summer harvest won’t be around for too much longer.

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team

Go to to place your order before Tuesday 2pm, and remember that you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter

Claudius and Valentine

This week is Valentine’s Day, where, in one version at least, we remember the day named after the priest Valentine. Roman Emperor Claudius believed young men were less keen to sacrifice themselves in the Roman legions if they were married, and outlawed the practice. But the disobedient Valentine continued to perform marriages in secret, but was put to death, though immortalised in memory in the process.

Valentine supposedly fell in love with a young girl while in prison, believed to be the jailor’s daughter. Before he was executed he wrote her a letter signed ‘From your Valentine,’ an expression still in use today. Though I think it’s much more helpful to follow Valentine’s example and sign your real name.

Another Roman ritual, less popular today, involved a feast on February 14 to honour Juno, the queen of Roman gods and goddesses, and the goddess of women and marriage. The following day a priest would sacrifice a dog and a goat, and boys would slice the hide up, dipping the strips in the sacrificial blood. They’d then roam the streets, gently slapping women with the animal hides.

Being slapped by a bloody hide was seen as a great honour, and believed to confer fertility. Later, all the lucky young maidens would place their name in a big urn. Bachelors in the city would each then take a name out of the urn, and became paired with the girl for the rest of the year.

One ritual I enjoy a little more is giving and receiving (or perhaps just eating) chocolate. Gayleen’s Decadence have produced a limited edition range of heart-shaped Valentine’s chocolates, and there are also chocolate delights from Honest Chocolate, Earthshine and Montezuma.

Whether you’re after chocolate, spankings by animal hide or just good food, I wish you a week filled with love for all you encounter.

Go to to place your order before Tuesday 2pm, and remember that you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

Blue Sky Olive Farm

Liz Eglington’s Blue Sky is an organic olive farm in the Klein Karoo. Liz has farmed organically since day one, and certified in 2001. The Klein Karoo is quite different to the usual Mediterranean olive environment and Liz has been a pioneer in the area, and helped start the Klein Karoo Organic Initiative, with up to 60 member farms sharing skills and information.

There are new Blue Sky olive products available this week, including a smoked olive tapenade to add to the regular basil and chilli varieties. Tapenade is essentially a pureed or finely chopped olive dish, often eaten as an hors d’œuvre or spread on bread, or in my case, oatcakes.

There are also smoked olives, and dried Manzanilla and Mission olives to add to the mix, while Liz’s olive mixes, olive marmalade, olive leaf tea, olive chutney and popular olive oil are all still available.

Website Tip
We aim to share as much information as possible about our offerings, and you can click on the “More Info” button to see detailed product information, including ingredients, certification details and best-by dates.

Go to to place your order before Tuesday 2pm, and remember that you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team