Categories
succulent sustainability

Spekboom update

A few months back we posted a story about spekboom and its amazing carbon-soaking potential (How cool is spekboom?).  Since then we’ve noticed it sprouting up all over the place.

  • In an ad campaign for Spec-Savers where they promise to plant over 4000 spekboom trees as part of a sub-tropical thicket rehabilation project in Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape (https://www.specsavers.co.za/social.aspx).
  • The wine industry has also bought into the benefits of spekboom and Columbit has launched a project where they distribute small plants to vineyards around the Cape (https://www.wineland.co.za/200902-spekboom.php3).
  • There were features on spekboom in episodes of 50/50 and Fokus.
  • Lastly, there is a Facebook group, Spekboom Carbon and Poverty Alleviation Project, which is actively growing and distributing spekboom plants by obtaining sponsorships that enables them “to provide Spekboom cuttings to, and pay impoverished citizens to plant spekboom in rural communities such as Barrydale in the Western Cape, South Africa.”  Join the group at https://tinyurl.com/spekboom

If anyone in Durban is looking for spekboom plants, I can supply cuttings and they are really easy to grow.

Pic from the Spekboom Carbon and Poverty Alleviation Project.
Pic from the Spekboom Carbon and Poverty Alleviation Project.

Spreading the Spekboom love

So far, we’ve given cuttings to a farmer, a nursery-man, an eco-friendly neighbour and an NGO.

Spekboom cuttings in a jar.
Spekboom cuttings in a jar.
Categories
indigenous succulent

How cool is spekboom?

A recent study in the Eastern Cape has highlighted the fact that the humble spekboom (or ‘elephant’s food’ as it is also known) has an amazing ability to soak up CO2, equivalent to that of  sub-tropical forests. Findings suggest that up to four tons of carbon a year would be captured by each hectare. This is apparently making a lot of people excited about how much it could be worth on the carbon-trading market but I’m excited about how an indigenous South African plant could potentially be so valuable in turning back the tide of global warming.  Also, it raises the issue of what uses our other indigenous plants could have, that we have yet to discover.

And I’ve got it in my garden.  I currently have five plants, all grown from one cutting I took from my friend Em’s house in Salt Rock.  So, if anyone wants some (and lives in Durban), let me know and you can come and break off a branch.

Read up about it at the Mail & Guardian and Urban Sprout.

Update: Sasol may turn to Spekboom to capture carbon

Spekboom soaks up the CO2.
Spekboom soaks up the CO2.