This year the Indigenous Plant Fair returns to its roots at the KZN Botanic Gardens in Pietermaritzburg. Since those early days (2004), the Fair has grown to include food plants as well as hundreds of indigenous plants and, in 2012, to embrace low-carbon living by showcasing sustainable solutions too.
Nowadays SLIP, as the Sustainable Living and Indigenous Plant Fair has become known, provides an opportunity for the public to explore indigenous gardening, conservation, local organic food, alternate energy, water harvesting and other off the grid options all in one stop. The Botanic Gardens provides a perfect backdrop – lovely venues for interesting speakers, eco-films and workshops, shade for stall holders, lawns for picnics and eco-friendly activity areas for the kids.
The range of speakers has grown to include some absolutely fascinating topics. Charismatic Sinegugu Zukulu, will discuss Medicinal and Charm Plants of Pondoland and also for plant enthusiasts, Kate Fennell will do two fascinating presentations – one on The Language of Flowers and another on designing for climate change adaptations. Well known Geoff Nichols will talk about a new passion – Roof Gardening. The full ‘Edu-tainment’ Programme is downloadable off our website here.
With over 400 different trees, shrubs and ground covers for sale you are certain to find just what you need. Looking for something in particular? Indigenous & edible plants will be arranged alphabetically to make your hunt that much simpler. Local experts, Andrew James, Alex March and Rob Gait will be on hand to give you advice on gardening in KZN. Even under difficult conditions; frost, shade or drought, they will find the right plant for your situation.
We’ve hand-picked some of SA’s most respected authors and activists, practitioners and most importantly, real people to be represented on our Fundi’s Forum giving real advice on how to convert your home and garden with sustainable and cost saving designs. Their books will be on sale at the Fundi’s Forum Tent and they will be happy to sign these for you.
On the sustainability front, Marita Nel, who designed the Wattled Crane Nursery for the KZN Crane Foundation in Nottingham Road, will talk about eco-friendly architectural design principles and Pierre Basson will take a closer look at renewable energy sources available around us. Elma Pollard, editor of Green Times, will do a presentation on green certification for businesses; the Green Bishop, Geoff Davies, will talk about Eco-Congregations and Rob Symons with share his considerable knowledge on Organic Farming. Sarah Allen will talk about her experiences (trials, tribulations and solutions) of going off-grid.
Learn about gardening with grey water, how to save seed, build rammed earth walls or to make your own yoghurt. Stock up on vegetable seedlings and fruit trees to get your own good food garden growing or take home all the info (and equipment) you need to get start your off grid journey. Numerous stallholders will showcase biogas, solar pool heating, solar lighting, water filtration systems, wind and turbines and heat pumps.
Fracking is a hot topic – there will be a number of films shown on the subject and Francois Du Toit, representing the Sustainable Alternatives to Fracking and Exploration Alliance, will do a presentation on Fracking in the Drakensberg. Also with a conservation focus,enjoy presentations by Simon Joubert on Butterflies and the ever entertaining Pat McKrill on Snakes and DUCT on River Health. Thirty environmental documentaries will be shown at the Film Festival throughout the weekend on a multitude of topics from soil to water, oil and agriculture.
A Schools Eco Day will be held on Friday 26 April and is intended to be a fun filled, action packed day with hands-on environmental activities, sustainability displays, fundi-forum, specialist talks and more! Schools are invited to exhibit their sustainability projects with prizes for the best project displays! The day will conclude with the WESSA Eco-school Awards Ceremony in the afternoon.
This year the Midlands Indigenous Open Gardens will take place on the same weekend (and preceding weekend) so out of town visitors can enjoy both events on one trip and learn a little about local flora too.
Altogether a fascinating line up and a weekend not to be missed for anyone interested in living lightly on our planet, in harmony with other creatures. SLIP aims to drive the development of a local green economy by encouraging the community to implement planet friendly lifestyle changes.
Click here for a complete programme of events, presentations, workshops and stallholders.
Dates: 25-28 April 2013
Venue: KZN Botanic Garden, 2 Zwartkops Road, Prestbury, Pietermaritzburg
Entrance: Free access to the Garden for the duration of SLIP
Contact: Karen Zunckel 083 235 8628