Why do we plant what we do in our personal gardens? It turns out it’s driven by a complicated mix of personal philosophy and social posturing, which sometimes are at odds. And, it turns out, in South Africa and many other countries, we don’t even plant our own gardens. This is done by “unskilled” and … Continue reading How Does Your Garden Grow? Stories from South African Gardeners
Small Civic-Led Indigenous Planting Schemes: Simply Feel Good Stuff or a Real Ecological Contribution?
“Because then it becomes a beautiful self-driven machine. Nature driving people driving nature. Where the word is spread and the pride is shared and spread and it spills over (in the community). Everyone wants to feel proud of something that is on their doorstep“. —Kelvin Cochrane, baker and community-activist, Bottom Road Sanctuary, Cape Town This … Continue reading Small Civic-Led Indigenous Planting Schemes: Simply Feel Good Stuff or a Real Ecological Contribution?
Spurred on by some students who asked me earlier in the year what sort of personal activism I pursue in relation to my views around the importance of forwarding and preserving functioning urban ecologies, I decided to embark on a bit of guerilla gardening in the form of a seed bombing exercise. In addition to … Continue reading Driving Social and Ecological Change: My Experiment with Guerilla Gardening
Graffiti, revered and loathed by turn, provides insights into societal attitudes and perceptions. In this short photo essay I present nature-related graffiti from the City of Cape Town. Cape Town still bares the hallmarks of apartheid with significant race-based development and wealth discrepancies. It is situated in the middle of a global biodiversity hotspot. And, … Continue reading What Does Urban Nature-Related Graffiti Tell Us? A Photo Essay from the City of Cape Town
I have three jobs—lecturer, facilitator of academic research, and mother of two nature-engaged kids. My three experiences lead me to think we have a core problem in urban social-ecology: that we let our fealty to discipline-specific methods get in the way of true multidisciplinary work that is key to real understudying in urban social-ecological systems. … Continue reading Though There is Method, There is Madness In It: How Silos of Methods Impede Cross-Cutting Research
Its 11 o’clock on a Saturday night and my husband and I have just returned home from a dinner party. Driving home we encountered Chital deer (Axis axis) grazing outside the Table Mountain National Park boundary and right on the verge of a busy highway. These deer don’t belong here, and by here I mean … Continue reading What We Want and What We Don’t: Forging an Urban Nature that Works for Everyone