Black Monday

The call went out for South Africans to wear black on Monday 30 October 2017 in protest against farm murders, and to stand in unity with the farmers who are the backbone of any country’s economy.  The mere fact that violence against farmers now has a name ‘farm murders’ shows how widespread and intense it is. I am wearing black today. I am wearing black for the farmers and for the victims of all violent crime. For the women and girls who are abused and raped and don’t have a voice. For the innocent children who are killed in gang violence. For everyone who in this diverse, beautiful county of ours who is a victim of senseless crime and violence.  My heart breaks for every wife who is now a widow and every child who has lost their father or even both parents due to violence. That is why I am wearing black.

Daily Prompt: Ancient

via Daily Prompt: Ancient

I planted some heirloom tomato seeds recently. I had no idea what “heirloom” meant when I was given the seed. Google informed me that they are seeds from plants that existed before the Second World War and are not hybrid seeds. That means that the seeds will give you a plant which is identical to the mother plant. That’s my interpretation. In days gone by, since ancient times, that’s how plants were grown. The farmer would plant a crop and then save the seeds until the next season and plant those seeds. Science and technology intervened and made all kinds of modifications to plants by crossing varieties and by genetically modifying fruits and vegetables.



One of my heirloom tomato plants



Take potatoes for instance. You plant potatoes by cutting off the “eyes” and planting them into the soil. Stems and leaves grow from these cuttings and produce a new crop of potatoes. The problem is that if you use cuttings from modified potatoes you get wonderful foliage but no potatoes under the soil. Seeds from certain hybrids also don’t germinate. It can be a very frustrating and disappointing exercise. The reason that plants are interfered with is that by crossing varieties there is a higher yield and also stronger and disease resistant plants. This is very good for the farmer who grows for the market and is reliant on his crops for an income. This is very good and can potentially solve the world hunger crisis. There are less and less people who grow their own crops. Its much easier to simply go to the store and buy fresh vegetables. No need to till the soil and water and fertilize and pull up weeds.


My apple tree planted from a seed


Its becoming more and more expensive to buy seeds. What has become of the tradition of neighbours exchanging seeds and cuttings and every household having their own garden and growing their own vegetables? Have we become so comfortable in our daily routines that we don’t want to be bothered with ancient traditions? Even the smallest flat (apartment) has space for a window box with a few vegetables. See this website for ideas for small areas. Square Foot Gardening in South Africa

Jeremiah 6:16 – This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.  But you said,’We will not walk in it’.


A brand new patty pan squash plant


Is that what the problem is with the world at this time? Aren’t people willing to follow the ancient paths? Do they just want to follow their own minds and their own hearts? We should be willing to learn from the ancient ways in order to survive the modern ways. We will be much less stressed and there will be less depression and suicide. Slow down and stand at the crossroads and look …