Eco-farm project mindful, alternate way of living

FOR everyone who loves to get out there and work with soil, sun and water to grow and to green – Hogsback has always been a place to visit – a living nature's garden.

Gardening for aesthetic pleasure – so well evidenced by the many beautiful private Hogsback Gardens opened during October for the enjoyment of the public and gardening to eat – the oldest version of the green art – are just two of the many aspects of working with nature.

As anyone who has passionately laboured and cared for a patch of vegetables or a bed of roses will confirm – everyday a gardener learns something new.

And that is what is happening up on the mountain – working with nature rather than imposing on nature is the key to a whole new group of gardens slowly being established at Terrakhaya in Hogsback.

The name explains it all – Earth Home – a place where people can reconnect with nature, a place where permaculture design, holistic management and green building all come together to create a harmonious whole.

One of the well-known practitioners of Earth Harmony is development coordinator Tim Wigley, who, in the '80s, shocked at the damage he saw being done to the land by industrial farming methodologies, the use of agricultural chemicals and the dominating philosophy that underpins these processes, gave up his career, and started on the long path to developing a new way.

He spent the next 20 years establishing a highly advanced permaculture farming system on his farm Ikhwezui Lokusa, that has been an inspiration for gardeners, small farmers and proponents of natural agricultural methods, from all over the world who have visited and worked with his cooperative Earth Harmony Innovators to study his methods for implementation in their projects.

In South Africa Wigley's work has contributed to the establishment of a number of resilient and productive homesteads in the deep rural villages of the Eastern Cape.

Over the years, Wigley has offered workshops for those who would like to become a natural gardener but who don't know where to start – he has joined up with other natural practitioners in order to design landscapes in and around homes, villages and towns to grow gardens that are vibrant healthy and self-regenerating.

Wigley believes that it is when our decisions are inspired by a love of nature and a desire to be in-step with nature, then tools like permaculture become powerful and successful and provide another approach and solution to the interface between people and our earth.

A participant in one of these Earth Harmony workshops said: "I see now that natural farming is not just another technology, but is a way of life."

Wigley has been persuaded by Shane Eades of TerraKhaya to offer a comprehensive 10-day workshop from the October 18 to 27 that will deal with all the aspects of reconnecting with nature – the course is progressive and over the 10-day period, participants will be shown how to begin, how to carry on and how to successfully implement their new knowledge.

Course modules include design principles, water cycles, water harvesting and key-line principles, solar energy, "pests" and protection, compost making, seedling production and propagation, recycling and a host of other subjects that together will give a solid grounding that will allow participants to grow their own nature's garden.

For further information contact TerraKhaya at - or call Shane on 082- 897-7503.ý For all those who would like to find out more and visit a Permaculture Food Garden in the making, Shane at TerraKhaya would be delighted to show you around.

For those who would like to visit a Flower Garden contact the Hogsback Garden Club – call Lynn Johnston on (045)962-1192 to arrange a tour of the private Heritage Gardens of Hogsback which are opened for the enjoyment of all.

For more information on the Gardens of Hogsback visit http://hogsbackgardens.

For more information on Hogsback visit , and