Sunday 27 October 2019

Vaal River Overnight Kayak Tour

Last weekend we enjoyed our first official Paddle With Us - Vaal River Overnight Kayak Tour with six clients - three adults and three teens. The river came up a bit on the Saturday and fortunately stayed up on the Saturday and Sunday.

The difference in our paddlers from Day 1 to Day 2 was significant. By Day 2 they were blasting into the small rapids and handing their kayaks with significantly more confidence - I find this immensely rewarding to watch how they improve so quickly.

This really is a lovely section of river and we look forward to more of these monthly trips throughout summer. A few snaps from the weekend.

Lunch stop on One Tree Island

Camp shower at our pop-up private campsite on the river. Bliss!

Composting toilet at our pop-up private campsite. Cover with sawdust - no odour, no mess.

Building a garden for The Joburg International Flower Show

During this past week, I was involved with building a garden for The Johannesburg International Flower Show, a new event created to be South Africa's equivalent of the 'Chelsea Flower Show'. I teamed up with landscaper Danielle Day - The Garden Girl. We'd met last year through YOLO. I love her work and ours has been a great partnership.

Dan created our design for a kitchen courtyard garden - it is charming. What I love most about it is that you'll look at our garden and think, "This is awesome, I can do something like this in my courtyard / small garden space". And you can!

Dan had a clear plan for the week starting with the layout of the site on Monday and brick laying of the pathway and perimeter to installing our wall and washing line, the planting boxes, and then the planting and finishing touches.

What was really exciting is that we use my pre-production YOLO Concrete Mixer to mix the concrete to plant poles. The one challenge we'll have in the marketing of this unit is really around behaviour change. If you've mixed concrete in a wheelbarrow for 15 years, it will take a bit to change to using something that is neater, cleaner and more convenient purely because it is different.

Using the pre-production YOLO Concrete Mixer for stand building. We emptied a 40kg concrete premix bag into the YOLO and added water. The tap was downhill - about 15m from our stand. We rolled the YOLO up to where we needed it and poured the concrete into the holes for the poles. Job done.

Compost delivery - kindly sponsored for our show garden by Stanler Farms. This compost is so rich.

Paved walkway. We used bark chips in the gaps and for the rest of our flooring.
Composting plays a big role in any garden to improve soil quality and provide nutrients to plants. The theme of our garden is "From table to garden" because all of the organic materials that come out of your kitchen as a result of meal preparation can go straight into a YOLO Compost Tumbler to create compost that can go into your garden. Less trash going out of your home and more goodness going into your soil.

We've incorporated a medium-sized YOLO Compost Tumbler in our kitchen courtyard garden.  Organic material from your kitchen and home, like fruit and vegetable peeling, egg shells, egg trays, tea bags, and coffee grounds can go straight into your YOLO. And the compost, can go straight back into your garden.

Danielle has cleverly planned our four planting boxes with plants for Health & Immunity, Digestion, Skin and Mental Health. Take a look at the plants, see what you can identify. Which colour corresponds to each health theme? Elands Nursery kindly provided the strong and healthy plants that decorate our stand.
We've got garden judging on Monday afternoon and the show starts on Wednesday through to Sunday. It should be an interesting adventure this week.