The Olive Hill Land Group is a voluntary group made up of passionate Raphaeli parents, Permaculture specialists and gardeners who have the following vision for the new school property at Olive Hill:
- To see the entire school from buildings to gardens to water systems and wildlife and humans, as an interconnected system, each with its part to play in creating a wholesome educational and living experience.
- Create an environment for an enlivening learning experience from the multi-layered ecosystems with easy flow and movement, a sense of space but also magical areas and niches.
- Create a living learning environment with trees for climbing and water systems to learn from.
- Children to experience what living off the land is like by growing food and sharing the space in harmony with nature.
- Activate synergy and not require high energy input in the long term so that children learn and absorb the power of symbiosis.
- Bring life and biodiversity back to the land for all indigenous flora and fauna.
- Create the opportunity for multiple income streams from the land by growing food, carbon sequestration and the educational aspect of the design by sharing it with visitors.
- Work with renewable elements such as solar energy, wind energy, biodigesters, rainwater tanks.
- Focus on planting indigenous plants and trees plus plants that provide food, medicine or functionality for craft.
- Create water sinks and swales in the design of the landscape to capture the vital resource of water.
- Create a sheltered nurturing space by growing shelter belts on the perimeters to block out wind, noise and crime.
- For the environment to awaken a sense of wonder for all life and living systems.
The group meet at least once a term and have various active planting days. If you would like to get involved with design, implementation or donate time, labour, plants or tools then please be in touch with Rhian Berning on 073 232 5169.
Meet the Gardening Team
Avice Hindmarch is originally from Gauteng and has over 30 years of experience with principles and practice of biodynamic agriculture (Steiner principles), Permaculture design and working with water systems. She is a long-standing member of Anthroposophical Society with a special interest in art and the three-fold social order.
Jean Sparg heads up the local Botanical Society and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in indigenous plants and trees. Jean Sparg. After many years of hiking in our beautiful natural environment and caring for a small farm in Ladywood for 17 years, Jean found her passion for our indigenous plants and trees. There is a distressing lack of appreciation for our local trees, and the way in which new trees are planted. This is why she is delighted to be able, with the help of enthusiastic gardeners, to assist your school with establishing the trees on your land. Jean knows you will all help to care for them until they are big and happy.
Rhian Berning has project managed Permaculture and food growing projects at schools on the Cape Flats of Cape Town and applied the principles of Permaculture to her own homestead and vegetable garden. She has a deep love for our incredible indigenous plants and the biodiversity they bring as well as the beautiful relationship between children and nature.
Vernon Pendlebury has been working with holistic landscape design and implementation for 15 years and specialised tree care for 20 years. His deep connection with nature and observations of living systems and landscapes guides a natural flow of seeing the patterns in nature and how to work with them harmoniously. His skills are diverse, working as a landscaper, nurseryman, beekeeper, tree carer and handyman, as well as event management and waste management.
Philippa Mallac has been living with and working with Permaculture since 1998. Designing and implementing permaculture systems, food gardens and tree systems, and facilitating permaculture workshops and courses. Weaving a love for nature and natural environments, and the fulfilment of sustainably providing for ones needs into her to life and work. Learning through experience.
A ‘hands in the earth’ gardener, permaculturist, beekeeper and dedicated seed saver.
Simrha Gibbs, Odette Livni and Marica Barnard are passionate parents always willing to get stuck in and make the garden dreams happen on the ground with their wealth of Permaculture, gardening and playground design knowledge.
Tools wish list
- Irrigation pipe and fittings to water planted trees
- Weed eater (Edge trimmer)
- Watering cans for children
- Spades and forks (large and small)
- Rainwater tanks
- Picks and hoes
- Driftwood, rope for jungle gyms
- Shade cloth
Indigenous trees and shrubs wish list
We need lots and lots of pioneer species, Keurboom and Bitou, as well as the plans listed below: