fair exchange and knowledge sharing
While much of our knowledge is derived through western methods (books, other publications and academic research) we also learn a lot about the plants from the local people of the Agter Pakhuis – the descendants of Bushmen and Khoi people, and we are very conscious, always, of the need to balance this benefit with fair exchange. Some of the things we do include:
- Training local people on how to use the plants to make their own products for selling, and assisting them in getting these businesses going. We also provide practical support where needed – e.g. designing and sourcing packaging, taking gas to the mountain village of Heuningvlei for their essential oil distiller.
- Going on regular walks in which we exchange knowledge
- Hosting workshops with local children and setting activities to help keep plant knowledge alive in the younger generation.
- Hosting workshops where local people can interact with knowledgeable people from elsewhere – e.g. a food foraging workshop conducted in 2016 with a team from the University of Cape Town.
- Where plant material is purchased (e.g. buchu is sourced in Heuningvlei), paying generously and above market value.
- Freely dispensing products made from local plants to people living on De Pakhuys farm, where we live, when there is an injury or illness with which the products may assist.