This bag features an original artwork by Claire Rousell (@stories_of_seed) celebrating the rich diversity of indigenous food in Southern Africa.
R20 from the sale of each bag will go to one of the keepers of this knowledge, Lantoni Fakazile Mthethwa, also known as Gogo Qho of Mtubatuba in KwaZulu Natal. Gogo Qho is a farmer with a vast knowledge of medicinal and edible plants. Such knowledge, as well as the traditional varieties of plants that she grows, are being lost despite being increasingly important, as they are better adapted to the local weather and soil than imported varieties. And yet, in spite of the importance of Gogo Qho’s work, she is often without the financial resources to do the work she is so well versed in. The rest of the cost price of the bag is equally split between the crafters who design, sew and print the bags.
Often entirely overlooked on dumpsites and pavements, this humble plant is a nutritional powerhouse. Some varieties are indigenous to Southern Africa and others to Central America. Its leaves can be eaten raw in salad or as imifino (mixed cooked leaves). The seeds are an ancient grain that has been cultivated for around 8000 years. They can be sprouted, eaten as a porridge or toasted and sprinkled as a topping. It is an awesome protein/carbohydrate source, and full of vitamins and minerals. It grows prolifically in poor soils with little water, over time making degraded areas more tolerable for less hardy plants. It is a long time friend of highveld soils and long may it continue to adapt as the climate changes.