"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

Sustainable Living in South Africa....

Lisa Cutforth - Sunday, November 15, 2009

...can we learn something?

I just got back from a wonderful visit to South Africa, and I so enjoyed hanging out with my father (David Alcock) and checking out his latest renewable energy and rural development projects.

Our first stop was the sustainable living organic gardening projects, which he has been involved in for a number of years.  My father builds and installs rampumps in rural areas, so that the villagers don't have to walk for miles to get water (a rampump is a clever little pump that uses gravity and pressure to pump water up hill from a stream or river).   

It was wonderful to see the rampumps in use, the water is pumped into big plastic tanks (rudimentary reservoirs) and this water is then used to irrigate large gardens in which gorgeous fresh organic vegetables are grown.  Enough vegetables are grown to feed surrounding families and often extra is available to sell.  The hard part is getting the extra produce to market though, the areas are quite remote, so transport is a challenging obstacle. 

It is exciting to see the innovation and commitment of all involved and how much has been achieved over the years, small changes that have made a big difference to some.

Another of my fathers projects is Biogas, which I just think is ingenious- using "fart gas" for fuel!  He installs big methane "digesters" which he diverts sewerage pipes to, so that collect faeces which releases methane gas, this methane gas can then be used for fuel.  I have watched how small little rural communities are able to use this fuel to then cook with, a free energy source.  His latest project has now moved into suburban areas.  Here is a picture of him standing proudly on a digester he has installed in someone's backyard.  The way of the future!  Free energy!

Some of his other projects include grey water recycling and making fertilizer at the sewerage works.  When my father is around, nothing is wasted!!!

It was amazing to see how little people can survive on, and I was really encouraged to see how much is possible with a few resources, imagine how much we could achieve with the resources we have at our disposal!

Recent Posts


the power to choose gluten intolerance obesity cooking class in brisbane reasons to eat foods in season energy health with 10 % effort healthy cooking demonstration calorie controlled diet diet diary comfort eating allergies heart disease empty your mind christmas mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo soft drink and behavior problems image health one step at a time cholesterol lowering diet brain health 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart skip meals low calorie meal plan benefits of sleeping fresh health for busy people diet diary of a nutritionist Lactose intolerance 10 % principle to know and not do is not yet to know addicted to chocolate natural alternatives to drugs love food mood support your body skipping meals fun sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas low cholesterol are frozen veggies any good herbal toothpaste delicious new year's resolutions muffins hunger and stress healthy cooking parties Nina Simone Egg allergy leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut what is a good breakfast homocysteine ability to respond sugar and add how to be happy sensitivity to milk cooking with allergies relax natural toothpaste avoiding a choice healthy shopping list comfort foods feels good soft drink and behaviour problems success and you fatigue healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options Nutritional Therapist healthy fast food, healthy take away have more energy love, loneliness how to check your breasts ways to improve prostate health celebrate life pop-eye and spinach salad heart foundation tick explained is sugar bad happiness workshop which is better for you butter or margarine nutritious cooking making time to relax Alan Pease trans fats fruit life choices seasonal quick and tasty recipes improve your memory overindulge quick eating solutions what is movember nutrition weight food intolerances life lessons control getting fit dangers of multitasking while you eat 7 steps to detox high cholesterol time management and healthy living maintain a healthy weight, underweight the tummy beast libido dance benefits to keeping a diet diary stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress how to love exercise cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia should I eat organic veggies organic vegetables foods in season, seasonal recipes real food food sensitivities recipes for allergies how to say no ask my doctor benefits of strength training, why you should strength train fresh start food allergies Cancer soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity immune system sugar and adhd strength indigestion recipies I don't get hungry immune boosting tips fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys low calorie diet drugfree alternatives best exercise is chocolate bad for me fussy eaters Add new tag blood pressure do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources breast cancer awareness assertiveness weightloss music quick recipes four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication taking responsibility healthy shopping dancing nutritionists diet diary comfort pig healthy cooking party increasing energy reducing coffee Happiness nutritionist in brisbane childrens lunch boxes how to get more of exercise fruit and vegetable shortage recipe detox breast cancer prevention performance lunch what is healthy food taking a break sexy salad I've Got Life motivation how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results breakfast Sensational how to avoid injury during exercise muscle wasting alzheimers go for 2 and 5 wrong type of exercise, exercise and results Lisa's Diary Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah health pioneers memory focus health weight loss gift simple 7 day detox plan quizz have fun in the kitchen nutritious Laughter and stress sexy salads keep focused life make stress work for you corporate wellness great second hand books relationship with food prostate cancer nutritionist anxiety happiness course are grains healthy