south africa's wonder plant

There is a little bush in the Eastern Cape ~ South Africa that has some amazing properties. Over the next few generations we will be exploring all the uses ~ from Carbon Sequestration to Food.

Carbon sequestration

One Spekboom plant can live up to 200 years and be divided thousands of times either by propagation or naturally as animals tear off branches when feeding. This one plant within two years can be used to cover 1 hectare of bare earth. The 1 hectare of Spekboom can sequester up to 10 tons of carbon per year with good rainfall and healthy soil.
Even in eroded or poor soil conditions with minimal rainfall it can achieve carbon sequestration of up to 4 tons per hectare.
When planted near cities or roadways it acts as a carbon scrub that grows exponentially.

where can it grow

Spekboom is very hardy and can grow in almost any climate. It can handle frost and snow, semi desert conditions, drought for 7 years or more and can be found at altitudes that most humans can handle unaided.
The plant is indigenous to South Africa and is most prolific in the Eastern Cape near Addo Elephant National Park.

Firebreaks

Spekboom is one of the best alternatives to creating fire breaks in sensitive areas. It form a solid wall of wet growth that cannot burn. It captures and dampens sparks that could potentially jump a break and its thick wet root structure does now allow fires to go underground or smolder through he break.
It creates a barrier for firefighters to retreat to for protections.
I can be grown incredibly cheaply once the initial plants are established along the break area.

Road safety

This is a very new concept that is still to be tested by our organisation.
Spekboom has been planted along many of the verges in the Eastern Cape to stabilise banks and green the roadsides.
While driving in thicket areas with 4x4 viehcles it was discovered that the Spekboom very quickly slows down the vehicle making it almost impassable. The Spekboom literally acts as a giant shock absorber.
We will be starting test sites in the next two years on gravel roadsides to test the theory and measure the impact that can be absorbed by the plant.

The Future

We aim to plant millions of Spekboom over the next few years. SATSA officially started the process by handing out 600 plants at their annual conference and have committed to planting another 5 000 parent plants that cuttings can be taken from to plants millions more over the coming years.
You can be part of this process ~ email us for more information ~ spekboom@indigenous.org.za

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