Oh, the places you’ll grow

The incredible benefits of Spekboom 

One of my favourite things about working and experimenting with fresh produce and ingredients is getting to learn more about them and their natural properties. It’s always fascinating how versatile mother earth’s treasures can be, both in and out of the kitchen. One of the most impressive plants I’ve come across has to be spekboom (proudly South African!) and its variety of uses for everything from cooking to efforts in sustainability. By now, we’re all well aware of this miraculous plant’s abilities, but in the spirit of Earth Day, let’s give the spekboom some more time in the sun.

Goodbye Greenhouse Gas

Amazingly, this succulent, which can live up to 200 years old, can help combat air pollution thanks to its ability to absorb 8.5 tons of carbon per hectare of spekboom each year, equivalent to the yearly mileage of the average car. As a viable carbon sequestrator, initiatives involving spekboom are becoming more and more popular as a way to try and take care of our Earth.

It’s easy to grow

If you’re not quite a green thumb and can’t manage to keep a plant alive for more than a day then you’ll be thrilled to learn spekboom is also one of the least demanding plants there are, and doesn’t even need formal planting. You can just break a piece off, stick it in the ground and voila, with some sun and water a new plant should sprout.

Water wise all the way

This karoo-native plant tough plant can survive on as little as 250 – 350ml of water per year, making it drought resistant and able to thrive in harsh conditions wherever it’s planted.

It is high in nutrients – and tasty!

Spekboom is not only edible, it’s also high in nutrients like Vitamin C, and a perfect addition to several dishes. The zesty taste really brings a salad to life, and we serve it with our hydration course at Klein JAN. If you enjoy the taste of spekboom you’re in good company, it’s also a firm favourite with elephants, buck and rhino in the wild.

Plant a spekboom this Earth Day

De Grendel Wines has joined forces with ReSpek Nature this World Earth Day – 22 April – to help raise awareness for a vital environmental cause, the off-setting carbon emissions. For the month of April shoppers checking out from www.degrendel.co.za can add R10 to their order to sponsor a spekboom being planted in the Karoo. For every plant sponsored De Grendel will match it with another.

Every plant donated is an entry into a lucky draw, where one lucky online shopper in April will win a mixed case of De Grendel wines valued at R1 500.

ReSpek Nature will be planting the spekboom as part of the Giant Flag initiative in the Camdeboo area near Graaff Reinet. The project aims to construct a massive South African flag, the size of 66 soccer fields and visible from space, from thousands of indigenous succulents.