Thanks to our partner, Hlokomela, all of our 22 Permaculture Explorers now have spekboom trees growing in their gardens.
Spekboom is an indigenous tree that is called “The Wonder Plant”.
1) It has enormous carbon-storing capabilities!
Carbon dioxide is captured and prevented from entering the atmosphere by the Spekboom – in other words less pollution. It cleans the air better than any other plant on the planet.
2) It is fire-resistant and drought-resistant!
Spekboom doesn’t burn, making it a hardy plant to withstand veld fires and great material for firebreak hedges. What makes it even more exceptional is that it can withstand drought too – mainly due to its succulent nature, but also due to it’s unique ability to ‘shift gears’.
3) We can eat it!
The leaves are edible and taste a bit sour, a lemon-type taste, perfect to use in salads. It’s high in Vitamin C as well manganese, cobalt and especially magnesium,and also contains large quantities of the microelements iodine and selenium.
4) Medicinal properties: The leaves are used to quench thirst; sucking a leaf is used to treat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke. Crushed leaves can be rubbed on blisters and corns on the feet to provide relief. The leaves are chewed as a treatment for sore throat and mouth infections.
This is our first “plant experiment”, teaching the women how to grow things that are unfamiliar to them but have many beneficial properties. Thank you so much Christine du Preez, M.J.du Preez and Gavin te Brake of Hlokomela for your generous contribution to our project. Viva Spekboom!