I have met Natalie Rowels so far only by email when requesting to buy some of our plastic seed trays, but she is an absolute amazing inspiration !
Natalie has grown and donated thousands of yellow wood trees to various schools and organisations which she grows in her back yard! She gave at least 1000 large saplings to a forest project started by the Cape Parrot Project in Hogsback in the Eastern Cape. The project is cultivating an indigenous forest in an attempt to provide a habitat for Africa’s most endangered parrots.
“The idea is to ensure a future food source for the Cape parrots, which are facing extinction with only about 800 flying wild in South Africa.”
Natalie Rowles- a true inspiration
How’s that for changing the world one housewife at a time!
Over the past 15 years Natalie Rowles has donated over 9000 saplings. From schools, municipalities to farms and forests. She is now using the loose Dela Plast tubes to grow these seeds in to make it even easier to transplant these saplings out. She collects fallen seeds from indigenous yellow-wood trees growing in her garden, then sows and transplants them into plant bags for donation.
The pluspoint regarding Yellow wood trees
A Yellowwood tree can live for between 250 and a thousand years. They also grow larger than most other hardwood trees. A small tree can offset over a tonne of CO2 over its lifetime, so the Yellowwood trees are in demand, but quite scarce and expensive to find. With the help of sponsors and volunteers, Natalie can provide an annual steady supply of these seeds from her own female tree at her home. She can go with volunteers after rainfalls and dig out hundreds of little saplings growing under the Yellowwood trees in Coedmore Road, as well as at the Stainbank Nature Reserve, where she can also obtain seeds of the Podocarpus Falcatus – the false Yellowwood – which is the same as the big tree at Hogsback and at Knysna Forest. These little saplings grow in rock hard soil on the verges and die off due to lack of water or being removed from verges as weeds. Natalie’s efforts to save them and grow them into trees is her solution for supplying schools and the public with more saplings nearly instantly.
“I believe the responsibility for ensuring that our environment is sustainable rests on the shoulders of each and every one of us. We need to help the government and local authorities make our environment more liveable for ourselves as well as for future generations,” says Natalie
Keeping your environmental footprint small already makes a difference!
Rowles, who is based near Pietermaritzburg, ensures her own environmental footprint stays small by growing a 100% organic food garden of vegetables, herbs, berries and other fruit, which saves petrol and the need to go shopping.
Rowles is dedicated to energy efficiency and using recycled water. She has built a simple solar geyser system to reduce electricity consumption at a local pre-primary school as well as two for her own use at home.
“I use swimming pool hoses to channel water from my bath and washing machine outlets to my lawn, where it soaks on a slope to my fruit trees.”
The costs of the projects come out of her own pocket, although she is always pleased to receive donations!
A true inspiration if ever I have seen one!
Please read more about our clients using our plastic seedling trays successfully!