Emotional journey in her art

    As a female South African artist, Grady Zeeman witnesses transformation on a daily basis, perceiving people's fears, disgusts and sometimes disillusionment and projecting these emotions onto canvas with the warmth of the African sun inspiring the use of bold and vibrant colouring.

Grady is fascinated by psychology, philosophy and theology and find herself continuously reading books on either these subjects or on art masters. She paints from the heart and therefore it would only be natural that symbolism and spiritualism find themselves rooted in her work.

Her female nudes are an expression of her life and sensuality. The curves of the female body, combined with the color symbolism in her paintings, expresses her innermost feelings and the exuberance of being created a woman.

Anyone who has had the privilege of seeing her art in person, will agree that the use of warm vibrant complimentary colours and use of smooth sweeping strokes of the brush instills a sense of movement, emotion and a story.

Grady has exhibited in USA, UK, Italy and China - each exhibition entering her life at exactly the right moment, has also been published in numerous books and magazines and was featured in the Art Fairs Newspaper Iss 11, 2010. She is married with 2 children and owns her own art gallery, Kunste Huijs, in the surprisingly pretty town of Swellendam.

The Kunste Huijs (the first gallery of its sort in Swellendam) is housed in a quaint house on one of the main roads in Swellendam. It was built in the early 20th century and restored to its current day finery in 2006.

Kunste Huijs has a warm intimate feel and promotes a wide range of art by various top South African artists. Grady seeks to increase aesthetic awareness of art and the importance thereof through the gallery's diverse collection of fine art as well as decorative arts, washing away from our soils the dust which is everyday life.

Source: Kunste Huijs

Grady Zeeman

Largest structure is found by astronomers

Academics from Britain's University of Central Lancashire recently published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and on the society's website, findings from their research that challenge Albert Einstein's Cosmological Principle, the assumption that the universe looks the same from every point of view.

In their findings they report that astronomers have discovered the largest known structure in the universe - a group of quasars (quasi-stellar radio source) so large it would take 4 billion years to cross it while traveling at speed of light.

A quasar is a very energetic and distant active galactic nucleus tending to inhabit the very centers of active, young galaxies. They are among the most luminous, powerful and energetic objects known in the universe, emitting up to a thousand times the energy output of the Milky Way and are visible billions of light-years away. When combined with Hubble's law, the implication of its redshift (an effect of the expansion of the universe between the quasar and the Earth) is that the quasars are very distant and are therefore objects from much earlier in the universe's history.

While the nature of these objects was controversial until as recently as the early 1980s, there is now a scientific consensus that a quasar is a compact region in the center of a massive galaxy surrounding its central supermassive black hole. Its size is 10-10 000 times the Schwarzschild radius of the black hole and is powered by an accretion disc around the black hole. It is believed that quasars tend to group together in clumps or 'structures' of surprisingly large sizes, forming large quasar groups (LQGs).

This newly discovered large quasar group has a dimension of 500 megaparsecs, each megaparsec measuring 3.3 million light-years. Because the LQG is elongated, its longest dimension is 1 200 megaparsecs (or 4 billion light-years) and is 1 600 times larger than the distance from Earth's Milky Way to the nearest galaxy, the Andromeda.

Roger Clowes, leader of the research team, said the team would continue to investigate the phenomenon with particular interest in the challenge to the Cosmological Principle, which has been widely accepted since Einstein, whose work still forms the basis for much of modern cosmology, as it runs counter to our current understanding of the scale of the universe.

Source: Wikipedia and Science Daily


Lunar influences and astrology for agriculture

Agricultural astrology (the use of lunar cycles in agriculture) is one of the oldest forms of astrology. Evidence of its practice dates back thousands of years to the ancient people of the Nile and Euphrates River valleys. Farmers of these civilizations planted by the Moon's phase and its sign in the zodiac in the belief that something in the lunar light or gravity affects the way plants grow.

It is known that the moon influences some natural phenomena such as tides, so a simple hypothesis would be that lunar cycles could influence meteorological cycles which in turn could influence crops, and that the moon has a gravitational effect on the flow of moisture in soil (the moon not only controls ocean tides but influences the groundwater tables beneath our feet) and plants (the position of the moon in its orbital path affects the gravitational pull on the sap of plants).

Moon gardeners coordinate 4 key variables:

Moon Phase - Is the moon waxing or waning ?

During a WAXING moon, the earth is exhaling and moon gardeners will want to sow non-root plants.

During a WANING moon, the earth is inhaling and moon gardeners will want to water and fertilise their crops.

Moon Path - Is the path across the sky ascending or descending ?

During an ASCENDING moon, sap is drawn up, so moon gardeners will be looking to graft and to harvers non-root plants.

During a DESCENDING moon, sap is drawn down, so moon gardeners will want to plant, or prune their crops.

Moon Constellation - Which constellation is the moon passing in front of?

The passage of the moon in front of the constellations acts as a 'lens' that emphasises the effects of the moon phase and moon path on different parts of the plant. This gives rise to Root Days, Flower Days, Leaf Days, and Fruit Days.

Plant Aspect - What aspect of the plant needs to be stimulated?

Moon gardeners consider what their particular activity is done for eg:

- to encourage LEAF growth (salads)
- to discourage ROOT growth (weeding)

But if this is all too confusing - the Simplest Rule For Moon Planting is...

to plant crops that produce above the ground during the increasing light of the moon (from new moon to full moon) and to plant crops that produce below the ground during the decreasing light of the moon (from full moon to new moon).

View our lunar calendar for 2013 for more detail on which plants to grow at which times this year or for more general information on lunar planting visit Lunar organics

Lunar planting

Berries and liqueur tastes yummy!

Anybody who is venturing into the generally unknown Swellendam area should definitely make a stop in at the Wildebraam Berry Estate for some berry picking (for the kids) and relish tasting (for mummy), liqueur tasting (for daddy) and chilli tasting (for the rebellious teenager).

Berry picking is guaranteed to be finger- and mouth-staining tastebud pleasure, and if sweet things are on the top of the list of things to try, then their fig, nastergal and youngberry jams are a definite must on the tasting list!

Their chilli products are quite unique and if the names of their products are anything to go by, then sampling of their chilli relishes and atchars are not for the faint hearted.... they have Rattlesnake, Chilli Chilli Bang Bang, Ring of Fire and Lord of the Ring - deadly and potent enough for chilli fanatics!

Wildebraam produces 9 unique (and very delicious) liqueurs in their private cellar including Youngberry, Honey, Aniseed, Rooibos, Peppermint, Lemon and Hazelnut. The warming of the throat as the liqueur travels down is a wonderful experience, topped with the delicious variety of flavours to try, starting with a smooth gentle taste and ending 9 flavours later in the strongest flavour, it is an all round sensory experience.

The tastings of any of their products are presented in an informal manner (with an undercurrent of humour that is totally unexpected in this type of professional setting) by staff that are very knowledgable and friendly.

They also provide interesting information on the tempting array of liqueured fruits, jams, dessert syrups, chutneys, relishes, pickles and gifts produced by their farm kitchen and which can all be sampled and purchased in the infamous 'tasting room'.

Visit their website for more information and pictures.

Wildebraam Berry Estate

Hot News

Lunar Calendar updated

Our 2013 lunar planting calendar has been updated on our website.

Moon Calendar

It shows what dates and times the moon is in a specific phase (for South Africa) and shows which veggies, bulbs, annuals and perennials can be planted at the appropriate phase of the moon.

Read our latest article on lunar planting or view the 2013 lunar calendar.

Featured Plant

Abelia Francis Mason

Abelia Francis Mason
(Golden Abelia)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous shrub to 2m with white flowers on arching branches.

Flowering time :


Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Average water
  • Semi-deciduous
  • Wind resistant
  • Frost resistant
  • Any soil

View more detailed information on this plant in our plant directory.

Wine of the month

Wine of the month

Lady Anna 2012

Winery : Nabygelegen
Winemaker : James McKenzie

Description :

Dry white blend from 70% Chenin Blanc, 25% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Semillon.

Aroma : Pretty floral nose which immediately attracts you along with ripe melon and apricots.

Palate : A fresh wine with great weight / presence in the mouth. Supple and elegant with floral and flinty mineral combinations.

Winemaking : Harvested in cool mornings with extensive grape selection. Left on lees for short period before going directly into bottle.

Food Pairing : Fantastic on its own but would easily complement a range of salads, pastas, as well as grilled dishes with seafood or poultry.

If you want to purchase or require more information on this wine, or if you are interested in a private or corporate tasting, please email Karen or visit her website.

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie

Seeds can be sown or plants can be planted for the following herbs and veggies this month:


  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Sweetcorn
  • Swisschard
  • Turnips
  • Herbs

  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Chives
  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Mustard
  • Oreganum
  • Parsley
  • Rocket
  • Thyme
  • Watercress
  • View our full planting plan in our resources section of our website.

    Brain Teaser

    We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...

    Brain Teaser

    December's Teaser Answer :
    "Too funny for words"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82