Similarities between man and plant in true poetic form

    Plant, human or animal, our biological processes bear certain similarities. It is these similarities that draws Kai Lossgott to question the boundaries between different forms of sentient life and where exactly consciousness begins.

Kai is a contemporary artist and poet whose personal practice currently focuses on exploring green politics and systems theory through experimental film, performance and drawing. In 2007, he started delving deeper into living systems, fascinated by convergences in ecology, neurology and linguistics and has produced a range of artworks including leaf engravings as metaphoric illustrations of the connections between humans and plants. He sees the body is as much a channel of life and spirit as the leaf is a processor for the essential nutrients and oxygen the earth depends on.

Through his deep search, Kai finds connections to the body as a map of nerves, a formation of flowing veins, a passage for an essential life force and engraves the most appropriate word or line to link into the network of the leaf.

Kai says "My working process draws on Buddhist and Taoist meditation, which offer an embodied and integrated approach to the system, outside the workings of the conscious mind. This is a natural 'language' of perception, an unconscious rhythm of silence and sound that runs through every living thing. All human beings regularly perceive this in the state of crossing from wakefulness into sleep. Many of my dry-point engravings, drawings and artist books are attempts to depict this state, in which both mind and body are at rest. We ourselves are one of these living systems, estranged from ourselves. This book is for all the past and future lives we seek, a reserve of bodies in the search for survival."

In his book "talking to the tree outside my window while I sleep", he has captured his poems addressed to a tree, seeking a life-centred position in a human-centred world through a personal relationship with our living systems. The book is beautifully presented in a luminous transparent book of plant leaf engravings evolved from haptic and somatic sensibilities.

Source: Kai Lossgott

Leaf engravings

Top Five green gadgets we wish were readily available

There are some ideas that are so brilliant that it's its a wonder why they are not freely available in the marketplace. And in the last few years a number of green gadgets that are so ingenious have increased dramatically, leaving us scratching our heads and wondering why they haven't been produced yet - especially because they are all powered by renewable energy sources.

  1. Solar powered bluetooth headphones

    The untangling of cords to our headphones when we pull them out of our bag is so frustrating, so the Q-Sound headphones that are Bluetooth enabled and don't have any wires to get tangled up in are perfect. As an added bonus, these sleek headphones are completely powered by the sun via a set of flexible hexagonal solar panels.

  2. Kinetic and flexible OLED phone

    Cell phones get dropped on the ground all the time, but if we had a flexible phone it wouldn't get nearly as beat up and we could easily fit it into our pocket. Kyocera's concept for a flexible OLED cell phone is fascinating not only because it is slim and sleek with a fabulously wide screen - it's also powered by kinetic energy, so all it takes to charge it up is a walk around town.

  3. Illuminating window blinds store sunlight energy

    Solar cells will eventually be integrated into a variety of household objects (especially the surfaces of our homes), so venetian blinds that are covered in solar cells makes perfect sense. During the day these solar blinds are angled to capture sunlight with flexible solar cells, while at night the stored energy is transferred to a layer of electroluminescent foil that provides energy-efficient light.

  4. Solar powered bracelet phone

    For those that tend to loose their phones, this wearable bracelet phone might just do the trick. It's a relatively simple cell phone with calling, texting and address book features, except it is flexible and solar powered - similar to those slap bracelets from when we were kids.

  5. Solar generating sunglasses

    Sunglasses are worn everyday to shade our eyes from the sun, so why not put them to good use soaking up those rays to generate power? These solar sunglasses feature dye solar cells that are integrated into their lenses, which can collect and convert enough energy to power your handheld gadgets, like phones and ipods. A little wire on the back of the frames connects to your devices and charges them on the go.

Source: Inhabitat

Green gadgets

Edible flowers

With the latest focus on bringing greener habits into our personal lives and into our homes, incorporating nature into cooking is definitely on the list of to do's.

There are 5 parts of a plant that can be eaten - the root, the stem, the leaf, the flower and the fruit depending on its function in the food dish. Traditionally, the root (carrots, potatoes), the stem (asparagus, celery), leaves (lettuce, spinach) and fruit (apples, berries) are used in culinary activities, while the flower is only used as decoration (nasturtium).

Edible flowers may be preserved for future use using techniques such as drying, freezing or steeping in oil. They can be used fresh in drinks, jellies, salads, soups, syrups and main dishes. Flower-flavoured oils and vinegars are made by steeping edible flower petals in these liquids, while candy flowers are crystallized using egg white and sugar (as a preservative).

Some flowers of these familiar plants can be used:

  • Artichoke, Broccoli, Cauliflower (flower buds)
  • Chamomile, Jasmine (for tea)
  • Elderflower, citrus blossoms - lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit (blossoms for drink)
  • Lilac, Violet leaf and flowers, Nasturtium blossoms and seeds (salads)
Not-so familiar flowers:
  • Chives (flowers or buds)
  • Chrysanthemum (flower)
  • Clover (Trifolium)
  • Daisies (Bellis perennis quills)
  • Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale leaves, roots, flowers, petals, buds)
  • Daylilies (Hemerocallis buds, flowers, petals)
  • Hibiscus
  • Honeysuckle
  • Pansies (Viola x Wittrockiana flowers, petals)
  • Pot Marigolds (Calendula officinalis petals with white heel removed)
  • Roses (Rosa petals with white heel removed, rose hips)
  • Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus buds, petals, seeds)
  • Violet (candied flowers for pastry decoration)
  • Zucchini (blossoms)

Note: Some flowers are toxic, others may be edible only after appropriate preparations. Toxic flowers may be misidentified as edible when gathered. Allergic reactions are possible, especially from eating pollen. Both gathered flowers and those from a commercial grower may have been sprayed with toxic pesticides. Damaged, dirty or insect-ridden flowers may be unsafe to eat. Some flowers are not safe if eaten often. Please research your flower properly before using it in food dishes and/or consuming it.

Source: Discovery Channel and Wikipedia

Edible Plants

Scuba dive with an infinite range of delightful fish

If scuba diving is one of the activities that you want to try then diving in Mozambique is a definite must. For a first timer in Mozambique there are a few popular commercial places to dive, but these are usually overcrowded, focusing on volumes of divers and regular dive trips rather than the quality of the dive/s.

With its long sunny deserted white beaches and tropical atmosphere, Mozambique is every diver's paradise. With a wonderful array of corals, fish and other marine life, there are many suitable locations to choose from, depending on how far you are prepared to travel.

For first time divers, the southern most point of the country is easily accessible, close to the border and within a day's driving trip from KwaZulu Natal or Gauteng. The perfect spot for a first time dive experience would be at Ponta Malongane, just 8km north of the overcrowded Ponta da Oura. Staying in the dive camp with other fellow divers creates various opportunities to share experiences and knowledge of the local marine life.

The great thing about Ponta Malongane's dive camp is that they have separated wooden huts with 2 single beds in each, each hut raised off the ground, providing the feeling of individual space and solitude to reflect or regain strength after an exciting but exhausting dive. The entertainment area and bar is on the second floor of the main eating area and the views over the ocean are fantastic.

Dive boats from this location do not go out as regularly as Ponta de Oura (thankfully) and therefore the dive spots and reefs are not teaming with the overpopulation of naive enthusiastic divers. Water temperatures range from 22 degrees C in winter to 31 degrees C in summer and visibility between 5 and 35 metres, with an average year round visibility of 15 metres.

The reefs that are closest to Ponta Malongane offer a diversity of fish and coral, promising each dive to be totally different to the previous one. The dive sites are unspoilt coral reefs ranging from 10m to 30m deep with visibility around 40m at certain locations and have many caves and gullies where you can encounter moray eels, firefish, nudibranch, turtles, rays, whale sharks, a beautiful wide variety of tropical fish, dolphins and many sharks.

For more information on the accommodation at Ponta Malongane visit their website

Mozambique Diving

Hot News

SA Home Owner Magazine

Cheral Kennedy has contributed her expertise and advice in an article on winter gardening - the to-do's and the what-not-to-do's of winter gardening - for the SA Home Owner magazine (May 2011 edition).

SA Home Owner

And watch out for June's edition of the SA Home Onwer magazine, where Cheral, herself, will be profiled under the green experts section.

SA Home Owner

Featured Plant

Strelitzia Juncea

Strelitzia Juncea
(Crane Flower)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous sub shrub with showy orange flowers and needle-like leaves that grows to 2m.

Flowering time :

Late Autumn and Winter

Conditions :

  • Full Sun
  • Little water
  • Evergreen
  • Wind resistant
  • Some frost resistance
  • Well drained soil

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

Featured Partner

The Pixel Zoo

The Pixel Zoo

Established in 2002, The Pixel Zoo is a specialist design agency offering a broad range of design services in both traditional and new media.

One of their creative designed is the Living Matter website. They also design unique and creative logo's, business cards and other marketing materials.

See their website for more information or examples of their other work.

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie

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


  • Broad Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Swisschard
  • Turnips
  • Herbs

  • Parsley
  • Mustard
  • 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

    April's Teaser Answer :
    "I understand"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82