2016 Mar: Baobab Guardians: women planting baobabs for the future

Baobab Guardians

Late last year, Sarah Venter, as part of her work with the EcoProducts Foundation Baobab Guardians, went out into local Venda villages and planted baobab seedlings. These seedlings have previously been taken care of by various baobab guardians for up to a year and have now reached a suitable height that allows the seedlings to be planted out  close to the villages so they can still be cared for.    Since baobab trees often only begin producing fruit after 200 years,  this has to be one of the most far-reaching into the future sustainability projects around!

10 Sponsored Trees Planted

Despite baobab trees being incredibly hardy and long-lived,  few seedlings are able to survive livestock eating them in inhabited areas.  This is why the EcoProducts foundation exists, to enable baobab guardians to take care of the seedlings until they can survive on their own. Sevenhills Whole foods, one of EcoProducts Baobab Guardians major sponsors, has sponsored 10 baobab trees to be planted out.

2015 11 Selina Malovhele-sophia nepfumbada - sylvia mathoho combo 800 x 362

Now that the seedlings have reached a height of about 1m, Selina Malovhele, Sophia Nepfumbada and Sylvia Mathoho are able to plant them outside of a protected environment near their villages.

Hutshilo Munyai

Here, Hutshilo Munyai and Martha Kwerana (with Sarah) show off their newly planted baobab seedlings.

Blog 2015 11 Joyce Phungo- Julia Mambeda - Miriam Mulaudzi combo 800 x 305

Joyce Phungo, Julia Mambeda, and Miriam Mulaudzi (with Sarah) know that the little baobab trees still need to be cared for until they are 3m tall and able to survive on their own.  The baobab guardians will continue to check on them making sure they are watered from time to time and that they settle in strongly into the earth and aren’t damaged by foraging livestock such as goats and donkeys.

Mashudu Rammbasa

Such a joyful picture of Mashudu Rammbasa with her baobab tree along with a group of interested children from her village!

It’s all part of a culture of caring

So it is with heartfelt thanks to Sevenhills Wholefoods for their generous sponsorship,  that we are able to take care of the future of baobab trees  – one seedling at a time.

It costs just R1900 over a period of 3 years for a baobab guardian to grow a baobab from seedling to a 3 metre sapling.  The donor will receive 2 photographs a year and measurements.  To find out more about Baobab Guardians and how you can contribute, click here or email Sarah Venter sarah@ecoproducts.co.za.

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