Since talking about at the Spekboom Challenge at the start of spring, it has taken off as thousands of South Africans have started planting the miracle plant.
South Africa – At the start of Spring, we asked South Africans to play their part and join the Spekboom Challenge. The idea was to plant a Spekboom and then challenge a friend to do so too! Now the concept is thriving, and thousands of South Africans are planting and propagating the extraordinary plant.
Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra) is an incredible plant found in South Africa which is a marvellous drought tolerant, a phenomenal carbon sponge and an excellent soil binding flora that prevents soil erosion.
The name Spekboom literally translates to ‘bacon tree’, but this lush, emerald succulent plant with juicy, round leaves and an unmistakable, lemony flavour is very far from bacon at all. It grows naturally in the Western Cape and very prolifically in the Eastern Cape, where it earned its other name, ‘elephant’s food’, due to its essential place in the diet of elephants… the elephants of Addo Elephant Park have been known to eat up to 200kg of Spekboom per day!!!
Hectare for hectare, Spekboom thicket is ten times more effective than the Amazon rainforest at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. One hectare of Spekboom can sequester between 4 and 10 tonnes of carbon per year. This makes it a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and the move towards a zero-carbon world.
It is being called the miracle plant because of all the good it does. The Owl Sanctuary even started propagating and selling at to raise funds for their rescue centre.
There is now a Facebook group where South Africans are sharing their success and offering encouragement to others who wish to join the challenge. People share images of how they have landscaped the plant to fit in with their existing design.
There are also tips and even suggestions on who to cook with the plant as well as how to regift with it. If you would like to join the community, you can find them on Facebook here.