The Owl Rescue Centre always comes up with smart ways to raise funds, this time they are selling spekboom, which will also benefit the environment.


North-West, South Africa – Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra) is an incredible plant found in South Africa. It is drought tolerant, carbon hungry and prevents soil erosion. It is also edible!

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 important place in the diet of elephants… the elephants of Addo Elephant Park have been known to eat up to 200kg of Spekboom per day!!!

But it’s real power lies in its ability to tackle carbon emissions.

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.

The Owl Rescue Centre started growing the wonder plant to sell to the public. All the funds raised from the sale of the plants are being used to rescue and rehabilitate the owls at the centre. They always try to protect the environment when raising funds. Their famous owl boxes are made up of recycled plastic and now they are hoping to reduce air pollution using Spekboom. They also capture rodents humanely to prevent poisoning and to collect feed for their owls.

“We have over 10,000 of these little guys ready and waiting… Spekboom is indigenous, it absorbs up to ten times more pollution than other plants, it’s edible for humans and animals and it’s waterwise.

South Africans on average produce just over one ton of carbon emissions per person a year, so you would need to plant 120 of these little guys to offset your carbon footprint.

  • They are R10 each
  • We plant them in wood pots which you can just place straight into the ground as over time they will just decompose.
  • If you would like some please send us an email with your proof of payment and delivery address.
  • Add an extra R100 for delivery costs if you order less than 40 plants and you are also welcome to collect.
  • Bank account details: Owl Rescue Centre NPC Nedbank Current Account 103 081 9580 Branch Code 198 765
  • Reference: SB & your full name
  • Email it to info@owlrescuecentre.org.za

We would love for more schools and companies to get involved.”

You can get more information from them via Facebook here. Tell us, have you ever eaten spekboom?

Sources: Owl Rescue Centre (Linked Above)
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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