As you are probably aware by now there have been some horrendous fires in the greater Knysna area. Yesterday was 3 months ago they started. Only next week Monday will it be 3 months that the fires were ‘contained.’ Which doesn’t mean they were all out. Actually, three months down the line the soil and trees are still smoldering here and there. It can obviously take months before (underground) fires completely extinguish.
While these fires have destroyed over 650 homes (and damaged another 350 plus…) our municipality has now more than ever embarked on a Green initiative for our town. Everybody is being encouraged to rebuild better using fire-safe building materials, planting water-wise trees and plants in new gardens, and in general looking after the environment’s and therefore Knysna’s future.
To remind the residents (and also visitors) of this, #GreenFriday was born just after the fires. Every resident in Knysna, whether fire survivor or not, is being encouraged to wear green on Fridays, symbolizing re-growth and support for the #KnysnaRises campaign. This campaign was initiated by Knysna & Partners, the local marketing agency and operator of the tourism info offices in both Knysna and Sedgefield.
Even though the Knysna Country House was not directly affected by the fires, the ‘green initiatives’ have always been close to our hearts. One of the things we’ve done is that we’ve made a piece of our garden available for a vegetable garden. We have bought the seeds and Frank, our gardener, planted them a couple of weeks ago. Frank comes and works at the guesthouse three days a week, and you will probably hear him sing softly as he sweeps, cuts the grass, paints or trims the bushes. The agreement with regards to the veggie garden is that we supply the seeds (with input from Frank as well as our housekeeping staff). Frank looks after the garden (including the veggie garden), our ladies look after Frank for his coffee and lunch breaks. In the end Frank looks after all of us by providing us all with his veggies.
This is what our Green contribution looks like, exactly three months and one day after the start of the fires, on #GreenFriday, the 8th of September…
Van Baarle, The Netherlands
Mandy & Thomas, South Africa