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    I am fascinated with Permaculture and been learning as I can bit by bit with videos/articles/forums online. This free course is just wonderful. Thank you so very very much!

    I live in the Hartbeespoort area alongside the Crocodile River. 21 acres. I want to turn this into a Permaculture smallholding with high productivity. My main challenges at this stage are vervet monkeys. Not a lot out there about protecting produce from them. We tried a Sonar Monkey Repeller from India. It drove us away with the noise and the monkeys didn’t even notice. Very frustrating growing stuff and getting so little. But they leave my Moringa trees alone. Looks like I might have to cage everything. Maybe someone has some good ideas. ANy help would be appreciated.

    So glad to be on board. Thanks again.



    Wazzup Chelle,

    Sounds like you have one of those fun “solution in problem” permaculture dilemmas.

    You seem to have a large space so if you become “high productivity”, then there will be plenty of food for all.
    So in addition to bird song, the Vervets will provide you another source of information about what is happening on the property. They will probably teach you a thing or two if you observe them.

    Unless you want to bring leopards, pythons or baboons on site as predators, then you might start making a list of what their purpose in the ecosystem is and enhance some the features of their habitat. What are THEIR gardening habits?

    They will probably carry seeds all over the place in their poo so there will be volunteer plants. Maybe there is something they do not like and you could use that as a protective fence around your kitchen garden.
    (See how the Bushmen were taught to use living fences with thorns as cattle pens, a species the goats would not eat, to save them having to cut down trees for a 20 year use. Namibia or Kalahari, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmdCIqNG5BI about minute 8 ).

    Bly moi!





    Flows in the landscape / stacking functions: Set up a food source with swings or seesaws and some kind of mechanism. Every time they play or pull a lever to get food they will be pumping water for your irrigation system and if they stay in the same area they will make “deposits” for your methane digester. That might keep them occupied!!




    Stumbled on this one in Cape Town this morning:


    I forgot to ask whether you like Dalene Matthee and the “bos” books.




    Hi Adrian,

    Haha! Love your idea of a playground for the monkeys! I would get such a kick out of being able to do something like that! You may have planted a little seed …. they can earn their keep! They seem to think my place is Monkey Hotel

    Already have leopard and baboon in the area and they are not much help in keeping monkeys away! : ) African Rock Python could be here but have never seen one… only Puff Adder and Rinkhals [Ring-Necked Spitting Cobra] and some harmless varieties. The challenge with the Vervet Monkey is that they love to eat what I love to eat and they are VERY clever little critters. When they first came I was so thrilled and followed them with my camera… got some gorgeous shots … well I think so anyway [see http://edenparadigm.com/monkeys and http://edenparadigm.com/worm-bins-raided%5D and really enjoyed them… especially the babies. Now I want to shoot them in a far less friendly way. Aw shame…. They act like vandals with everything. I have not harvested pomergranates, grapes, passion-fruit, pumpkin .. etc AT ALL since they came. First few years living here they were not here and it was great eating off my garden. Other critters would come and have some but there was plenty still. Monkeys just destroy…… eat buds, then flowers then developing fruit…unripe fruit … one bite… throw on the ground. Same with grapes etc. Twist corn and break branches of saplings. No value added … I had a monstrously huge pumpkin bed the one year and got zip even though it covered most of my new food forest area. Ah well…

    Their place in the eco-system? Somewhere else thank you! : ) I have tried everything now over 5 years and finally figured I will just have to cage everything I want to eat. I have designed a caged Chicken Mandala System with growbeds around to feed us and the chicks. It will be quite a build but I am excited about it. I keep tweaking it everytime I learn something new … becoming quite a project. The food forest I am going to have to electric fence I think with dogs inside. Costly. That does make them more careful… I see this on the smallholding nextdoor …. they only sneak in to the neighbours when the dogs are sleeping.

    Thanks for all the links. Interesting stuff. I wasn’t aware Daleen Matthee had written more books. I know of “Fiela’s se kind” because it was made into a movie. The books look super. Found some for Kindle on Amazon.

    You from South Africa? Or know it well?




    Cages: then it might be “living cages” instead of living fences, thorns instead of willow!
    There are city places where they play classical music in the subways to deter vandals!!! (but you have already tried sound to no avail).

    Perhaps a “sacrifice crop” to keep them on their patch if they are territorial and stop them wandering onto yours.

    Father originally from Durban but moved to England in the 60s. Cousin in Jo’burg and some other folks in the Cape.

    Have been following S.A. news for years but not yet been able to visit.

    Round the World in 80 Gardens has an interesting episode about SA. I was interested in the Hout Bay garden among the rocks and the Soweto school teacher showing the pupils how to grow their own food and medicine.

    Love Gert Vlok Nel’s poetry and music.

    Anton Myburgh’s “Boer en sy roer” (The Farmer and his PLOUGH) will have to be revamped if Permaculture makes it big in SA, which might be better than all those people trekking off Mozambique to new land concessions there. 🙂 !!!



    Oh, there was a man who had an Ostrich run round his property for security … !!! Are vervets scared of ostriches?



    Kalahari, not Amazon:


    There are some notes at the end of the book about the Knysna wildlife. It describes how the marsh lillies died off because the “conservationists” put a fence round the marsh to “preserve” them. Then the wild pigs could not get through the fence to grub up the bulbs which is what propagated them so they became extinct.

    Think before you fence!!!



    Interesting. I have to cage. Also need to stop the 2 legged predators. Chicken is popular on the menu. The ostrich run around the mandala system is not for the monkeys. Monkeys are not afraid of anything that can’t fetch them out of a tree. They simply vanish in the leaves and behind thick branches. Snakes terrify them but not rubber ones. I thought of finding a way to scare them and then recording there calls and playing back to them when they came…. expensive too and no guarantees. We use thorny plants on the perimeter of the property. Taking a while to get such a fence growing but will just keep at it… this is for security. Increased crime in the area in the last year has changed the local social landscape tremendously. Not so long ago I would sleep with french doors open at night. Not anymore. My neighbour got violently attacked recently and she only got left because they had heard that she had got through to a friend and expected someone to arrive quickly. Security increases in the area and then they move on to another farm area that not so protected. Private security companies growing in strength where police failure to protect. No vacuum.

    Monkeys are not interested in keeping to a ‘sacrifice crop’. Even come into the house if you are not careful. Daring and intelligent. Not vicious though unless cornered. Big teeth… but if open a window when trapped will dive to go out rather than attack. Baboon is more dangerous… but only ever seen 2 at a time here and never inside.

    My Dad originally from England and lived here in the 60’s : ) I was raised mostly in Natal. He returned to England many years ago. I have just come back from there. Too cold for me. Summer colder than our winter here. But beautiful. The rest of my family live there. I love Africa. Wild. Raw.

    There is nothing but veld grass where I am planning to build my chicken system so no wildlife or plants threatened with my plans of fencing all I will build. Much thought and many years have brought me to this idea.

    Thanks to the link with Kalahari. I like Kindle books best because I have software that turns them into audio when I want to listen to a story. Can be busy and listening. I speak Afrikaans… my late husband was an Afrikaner… but I usually read in English.




    My dad spoke Afrikaans and Zulu.

    I gave you THAT link because I think some of the books have not been translated. The third one in the series had to be dictionary in hand … !!!

    Just hoping it will stay “safe” long enough to convince my wife to visit all the wonderful places off the trail like Beaufort Wes, Knysna and the hole in the rock!




    Is there anywhere ‘safe’ in the world anymore? EIther overt or covert threat everywhere is what I see. At least in Africa the threat is plain to see for the most part.

    That molassess grass is very interesting! I really appreciate the link. I want to see if I can get hold of some seeds…. Thanks so much.




    On a lighter note. I watch this video from time to time when I need reminding of the importance of PLANNING!




    Old video. Did the rounds years ago. Not just a lack of planning there … obviously short on the equipment with which to plan. Once is enough. Here’s a video worth watching more than once…

    I may have sourced some Molasses grass seed from India. Waiting on a reply. Thanks again.



    Thanks for that. I have seen shorter versions of similar but this one is much better, especially with the multi-lingual commentary going on!

    A friend who was a Spanish speaking tour guide at the Kruger is coming in August so I must get him talking …

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