AIMS South Africa in association with the Muizenberg Festival is hosting two public talks:“Zandvlei – The Geography of Identity” by Dr Ian McCallum and “Growing a taste for Veldkos – getting to know, grow and use Indigenous food plants” by Loubie Rusch

“Zandvlei – The Geography of Identity” by Dr Ian McCallum

Dr McCallum is a psychiatrist, analytical psychologist, adjunct professor at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Graduate School of Business in Port Elizabeth and an honorary lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of two anthologies of wilderness poems: Wild Gifts (1999), Untamed (2012) and a novel Thorns to Kilimanjaro (2000). His award winning book Ecological Intelligence – Rediscovering Ourselves in Nature addresses the interconnectedness of all living things and ultimately, the survival of the human animal. An Exclusive Books HOMEBRU selection in SA, it won the Wild Literary Award at the World Wilderness Congress in Mexico 2009. He is a cofounder of the International League of Conservation Writers (, a founding partner of safari organisation Invent Africa ( and co-founder of the Cape branch of the Wilderness Leadership School. He was the writer/poet for the Mail and Guardian award winning ‘UNTAMED’ exhibition at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (2010-2012). A long standing contributor to the UCT Darwin Centre – Teaching Biology Project – his academic interests focus on evolutionary biology, conservation psychology and environmental ethics.

“We have to stop speaking about the Earth being in need of healing. The Earth doesn’t need healing. We do. It is our task to rediscover ourselves in Nature. It is an individual choice. We either continue to believe that someone or something else will rescue us, show us the easy way, or even take the hard path on our behalf, or we choose the opposite – we take it upon ourselves. We take the hard path, each one of us in our own way and we do it gladly. And where does that path begin? It begins exactly where we are right now, when we look up at the world as a mirror, when we discover that our sense of freedom and authenticity is linked to the well being and authenticity of others – including the animals, trees and the land.”

Date: Wednesday 7 October 2015
Time: 18:45 for 19:00
Cost: Free
Venue:  AIMS South Africa, 6 Melrose Rd, Muizenberg

“Growing a taste for Veldkos – getting to know, grow and use Indigenous food plants” by Loubie Rusch

“Our landscapes can feed us!” Loubir Rusch is a landscape designer by trade, and she is passionate about indigenous food and forages for edible fruits, vegetables and plants that she finds in nature or even in the streets on her doorstep. It is an a alternative way of eating which can add a real local twist to your food menu.

“The relationship with our environment is so absent in the way we live today. We are so disconnected that we don’t understand the consequences of what we do. Through indigenous foods, I want to encourage people to be more linked to where they are”.

She knows that she will not convince hundreds of thousands of people, because for some, it’s like eating insects and changing habits is not easy. But by inviting curious individuals to taste her indigenous food she challenges conventional thinking.“A lot of people do not realise that we can eat local leaves, berries and flowers. I show them pictures, give them some to taste or sell a bottle of indigenous jam. This way, people become accustomed to the idea and see that it’s possible! Because it’s not such a strange idea anymore, many more people will try it. When they make their lamb on the braai, instead of going to the shop to buy some Mediterranean rosemary, they might rather go to their garden and pick some indigenous wild rosemary. That’s a very easy way to start including indigenous food into your meals. You don’t have to change your habits. You just substitute the plant you are familiar with for a local one.”

wild rosemary

Date: Thursday 8 October 2015
Time: 18:45 for 19:00
Cost: Free
Venue:  AIMS South Africa, 6 Melrose Rd, Muizenberg