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Stellenbosch Visio Spring Issue

You loved the cover, didn’t you? The striking magenta of the masthead and the diaphanous blush of the model’s dress against a verdant landscape. They all conspire, with a splash of rosé added, to express our joy in the coming of spring.

As always, spring resonates with our deepest feelings of renewal and the awakening of life forces, especially after a bitterly wet winter. The Eerste and Berg rivers burst their banks in a way not seen in our lifetime. Meanwhile, across the northern hemisphere, heat waves sizzled and the highest temperatures ever were recorded on a steadily upward-trending graph that reaches back several years.

As always, spring resonates with our deepest feelings of renewal and the awakening of life forces, especially after a bitterly wet winter. The Eerste and Berg rivers burst their banks in a way not seen in our lifetime. Meanwhile, across the northern hemisphere, heat waves sizzled and the highest temperatures ever were recorded on a steadily upward-trending graph that reaches back several years.

Nature has turned intemperate and is now unleashing its forces against a plundering and ruthless humankind.

Fortunately, it’s not all devastating news. Like fresh shoots appearing after a veld fire, green initiatives are springing up all around us. And in this issue of Stellenbosch Visio we want to salute those entrepreneurs and companies who are coming forward with sustainable solutions and green technologies.

Nature often supplies the solutions to the problems we have created. From the little town of Gansbaai comes a breakthrough approach to protect bathing beaches by way of the SharkSafe Barrier. Taking a cue from kelp forests (which great white sharks hate), conservationist and filmmaker Michael Rutzen, together with researchers and engineers from Stellenbosch University, devised an artificial kelp forest to keep large predatory sharks at bay. It’s a bonus that it also acts as an artificial reef to support marine diversity (p. 70). More and more conservationists are joining forces to protect our planet – and Marlene Bouwer also gives a fascinating glimpse into the work of transplanting resilient corals to fast-disappearing coral reefs as part of the Rolex Perpetual Planet (p. 26).

Saving the planet can involve some very up-close-and-personal involvement. Elsa Kruger (p. 84) helps us understand the development of sustainability and environmental consciousness in beauty products. Let’s all hold our favourite brands accountable, read the labels and educate ourselves on what ingredients we need to avoid.

Going green is not just a worthy undertaking; it can also be delicious and good for you. Richard Holmes (p. 62) munched more than just greens in his round-up of delicious green and healthy eating. Emile Joubert (p. 46) raises a glass of sprightly rosé to that, and takes us to exciting estates producing this increasingly popular wine.

Met die Woordfees net om die draai (bl. 116) bars Stellenbosch saam met die nuwe seisoen uit sy nate. As jy enigsins nog twyfel, sal die meer-as-lewensgroot foto’s teen opvallende mure jou gou-gou onder die indruk van al die kreatiewe kragte bring. Melvyn Minnaar wys die indrukwekkende foto’s en gesels met kurator Anelisa Mangcu oor hierdie grootse openbare uitstalling. Stellenbosch Visio kry dit elke keer reg om die beste woordkunstenaars aan die woord te stel, mense soos Tom Dreyer (bl. 99) en Dominique Botha (bl. 128), beide onnabootsbaar briljant in hoe hulle hul belewenisse verwoord.

Die dorp gaan hierdie lente vol polsende lewe wees. Geniet die Woordfees. Die Tuinweek. Wine Town. Die opborreling van aktiwiteite oral om jou. Die malse groen eikebome. Die rosé in jou glas. Verlustig jou in wat die planeet ons bied – en bewaar dit vir dié wat ná ons kom.