Veggie garden revolutionist Jane Griffiths gets real with TEDx

Jane Griffiths' veggie garden 'love affair' started nearly 30 years ago and has since blossomed into a thriving business, five best-selling books and now a TED talk

26 July 2023 - 11:36
By Leana Schoeman
Jane Griffiths' thriving vegetable garden in the heart of Johannesburg.
Image: Jane Griffiths and Keith Knowlton Jane Griffiths' thriving vegetable garden in the heart of Johannesburg.
Jane Griffiths at work in her veggie garden.
Image: Keith Knowlton Jane Griffiths at work in her veggie garden.

For growing, harvesting and cooking your own organic vegetables and herbs, Johannesburg-based writer, artist and gardener Jane Griffiths is possibly the most knowledgeable person we've met. We're lucky to have her in our corner to share her vast knowledge of this growing “love affair” with us every month since she agreed to elevate our gardening section with her expert tips and inspiring images more than three years ago.

With nearly 30 years' experience growing organic vegetables and herbs in her garden and a whopping five best-selling books covering every subject related to growing and using organic vegetables and herbs, it's safe to say Jane is the real deal. So, it comes as no surprise that she was recently approached by the TEDx Johannesburg team to share her journey and knowledge on sowing and growing edibles on South African soil. 

“A few months ago an email popped up from TEDx Johannesburg: an invitation to be a speaker at their upcoming event on climate change. My first reaction was a warm glow of thrill and excitement at the honour of being asked. It was quickly followed by an attack of nerves,” said Jane.

“I’m a gardener — what on earth was I going to say about climate change? Despite having no cooking clue, I quickly replied, accepting the invitation.”

“A couple days later, after a few hours spent transplanting winter seedlings, I was sitting on a log seat in my garden, hot and pleasantly tired. I shut my eyes and listened to the buzz and activity of the insects around me. In that moment I could feel just how deep my connection is to this piece of the planet. After nearly 30 years of becoming attuned to the seasons and cycles, the insects, soil and plants, I am an integral part of this garden. In that moment I knew what my TEDx talk would be about: my relationship with my garden. And how this resonance has relevance for climate change.” 

Whether you're an avid green finger or interested in “growing your own” green fingers as Jane humbly reveals in her own journey, listening while she shares her first-hand knowledge and experiences will rekindle your passion and motivation to not only grow a thriving crop, but also be more in tune with nature and open your eyes to the magical little worlds in your garden. Plus, believe it or not, her insights will even have you respect, understand and handle those frustrating insect infestations a little better.

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