Greenpop Reforest Fest in South Africa’s Cape: Like Woodstock But A Whole Lot Greener!

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I recently spent a couple of days feeling the biggest love. Now I’ll try to share it.  The love feeling is so large that I don’t know where to start to spread it. Like mulch. So, obviously, I will start at the end.

Me and Lucille (by now you know that she is my Grand Old Lady of The Road) crested the rise just near Grootbos, but even closer to midnight.

The half-moon that had blessed the blissed at Greenpop’s Reforest Fest at Platbos now hung over Walker Bay before me. The supreme blackness and my headlight beam of just seconds before was replaced by a shimmering silver path on the sea. It was a sight that simply served to send my spirits soaring even higher, if that were possible.

It was. I stopped Lucille. I looked. My heart sang. It sang of one of the most beautiful days of my life. I expelled a frighteningly discordant and quite primal whoop, not a thing of beauty at all but one that yelled of a man set free of the chains of ordinariness. I was alone. And it was mine. I was heading home to my bed.

I left my heart somewhere among the good and happy and carefree people who had planted three thousand trees on the edge of Africa’s southernmost indigenous forest. And my sole remained in the rich and reddy-brown earth which would help those trees grow. I have never had a problem distancing myself from a crowd. But I was already missing the three hundred-odd and somewhat odd people who had gathered for “Friends Fest”, truly a union of friends who had never really been strangers but were now forever unified in the spirit of nursing the planet. And their own souls. And those of each and all of us.

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I’m not going to dig around (almost unintended) for superlatives that won’t do this thing justice. Let it be. Be. You had to be there. But, if you weren’t, I offer you some pictures. Pictures in the mirror of a can’t-be-told story of people being beautiful. In a green and golden forest… a most precious place.

I’m nearly there…

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 Ironic?

What is to come? Oh, yes…

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 Goldenness…

And, of course, greenness…

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… with a red alert of the danger of losing it all…

Which leads us to the message for the day…

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Pffft. More like THREE thousand, bro… hehe.

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So let’s swing into it…

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We swung to cupcakes?

Yes, because I want to relay a little story. About these cakes, a little boy and Alaska.

There was a little guy at the Fest, in our clearing around the fire in the forest, and he was selling these cakes.

That he had made. So he could go to Alaska.

I spoke to his dad, Steve. “There was this nature programme on TV about Alaska,” he said.

“And Nathan was looking at the glaciers and the polar bears catching fish through the ice and his face was all lit up and he turned to my wife Sally and said… ‘I want to go’.

‘I want to go to Alaska.’

“And that was it. His mind was made up. So we talked about it and said if he raised a certain amount of money for his flight,

we would contribute the rest and his mother and he could go to Alaska…

typical of my boy… he chooses the place that is about the furtherest place you could go on Earth!”

I love that story. You just have to love Nathan. Here he is…

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He’s up a tree… and dreaming of glaciers. Of bears catching fish.

Thank you for your patience. Now, where were we?

Oh, yes… planting trees.

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Spades and saplings and soil and sweat… and dig the sunflare light chakras!

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… which mesmerised Asana.

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Groovy strides, brother…

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… and I totally dug SisterYellowHair Michelle…

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… and 300 people digged and they dug… and they digged… until 3,000 trees were introduced to our earth…

… and it was time for…

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… it was time for the children to take over and plant the 3,000th tree,

under the guidance of Platbos owner, Francois Krige.

“Teach your children well…” (CSN&Y).

But, wait. “Just one more thing…” (Colombo).

Enjoy this… all the happy shiny treeplanters cheering their efforts…

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Nice. But hang on. Aim your eyes top right!

What is this? Let’s get a bit closer to this tomfoolery…

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What, is this character overwhelmed and on his way down? Next frame…

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Yup, sure looks that way… and he’s taking his sunflare chakra beauty down with him! Bless.

Bless us all. THREE THOUSAND TREES… in one golden day.

And a total of 5,000 trees planted over the two weekends of “Family Fest” and “Friends Fest” .

That’s some significant reforestation.

Thank you, GreenPop and  Platbos Forest.

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It was… like Woodstock… with a whole lot of new wood.

And, yes, we can now see the trees… growing.

Greenpop hosts a The Reforest Fest in Platbos forest every May in South Africa’s Cape Province. This exciting festival has seen over 3000 indigenous trees being planted in the southern-most forest of Africa. Platbos, a relic forest with trees of over 1000 years of age, forms part of one of the rare and endangered ecosystems of the Western Cape. The annual Reforest Fest is an attempt to protect and grow the ancient forest through a massive reforestation festival, where people plant trees, hear great music, eat delicious food, and share a weekend of great energy and spirit in Platbos Forest.   The FRIENDS Fest had upbeat dancing music on the Sat eve and varied active and restful activities on the Sunday that appealed to a variety of ages.

Top photo credit: whatgives365.

Fred Hatman
Fred Hatman (AKA Howard Donaldson) knew he wanted to be newspaper journalist at age 13. He has worked as a reporter and sub-editor for the Daily News and Cape Times, both based in South Africa and Wimbledon News, Today, London Daily News, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mirror, all based in London .
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