This episode we look at forests which are defined by areas covered chiefly with trees and undergrowth. This episode sees the wonderful University of the Earth team investigating the national botanical gardens in kirstenbosch.

As Mr Turner reminds us initially that plants and trees are essential to our continued existence on this planet. We learn about the magical ability of plants to convert sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into what John calls “living energy”. This permaculture fact is really essential to the survival of most ecosystems and to sustain human life also. There has yet to be discovered any single process that is as efficient as that of photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis has been around for centuries and has always been fundamental to life processes. It would be impossible to overestimate the importance of photosynthesis in the maintenance of life on Earth. If photosynthesis ceased, there would soon be little food or other organic matter on Earth. Most organisms would disappear, and in time Earth’s atmosphere would become nearly devoid of gaseous oxygen. The only organisms able to exist under such conditions would be the chemosynthetic bacteria, which can utilize the chemical energy of certain inorganic compounds and thus are not dependent on the conversion of light energy.

We learn about how our role on the planet is really to ensure the continued survival and trees and plants because as we all know we wouldn’t exist without them. The Western Cape is internationally renowned for spectacular plants and botanical displays. Some of the glucose that plants produce during photosynthesis is stored in fruits and roots. This is why we are able to eat carrots, potatoes, apples, water melons and all the others. These foods provide energy for humans and animals.

We must make sure that societies begin to rekindle the connection with mother earth and nature because life is designed for a synergy and connection instead of competition. Keep watching for more inspiration.

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By Alex Mitchison

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