Seed for thought: paper that grows

At the foot of the Paardeberg Mountain, where the early morning mist hovers between the oak trees and vineyards until the sun appears, you’ll hear the bustling sounds of eager hands working to create handmade paper embedded with seeds. On the farm, Wyngaardt, the Growing Paper Company team creates a beautiful collection of seed-paper products. Their products include bookmarks, calendars, gift cards, tags, notebooks as well as customised corporate stationary.

The Growing Paper Company collects post-consumer waste paper from local schools, banks and businesses and then use it to make their iconic handmade seed paper. This paper is then used to make a variety of products and custom corporate stationary.

TCD Outcomes Research recently commissioned Growing Paper to make our promotional corporate stationery. Their helpful team provided excellent customer support throughout the process. We received our stationery within a week from placing the order and were very happy with the end result. In alignment with our vision: “Let our work and actions benefit humanity”, we are proud to support local eco-friendly initiatives such as these.

The growing paper idea was born one day in 2009 when Roxanne Schumann threw out a wedding invitation. She was troubled by the idea of just throwing away a beautifully designed piece of art and wanted to find a way of reusing the paper. She came up with the solution of adding seeds to paper so that it could be sown once read. In 2010 Roxanne and Nileta Knoetzen opened the Growing Paper factory on the Wyngaardt family farm.

The growing paper products are all produced by hand in the factory. Waste paper is processed into pulp by adding water. From this pulp, the papermakers produce handmade sheets. Finally, the paper is dried in a tunnel. All the paper products, embedded with either with flower, herb or vegetable seeds can be planted and nurtured after being used for its original purpose.

The team who forms the heart of the business is made up of 23 individuals from the Malmesbury area and surrounding farms. Carolette, described as “practical and organised”, is the print guru and trimmer. “LOL” Franza, is in charge of admin and “Respectful” Zaid is responsible for quality control, die-cutting and binding. “Ambitious” Abdul is the driver and also the maintenance “guru”. He assists Jackie in the trimming process. “Poshy” Pam is responsible for packing all orders and staff manager Porcia, “always has a plan”. At the core of the team you will also find Cecilia, Meisie, Ceearle, Pierre, Dennwe, Manusca, Desmorien, Beranice, Natalie, Griet and Leena, Chaney, Madeline, Iline and Mercia, carefully producing the paper products by hand. Their products include wholesale items as well as custom promotional material and wedding stationery. Clients can choose from a variety of flower, herb and vegetable seeds. These include Alyssum, Poppies, African Daisies, Vygies, Forget me not, Snapdragon, Rocket, Basil, Parsley, Thyme, Chilli, Lettuce, Carrots and Tomatoes.

To support this innovative initiative and to see what they have to offer, visit http://www.growingpaper.co.za/

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