We believe that to prevent humankind’s drive to destroy the planet and ourselves we must begin with ourselves, our homes and harness as much as possible natural energy to build niches that will sustain us in the long run. We hope to lead by example for the sake of our youth who will inherit our mess.

The peasant’s ‘dream is to return to a life that is not handicapped. His determination is to hand on the means of survival (if possible made more secure, compared to what he inherited) to his children. His ideals are located in the past; his obligations are to the future, which he himself will not live to see. After his death he will not be transported into the future – his notion of immortality is different: he will return to the past’. (John Berger, ‘Pig Earth’)

Niche Unity NPO

About the Niche Unity NPO

Outeniqua PGS
We offer:
Participatory Guarantee Systems, Communication support and advocacy for South Africa (PGS SA)
research and evaluation desk if you or your organization needs spadework towards that submission, proposal or report.
• Advocacy support services to support a shift towards sustainable agriculral and food systems

NU HORUS (Niche Unity Hands on Rural Unification Support) NPO trading as “Niche Unity” NPO reg. 063-137

ABSA account NUHORUS 9288670349

The Peasant Hub
Suite 15
Plum Tree Trading Post
Sedgefield 6573
Western Cape, South Africa

Mondays to Friday: 08.30-12.30

Our agroecology track-record speaks for itself:


Updates from my former Izivunguvungu students achieving sailing excellence.

Matt was former managing director of the development sailing school Izivunguvungu for a decade in its heyday when it was associated with the Team shosholoza Americas cup 2007 campaign.  Well done Gerrie and Asenathi “RCYC Team to defend Lipton Challenge Cup 2019 This year we received two expressions of interest to represent  RCYC at Lipton Challenge Cup being sailed during …

Scale up farming or diversify at Shepherds Keep?

In Farming making more is not always about being heavier, sometimes paradoxically its about being lighter. “Its not about growing cabbages…”  was a famous quote by ALAN ROSENBERG  Biodynamic farmer. Allen was one of my favorite lecturers during my studies of Agroecology at the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch. If you grow cabbages you must sell a …

Is small still beautiful or must we scale up to survive?

We tried for five years but in the end found that although able to live sustainably on a small 1000 sq. metre plot of ground, we couldn’t afford any extra nice-to-haves, developmental and leisure liquidity (see my dissertation towards an M.Phil degree with the Sustainability Institute of the University of Stellenbosch. Is our only way …


We have walked the talk (see projects and initiatives page), we can help you do likewise. Email me. matt@nicheunity.com

Matt Mentz  Matthew Mentz: 2013. M.Phil (awarded with distinction) in Sustainable Development and Environmental Management.  South African Sustainability Institute, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Practicing Agroecology developer, coach, sailor. Dissertation: Unearthing the determinants required for off-grid subsistence.

  Sasha Mentz-Lagrange (sasha@nicheunity.com): Sasha is an independent researcher and consultant with over 12 years of experience in the field of sustainable development and climate change. She has a strong interest in building resilience to climate change, sustainable food systems, food sovereignty, agroecology and ecological building. Sasha is actively engaged in supporting the South African Organic Sector organization (SAOSO), notably through supporting the emergence and sound management of Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) to ensure organic food production. Sasha holds a Master’s degree in Geopolitics and Political Science from the Sorbonne University in Paris, as well as an M.Phil in Sustainable Development Management from the Sustainability Institute (Stellenbosch University). She lives off-grid on a smallholding in the Garden Route with her family and farms dairy goats organically.

 Carla Jackson: started her career in 1997 working for Pharma Natura in order to learn about homeopathic remedies. From there went onto training to be a Waldorf class teacher where she developed her passion for bio-dynamic farming.As it was challenging at the time to find work in this field, decided to take a gap year and traveled with a friend to Nairobi on mountain bikes. On returning she studied graphic and web design and eventually specialised  in computer animation and special effects. Through a desire to be on a real film set, took a summer job as a landscaper for film, which led to her current careers as a greensperson for the last 20 years.  http://green-age.co.za Thriving on challenges, but most of all enjoying the ability to work with large teams, uplifting, empowering and developing skills. Her ultimate goal is to connect small scale farmers to the medical industry to grow high quality medicinal plants.

 Stefanie Swanepoel: is an experienced writer, researcher and lecturer with a focus on sustainable and regenerative systems. She has conducted work for private and public organisations, including the World Bank, United Kingdom Department for International Development, Oxfam Germany, GIZ South Africa, the Green Fund, United Nations Environment Programme, the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Facility and the International Finance Corporation. Local projects include drafting a sustainability report for the Shoprite Group, researching African food systems for the African Centre for Biodiversity, providing research and editing services to the Sustainability Institute, videography production for the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s LandCare programme, and editing South Africa’s draft National Adaptation Strategy, as well as drafting the chapter on climate change communication, among others. She lectures on seed and food systems, activism and creative expression for social entrepreneurs at the Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch University. Stefanie is a director of African Earth Rights – a communications consultancy and a director of The Beach Co-op – an organisation focused on eliminating single-use plastics from the economy. She is the founder and one of the managers of Ecobrick Deep South in the peninsula. Stefanie holds an Mphil (with distinction) in sustainable development from the Sustainability Institute.

Credits: Website design: Hendrik Mentz | Photographs: Hendrik Mentz and Sasha Mentz. Web security, maintenance & support: Dustan Franks – WordPress Ninja | Product design (Niche Unity logo & product labels, Organic Suurbraak sign): Doret Ferreira – dottedlinedesign