This post is dedicated to Tai, Thandi, Jack and Rubi
School holidays are viewed with mixed joy and dread. There is the joy of no dark, cold, early morning lunchbox hunts and school runs but with it brings the dread of how to keep such keen little minds entertained the whole day! We kicked off our holiday with a Fynbos Flavour walk and garden tour at the nursery, picking and discovering new smells and tastes and textures. And, of course – getting dirty and eating lots of delicious food. The kids loved every second!
The Fynbos and veg forage and harvest begins….
Looking for ripe Num Num or Carissa berries. The white milk that you see when you pick these berries are non toxic. The fruit is delicious and attracts birds and butterflies but this clever bush protects its berries with big spiky thorns.
Searching for some ripe Tick Berries. The Crysanthemoides monilifera is much loved by the birds and they have usually eaten all the ripe berries before we can find any! “monilifera” means “bearing a necklace” in Latin, referring to its cluster of berries. The berries are green until they ripen, turning into plump juicy black berries that look just like fat ticks.
Tasting some spekboom leaves. The Portulacaria afra is a fascinating plant. The sharp tart flavoured leaves are edible and are a great addition added raw to salads or fried with a bit of butter and seasoning. It has many medicinal properties including the traditional use of increasing milk production in breastfeeding moms. Elephants love this juicy plant and its a great carbon absorber. It also soaks up the suns harmful rays, creating a happy healthy enviroment for animals and insects to live under.
Lucky us – there was a Dovyalis caffra with an abundance of its tasty fruit spilling over just waiting to be foraged. Dovyalis means Spear in Greek, and there are long sharp thorns protecting the fruit in these trees. Six nimble fingered hands soon got the hang of extracting the fruit though!
We dug for some wild garlic roots. This was quite an established patch, so we had to dig hard and carefully separate some of these roots to be scrubbed well and baked in the oven. As soon as the long leaves are bruised it gives of a strong garlic aroma. Throughout summer, these plants have beautiful violet flowers that can be added to salads and especially delicious in potato salad.
We found some crazy purple carrots! These have an amazing nutty taste, nothing like the tasteless orange carrots you find in the supermarkets. Best eaten raw, seconds after picking them and washing them off.
Who knows what next seasons menu will bring…
Hope you will be at the table!