Category: Blessings

Wild mushroooms

Its has been raining on and off for days now, but today the sun came out to play. And so did we.  And the sheep and their lambs. And the rest of the animals.

Baa baa white sheep

But we left them to sunbathe at the nursery and went to the beach instead. The waves were too messy and wild to surf so we just played in the waves and collected seaweed to be marinated for tomorrows salad.

Scarborough beach

On the way home decided to see if any mushrooms had decided to pop their heads up for our supper. They had. You have to adjust your vision a bit and get your “mushroom spotting” eyes on as they are little tricksters, cleverly disguising themselves as old leaves under fallen pines needles, bushes and grasses. But once you spot one *like magic* you can see them appearing all over the place. I couldn’t find anything for ages though. Husband: “Look for suspicious little mounds of grass.” Boy child: : “I am EXCELLENT at finding them!” The confidence of 6 year olds should be bottled and sold for millions. Girl child did not say much as she is only just 1, but wanted to join in so shouted “Mama! Mama!” crossly at some pine cones she was foraging for in the puddle she was sitting in.

We found some slippery jacks and some pine rings

Wild mushrooms

Which would go perfectly in a pasta sauce with some Trachyandra or Veldkool as it is commonly known, that we had foraged earlier in the day. Their tender flower buds are similar to young asparagus.

Trachyandra

There is something uniquely special about eating local foraged wild foods, giving you the feeling of really being in touch with the season. Getting the exact vitamins and minerals your body is suppose to be receiving. Back to our roots. Back to basics. But in a really delicious sort of way.

Foraging and harvesting in the gardens

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….

Picking PelargoniumPicking Pelargonium leaves. The different scented leaves of the Pelargoniums are heavenly in iced teas and baking.

Mentha longifoliaMinty fresh! Indigenous Mentha longifolia.

Wild JasmineSmelling the sweetly perfumed scent of a wild Jasmine flower.

Carissa bushLooking 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.

Sour figSour figs or Carpobrotus edulis. This an amazing all-rounder. It provides snacks, medicine and is a super easy water-wise plant to grow! The tortoises love eating these succulent fleshy leaves.

ChrysanthemoidesSearching 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.

Portulacaria afraTasting 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.

Kai appleLucky 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!

Kai applesThe old kai apples on the ground were declared perfect for magic potions.

Salad greensWe collected some salad greens from the veggie gardens. Coriander, different types of lettuce, spinach, baby beetroot tops, celery, fennel fronds, and edible flowers.

RadishesFat juicy radishes!

Tulbaghia violaceaWe 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.

Purple carrotsWe 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.

HarvestFood glorious food!

Rinsing the foodRinsing off the leaves and flowers.

Lavender and PelargoniumThe secret ingredients for the scones!

Making the sconesRolling and shaping and adding the petals and leaves to the scones.

Golden sugar-free flower sconesThis golden one is mine!

Fresh rainbow saladFresh rainbow salad – who could resist?

Carissa and Kai apple jam on flower sconesAnyone for a bite of Kai apple and Num num jam on warm buttered flower scones?

A foraged feast!After a morning of hard work, we sat down to a well deserved freshly foraged meal. Delicious!

Lunch time!All our foraged and harvested Fynbos Flavour walks are different, depending on whats growing in the gardens at the time of your visit.

Who knows what next seasons menu will bring…

Hope you will be at the table!

A Fynbos Frame of Mind

There is something different in the air on the Fynbos Walk. Whether it’s the crisp smells, the clear views, or the fresh breeze – I’m not sure what happens – but while you are focusing on a tiny flower, or gazing out over the landscape, somehow your worries and cares kind of melt away, blending into the water colour skies, bringing everything into perspective.

In a good way.

In a revitalizing, inspiring way.

Like a great yoga session, a long run or a good chat with an old friend.

EricasCrazy beautiful grasses

Reservoir sign

Watsonia seed heads

Geelbos and footpath sign

Reservoir

Protea lepidocarpodendron

High fiveBeautiful Fynbos

Cloud bank floating past

Clouds

Rocking out

Wild beauty

Erica show

Sun behind the clouds

“Youre off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So….get on your way!” – Dr Seuss

So if you want, come and get yourself some Fynbos perspective.

Its free. Its fresh. Its fantastic.

Food glorious food

Here is a sneak peek behind the scenes at all the food we have been growing, harvesting, preparing and, of course, eating!

Mieliesmielies

Purple carrotspurple carrots

Applesapples

Sweet potatoessweet potatoes

Mielies with mint and buttermielies with mint and butter

pumpkin and spice cookies

Two fig and ginger jamtwo fig and ginger jam

Stuffed squash flowers, purple carrots and wild garlicstuffed squash flowers and purple carrots and wild garlic

Pumpkin pie!pumpkin pie

Figsfigs

Wild garlic rollswild garlic rolls

Rhus toffie sweetsrhus toffee sweets

Rainbow radishesrainbow radishes

Feastingfeasting

More feastingmore feasting

Even more feasting

even more feasting!

Grace before a meal:

Blessings on the blossoms,

Blessings on the fruit,

Blessings on the leaves and stems

and Blessings on the root.

Blessings on this meal”