Category: Flower recipes

Grewia occidentalis recipe

Grewia occidentalis is commonly known as kruisbessie or cross-berry tree. It is a fast growing small tree or large shrub, hardy, has fibrous roots and grows in a variety of soil conditions. It can be planted in full sun or shade, and makes a great wind break. Once mature, it likes to be pruned. They can grow up to 5 meters, wind dependent.

Grewia occidentalis

It has very strong wood that does not splinter and was used traditionally by the bushmen to make bows and by the Xhosa and Zulu to make bows and handles for axes and assegaai’s. It also has a host of magical and medicinal properties including using the bark as a shampoo to combat grey hair and making a tea out of the leaves and twigs to ease childbirth or for impotency and bareness.

It attracts butterflies, is loved by birds for its tasty berries and carpenter bees often find a home in its wood and relish the pollen from pretty ten petaled mauve star-shaped flowers. Livestock enjoy the bark and leaves.Grewia occidentalis flower

It forms a four lobed fruit, green at first and then ripening to a golden reddish brown waxy fruit. These fruits are sweet and chewy with a tough skin and a big pip. They were used by bushmen as snacks particularly for long journeys as they kept well as dried fruit. Other culinary uses include flavouring porridge, the fruit crushed for juice and either taken fresh or fermented for beer, boiled with milk or used in a goats milk yoghurt.

Grewia occidentalis berries

We have a big Grewia tree outside our house, filled with life – at the moment the berries are just beginning to ripen, and the garden is filled with the sounds of the birds and bees, butterflies and insects busy in the branches, flitting from flower to flower. I too, was in the tree. Dangling precariously from the treehouse planks, tiptoeing on the little branches, looking for some ripe fruit for my recipe. Crazed by the idea in my head, I even forgot about my fear of heights. Not dangerous at all. Especially when we spotted a massive snake in the tree a few hours later.

Hot crossberry drink.

Hot Crossberry drink - Grewia occidentalis


1 handful of ripe Grewia o. berries

1 cup of milk ( I used goats milk)

A few half opened Grewia o. flowers.


Put the berries and milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins. Pour through a strainer and sieve, squashing all the flavoured milk through with the back of a spoon. Pour into a cup, serve warm. Pop a few semi opened flowers on top of the drink and watch as they open up completely with the heat of the drink. Smile as everyone claps.

This drink is deliciously malty and sweet with a hint of fruit, creamy in texture and a dreamy caramel colour.


Cheers to Indigenous food revival.

Grewia occidentalis

Grewia occidentalis berries


Indigenous Healing Plants – Margaret Roberts

Food from the Veld – F.W.Fox and M. E. Norwood Young

Tom Gray from Good Hope Gardens Landscaping

Kids Forage and Harvest Morning

Last week we had two brilliant Kids Forage mornings.

Forage and Harvest classroomJust do the math:

Kids + school holidays + baskets + edible flowers & wild herbs + farm animals + an awesome playground + baking + paper + crayons

= A bunch of happy kids, floral & wild herb scones with lashings of jam and cream, fynbos iced tea, art, shrieks of laughter, new friends, plant knowledge, full tummies and
a Wild Fun Time!

Check it out:

Tasting spekboomDaring each other to eat the Spekboom leaves

Picking and tasting Borage flowersTasting Borage flowers

Chatting along the walkDiscussing the merits of foraged wild edibles versus harvested crops. Or how mushy the mud is.

Peppermint PelargoniumPeppermint Pelargonium …”It tastes like bubblegum!”

Bella the pigMeeting Bella the pig

GoatsJust kidding around

Washing the flowersWashing flowersWashing the flowers and wild herbs

Drying the flowersThen spinning them dry

choppingChop chop

Making sconesMaking the scones

Tasting the scone doughQuality control tasting

In the playgroundIn the playgroundIn the playgroundHaving fun in the playground

Time for scones!Scones are ready!

Flower and wild herb scones with cfeam and jamYummy

Tucking into sconesYummy

Flower sconesIn my

Flower scones with jam and creamTummy!

plant drawingArt classBird drawingProud little artistAnd such creative artists!

Thank you to all the lovely children and their wonderful parents for bringing them for the fun filled morning.

Next time we will be making pizza!

Hope to see all those who who could not make it at one of the next Kids Forage Mornings.

Edible flowers

Its an overcast, rainy day outside.


There are low clouds sweeping across the Fynbos Walk. At night we are still lighting fires, sleeping with extra blankets and wearing layers in the day.

But the garden is convinced that Spring is here!

Here are some of the edible flowers in bloom in our gardens:

CornflowersMulti-coloured Cornflowers





Radish Radish



Perenial basilPerennial Basil



TulbaghiaWild garlic



Rainbow salad recipes are on my mind. Do any of you have a great flower recipe you wouldn’t mind sharing?

Happy Spring!