Category: Food

The Secret Garden Feast photo story

In the beginning of October we held a magical dining experience in a unique stetting- right in the middle of our plant retail.

Transporting guests to a place of community, nature and kindred spirits, enjoying feasting and festivities, belly dancing and the Gypsy melody’s of fantastic Ottoman Slap.

Not to mention lots of organic wine and Buchu ale.

A huge thank you to Juliette de Combes for taking these beautiful photos.

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

Ottoman Slap

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

Ottoman Slap

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

Ottoman Slap

The Secret Garden Feast

Ottoman Slap

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feat

Ottoman Slap

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

Ottoman Slap

Kelp Lasagna at The Secret Garden Feast

Ottoman Slap

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

Ottoman Slap

The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

Ottoman Slap

Ottoman Slap

The Secret Garden Feast

An event not possible without a lot of help from a lot of our friends. Thanks to all who participated in the magical event.

Who wants to join our next one?

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The Secret Garden Feast

The Secret Garden Feast

We invite you to come and experience this once-off pop-up event dedicated to sustainable cuisine that will tantalise all of your senses.

The meal will be created by the Forage Harvest Feast team, using fresh seasonal ingredients and locally produced products, transforming them into delicious foods.
Vegetables, herbs and wild foods will be picked and prepared on site that day from the Good Hope Gardens vegetable gardens. We will also be using indigenous edibles, seaweeds, floral foods and local artisan products.

Quality not quantity is to be observed and that means limited spaces! There will only be 50 seats available at the Secret Garden Feast so please book soon to avoid disappointment.

For your entertainment, you will be able to feast your ears and eyes on the five-piece Middle Eastern/Gypsy/Balkan fusion band, Ottoman Slap. Bringing you original compositions and traditional music with a twist – from Middle Eastern, Kletzmer, Andalusian, Romanian folk songs, and finally, to a mesmerising Tribal Fusion belly dancer to leave you enchanted!

The Secret Garden Feast will be held outdoors in the Indigenous plant nursery at Good Hope Gardens in Cape Point on Sunday the 12th of October at 4pm.

Tickets: R400 per person

Expect: edible center pieces, dancing, connection, community, real food and the unexpected.

To book contact Roushanna Gray at roushanna@hotmail.com

The Secret Garden Feast

 

Forage Harvest feast – August

This weekend we held one of the last Forage Harvest Feast fynbos forages of the season with amazing people, beautiful weather and delicious food.

Reconnecting with our food and gaining knowledge about our edible Indigenous landscape evoked interesting conversation that flowed around the like minded crowd.

Coleonema oatcakes and Salvia goats cheese

Coleonema “confetti bush” oatcakes and Salvia goats cheese

Buchu brandy

Buchu brandy

The forage classrooms table

The forage classroom.

Forage Harvest Feast

Washing and sorting the forage and harvested goods.

Edible flowers

Edible flower power.

Forage and Harvest course

Sorting the harvest.

Reconnecting to your food

Slow Food – the sweet life.

Wild herb cheeses

Wild herb cheeses

CWild food community meals

Making rainbow salads.

Wild garlic rolls

Wild garlic rolls.

Cooking lunch at Forage Harvest Feast

Cooking up a storm.

Wild food Feast

Feast!

Honeybush and lemon Pelargonium cupcakes

Honeybush and lemon Pelargonium cupcakes.

If you would like to join us on our last Forage Harvest Feast of the season, or bring your kids to join our Kids Forage and Harvest mornings, contact us soon as spaces are filling up quickly.

Forage Harvest Feast

September the 13th – Saturday from 10am-2pm

Kids Forage and Harvest mornings

Saturday 27th of September 10am – 12pm PIZZA
Monday  29th of September 2pm – 4pm PIZZA
Thursday 2nd of October 2pm – 4pm SCONES
Saturday 4th of October 10am – 12pm SCONES

For more info and to book please email roushanna@hotmail.com

 

Veggie Garden Club – August

At our latest veggie garden club meeting, we focused on soil, wicking beds and spring planting.

Each meeting is held at a different garden and this time we were kindly hosted by Pete and Germain of the Urban Farmers.

Urban Farmers container gardens

Lettuce growing in recycled plastic bottles.

Geodome chicken coop

The Urban Farmers brilliant geodome chicken coop.

Spring seedlings

Their seedlings for spring.

We started off the meeting by discussing what we will all be planting for our Spring gardens. And of course the essential baboon proofing – a lot of gardens have been raided recently and there is a great need to find low cost materials to create a secure cage system.

A few very interesting conversations included

  • Shade effects on growth of plants (inhibits growth)
  • Plant memory. If you plant your Spring veg too soon, they will get confused with the changing weather (hot and cold spells) leading up to consistent warm Spring weather. They will count the hot and cold conditions as seasonal changes and you will end up with premature bolting (going to seed).
  • Nitrogen needed in the soil for onions. Added to the soil this will help your onion crop grow bigger and faster and generally good for promoting leafy greens.
  • Soil improvement. For sandy coastal dune soil one should add compost (balance the alkalinity) and for sandy mountain soil one should add kaolin (balance the acidity) Getting the PH balance right is best for optimum growth. You can get a little PH soil testing kit to see how your soil is doing.
  • Compost. To make an excellent quality compost, make a huge pile of 50% horse manure and/or chicken manure and 50% straw.Cover with a plastic sheet and in 4-6 months time you will have a beautiful pile of ready to use compost.

Then Pete gave a great show and tell on wicking beds.

Here is a diagram for those of you unfamiliar with these water-wise container gardens, .

wicking bed image

Wicking bed

Wicking bed in the making…plastic lining attached.

square foot garden

Square foot gardening…seedlings planted up and ready to grow.

Franz suggested planting 16 lettuce plants in one square which would give yout 6 – 8 weeks of harvesting lettuce from your wicking bed garden, giving them space to grow as you harvest.

Wicking beds

Pete showed us some of the containers in the process of being built and told us how they work, above he is describing the 16 squares to plant in.If you are interested in these fantastic units for growing in but are not great with tools, you can contact them on their website or find them on their Facebook page to order one.

Pallet garden

There are many different sizes to choose from. For a mini version using the same capillary action they use plastic bottles cut in half and inverted as a mini wicking system, lined up in a neat pallet-shelf vertical garden.

wself watering wicking garden

The same idea can also be used in the ground.

And if you use the same ratio of 30cm of soil (1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite. 1/3 peat moss) under 6 cm of mulch in a normal garden bed, you would also have a great water wise garden and only need to do a long deep watering once a week.

Start with the basics and you can grow anything. Its all about your soil. 

Franz Muhl’s Vegetable seed sowing chart for the Cape Peninsula in August:

X – Optimal sowing time

x – Possible, depending on the seasonal weather

o -In the greenhouse or similar warm space

(D)irect or (T)ransplant * Final spacing-cm * Germination time-days * Maturation time-weeks * Heavy/Mod/Light feeder

Baby marrow – xxx       

D                   60-80 cm                 7-14days                     6weeks                               MF

Basil – ooo

T or D            20-30cm                  7-14days                     8-10weeks                          MF

Beetroot – xxx              

D                   8-12cm                    7-14days                     8-9weeks                            HF

Brinjal – ooo                

T                   40-50cm                  14-20days                    8-10weeks                          HF

Broccoli – xxxx             

T or D            30-40cm                  5-10days                     8-9weeks                            HF

Cabbage – xxxx           

T or D            40-50cm                  5-10days                     8-9weeks                             HF

Cauliflower – xxXX       

T or D            40-50cm                  5-10days                      8-10weeks                          HF

Carrot – xxXX              

D                    4-7cm                      7-10days                      8-10weeks                          LF

Celery – ooxx             

T                     30-40cm                  10-18days                    12-14weeks                        HF

Cucumber – xxxx        

D                     40-50cm                  7-14days                      8-10weeks                         MF

Kale – xxxx                 

T or D             40-50cm                   5-10days                      6-8weeks                           HF

Leek – xxxx                

T                     10-15cm                   6-14days                      8-10weeks                          MF

Lettuce – xxXX           

T or D             25-35cm                   3-7days                         8-10weeks                         LF

Pea – XXXX               

D                     4-5cm                       5-10days                       8-10weeks                         LF

Peppers – ooo          

T                     30-40cm                   14-20days                     9-11weeks                         HF

Potato – XXXX           

D                     30-40cm                   –                                    11-14weeks                       MF

Radish – XXXX          

D                     3-8cm                        3-5days                         3-4weeks                           HF         

Spring onion – xxXX   

T                    4-8cm                        6-14days                       8-10weeks                         LF

Squash – xxx             

D                    80-100cm                  7-14days                       2-15weeks                          MF                

Swiss chard – xxXX   

T or D             25-35cm                    7-14days                       8-10weeks                          MF      

Tomato – oooo         

T                     40-50cm                    5-10days                       7-10weeks                          MF

Happy planting everyone – Spring is almost here!

Wild Food on the West Coast

With dreams of long, sweet, left-handed rides down the point, we headed up the West Coast one weekend with a bakkie full of surfboards and a sparkle in our eyes.

But fate was not on our side and there was no swell to be found in Elands Bay. On our walks to the beach for the ever-hopeful surf report, we spotted many wild edibles growing along the road.

Mesembryanthemum crystallinumIce Plant – Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Trachyandra falcataVeldkool – Trachyandra falcata

Tetragonia decumbensDune spinach – Tetragonia decumbens

Inspired by the local wild food, we were delighted to secure a Sunday lunch booking at Oep ve Koep.

On our way to Paternoster, millions of bright yellow Oxalis flowers greeted us from both sides of the road as far as the eye could see.

Oxalis pes capraeSuring – Oxalis pes-caprae

Hungry, late and apologetic – we entered Die Winkel op Paternoster. For people who love farm products and wild food, we Had Arrived. We were served with the most amazing meal – the freshness, the detail, the involuntary roll of our eyes with each mouthful.

Wow.

Thank you Kobus van der Merwe – you are a wild food gastronomy alchemist.

Menu at Oep ve KoepUm….one of everything please.

OystersOysters with apple, wild sage flowers, wild fennel, ice plant and sea lettuce.

Chenopodium chapatisImifino chapatis with pickled veldkool and yoghurt.

Shoreline soupShoreline soup.

White fish pickle, Ice plant, citrus and fennel .Ice plant, white fish pickle, fennel and citrus.

Farm breadFarm bread and fresh herbs.

Farm butter, fish pate and orange preserve

Farm butter, fish pate and preserved orange.

DSCF6700

 Springbok, limpets, heerenboon, winter greens.

carrot bobotie

Carrot bobotie, pomegranate pilaf, peach mebos.

Come on, really now. Isn’t that just the best thing you have ever seen?

Seduced by the charm of the sleepy fishing village, we decided to stay the night and explore a bit. We went to the beach, for lots of walks and of course, to the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve.

Paternoster beach

Paternoster beach

Dimorphotheca pluvialis

Dimorphotheca pluvialis in white blossom.

Cape Columbine lighthouse

The Cape Columbine lighthouse.

And all around us…winter greens. A veritable landscape of food.

Wild asparagus

Wild asparagus

Veldkool

Veldkool.

Chrysanthemoides incana

Chrysanthemoides incana.

Malva

Pretty Mallow.

Wild sage

Wild sage.

What beautiful and tasty biodiversity we have in our country. Hand in hand with sustainable harvesting, food security has a fragrant light at the end of South Africas wild food tunnel.

Rise up Indigenous food revival – you are delicious!

Forage Harvest Feast

A few weeks ago we had our first Forage Harvest Feast of the season.

It was cold, wet and delicious.

We had a very interesting crowd, including the talented Kate Higgs, who joined us with her magic photography skills.

Here is a little bit of what we got up to…

Peppermint PelargoniumPelargonium tomentosum

Foraging toolsTools

Urban hunter gathererThe Urban Hunter Gatherer digging up some wild garlic – Tulbaghia violacea.

Medicinal Indigeous plantsDescribing medicinal uses for sour fig – Carpobrotus edulis.

VeldkoolVeldkool season – Trachyandra.

Forage Harvest Feast

A sensory experience.

City of EdenAnna Shevel of The City of Eden with her basket of goods.

Wild foodGood Hope honey and raw wild berry jam

Organic vegOrganic veg.

Foaging course Cape TownWashing and chatting.

Foraged ingredientsA foraged herb basket.

Table Bay Hotel chefsChefs from the Table Bay Hotel having fun and chopping up a storm

Wild greens pestoThe Pesto Queen

Forage Harvest FeastFrom bush to table…

Centre for Optimal HealthFeast!

Pelargonium and HoneybushcupcakesPelargonium and Honeybush cupcakes.

Fynbos Foraging courseIf you would like to join us for a Forage Harvest Feast, here are the upcoming course dates:

Saturday the 16th of August, 10am – 2pm FULLY BOOKED

Saturday the 30th of August, 10am – 2pm

Saturday the 4th of October, 10am – 2pm

To book or for more info email roushanna@hotmail.com

 

Hashtag farmlife

Winter is alive.

The squelch of mud under your gumboots, the soft touch of rain on your face, the warmth of a fire in the evening. Dams filling up, rivers flowing, crisp winter greens.Bright copper kettles with warm woolen mittens. You get the idea.

Have you ever seen a sheep shake off rain like a dog does? Its brilliant. The sheep-shake is the new essence of winter for me. That and spinning wool by the fire. The smell of lanolin as I peddle barefoot. 2000 and what did you say?

We might be hippies but we like to think we are hip. We know about things like hashtags and pinterest and instagram.

Here are some photos of #farmlife #capepoint #goodhopegardens

Bee collecting pollen on an AloeBusy bee collecting pollen from an Aloe flower.

PeasWinter peas

Angulare tortoiseAngulare tortoise enjoying a little bit of sunshine.

Baboons ate the carrotsRaided by the baboons

PigsFeeding raided carrot tops to the pigs.

Happy carrotsBut not all of them were eaten. Happiness.

SheepShepherdesses

GoatThis goat. Always reaching for those goals.

Chilli seedsSeed saving – Chilli’s.

And of course, winter brings weeds. Weeds, weeds, weeds.

They have popped up all over our gardens, jostling for position in-between our flowers and veg. There is a cute saying that goes

Weeds – If you cant beat them, eat them.

Many weeds are edible, but you must be able to identify them correctly before attempting any wild weedy snacks as there are also many poisonous ones out there. Two good ones to start with would be Marog or Imfino – our local Lambsquarters and family of the Amaranth, and of course Urtica dioica the stinging Nettle.

Wild greens - marogo and nettle

Nettles are a mega nutrient high superfood. Its best to wear gloves when picking them and if you put them in a bowl and pour hot water over them, the stinging properties go away, leaving you to handle them freely. Marog comes in many different varieties, ranging from red through to dark green. You get a small grained, big leafed variety whose leaves you can use like spinach or a big grained, small leaf variety whose seeds can be used as a grain. Here is my Winter Greens soup recipe which include both of these weeds:

Winter Greens soup

INGREDIENTS:
1 tbs olive oil
2 onions with their greens, chopped
2 tbs chopped wild garlic leaves
2 cups of chopped spinach
2 cups of chopped nettles
2 cups of chopped marog leaves
a handful of white rice, amaranth or quinoa
1 litre of veg stock
Salt and pepper
Plain yoghurt or cream to drizzle over each bowl
METHOD:
Cook the onions and garlic over a medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the rice, stir, cover with a lid and turn the heat down and cook for about 15 mins. Add the stock and the greens and cook for a further 15 mins. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot and drizzle the yoghurt or cream over each and garnish with a sprig of herbs.

Wild greens soup

You can enjoy this soup along with many other delicious wild food dishes at our Forage Harvest and Feast courses starting up again at the end of July.

FORAGE HARVEST FEAST
Fynbos Foraging Course
This half day course takes place in and around the Good Hope Gardens Nursery in Cape Point
Each course is different according to seasonality and availability in the gardens and the Fynbos. Explore the gardens, discover and pick edible floral foods and fresh organic vegetables. Learn about indigenous edibles, and how to utilize them in your kitchen, how to grow them in your garden and their medicinal properties. Notes and recipes on the plants that we use in the meal will be provided.
You will enjoy wild food snacks and drinks, a delicious meal shared by the group made from ingredients that we will forage and harvest along the way and end with a decadent wild desert, Fynbos tea and Buchu brandy.

Email roushanna@hotmail for more details.