Category: Fynbos walk

Spring Sale!

Our annual Spring Sale will be happening on Saturday the 14th of September from 10am – 4pm. Don’t miss out!

What you can expect:

Plant sale: Spruce up your gardens this Spring with Fynbos, Indigenous, edible, medicinal, non-indigenous, herbs, succulents plants and more. ALL the plants in the retail will be discounted at less 15%!

Fynbos walks: Go exploring along the fynbos walks on the Klaasjagersberg mountain path.

Food: Enjoy a snack, relax in the shady seating or grab takeaway – delicious samoosas, dahl and rice, curry, hot chips, bakes and refreshments.

Kid’s fun: Kids will love the playground, farm animals and face painting.

Indigenous Spring Garden Competition: Prize-giving will be held at 11am

Car boot sale: Come and find some bargains – one mans junk is another mans treasure!

So pencil it in your diary, tap it into your blackberry or stick a note on your forehead. Grab your friends and their neighbors, your family and that Facebook friend you never see in real life and join us for a day of Fynbos Fun!

Email us on fynbosplants@xsinet.co.za for more info.

Visit us on our Facebook page

Hope to see you there!!!

Pelargonium in Spring

Forage, Feast and Garden Tours

Good Hope Gardens

Fynbos Flavours

Forage, Feast and Garden Tours

This half day course takes place in and around the Good Hope Gardens Nursery in Cape Point run by Roushanna and Gael Gray on weekends and can accommodate 12 people. A minimum group of 8 is required.

Group bookings can be arranged on request in the week. Corporate bookings for up to 20 people via special arrangement. Starting time for the course is 10am. To book please contact roushanna@hotmail.com

Cost

The half day course includes pre-prepared wild food snacks and drinks tasted along the walk, a simple delicious meal shared by the group that we will forage along the way and a pre-prepared wild desert. You will also receive information sheets and recipes on the plants that we will use in the meal.

R500 per person or R1800 for group of 4 friends.

Alternatively you can book a Wild Food Meal and sit down and enjoy a Wild Food tasting lunch at your leisure (minimum of 10 per group)

What to expect

Each course is different according to seasonality and availability in the gardens and the bush. Explore our 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. After the snacks and tour we will get creative and prepare and share a meal. This will be followed by questions and answers. You can also enjoy a 10% discount in the nursery retail should you wish to purchase any indigenous plants for your garden.

What to bring

Gumboots or comfortable walking shoes, raincoat/sun hat – suitable outdoor gear. Cameras are welcome. Don’t forget an open mind and your sense of humor!

Other courses and walks we offer:

Coastal Foraging

Kids Forage Harvest and Feast

Educational Fynbos walks

Guided fynbos walks

 

Visit This Post for an introduction to your guides!

Sun tea Stuffed squash flowers, purple carrots and wild garlic  Patty pans IMG_20130426_113018

Great article and wild food recipes

This week we had a lovely write up in our local newspaper about our foraging, feasting and garden tours in The Falsebay Echo:

Image

Included in the article were two of my wild food recipes: Wild Asparagus Quiche and Wild Syrups which I will share with you below.

Quick and Easy Wild Asparagus Quiche

Pastry:

100g flour, 100g butter, 100g grated cheddar cheese.

Filling:

2 cups of washed wild asparagus tips, half a cup of spekboom (Portulacaria afra) leaves, one young onion diced, 3 free range eggs, 50g smooth cottage cheese, 60g feta cheese, half a cup of milk, a tbs of cornflour, half a tsp of baking powder, one tbs butter for frying.

Method:

Rub the flour, butter and cheese together until a dough is formed and press evenly into a greased pie dish.

Fry the onions in the butter until translucent and then add the spekboom and asparagus and stir fry for five minutes.

Remove from heat and let it cool. In a bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together and pour over the uncooked pastry shell. Carefully spoon the asparagus mix equally over the egg mix and bake in a preheated oven at  180 degrees until golden brown, about half an hour.

Wild Syrups

Ingredients:

1cup of scented leaves – for example Peppermint Pelargonium, Rose Pelargonium or Wild mint leaves – washed and patted dry with a dish towel. Half a cup of sugar. One cup of water.

Method:

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over a low heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved – this takes about 15mins, stirring occasionally. Strain through a sieve, squeezing the last of the syrup out of the leaves against the sieve with a spoon. Decant into sterilized bottles. Enjoy over ice cream, yoghurt, as a cordial or in a cocktail!

Peppermint Pelargonium syrup

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.

Prizes for Good Hope Gardens Nursery’s Indigenous Spring Garden Competiton

Prizes prizes prizes

What a happy word

Look how much happiness is below in all these fantastic prizes. A massive thanks to all our generous sponsors!!!!!

Good Hope Gardens Nursery Indigenous Spring Garden Competition PRIZES:

Most creative small space indigenous garden:

First place – Annex meal voucher for a two course meal for two people

The Annex in Kalk Bay
The Annex in Kalk Bay

Second place – 1hour Guided Fynbos Walk for four people, valued at R350

Guided Fynbos Walk at Good Hope Gardens Nursery
Guided Fynbos Walk at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Third place – R200 Good Hope Gardens Nursery voucher

Good Hope Gardens Nursery
Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Most diverse large indigenous garden:

First place – 3hour Garden Clean-up from Good Hope Gardens Landscaping, valued at R1000

Good Hope Gardens Landscaping garden clean up
Good Hope Gardens Landscaping garden clean up

Second place – 1.5m long latte bench from The Pole Yard valued at R550

Latte bench from The Pole Yard
Latte bench from The Pole Yard

Third place – R250 meal voucher for The Meeting Place in Simonstown  

The Meeting Place in Simonstown
The Meeting Place in Simonstown

Most creative junior indigenous garden:

First place – Playground Party Venue voucher for 3hours valued at R750 from Good Hope Gardens Nursery         

Playground Party Venue at Good Hope Gardens Nursery
Playground Party Venue at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Second place – Dreamweavers kids wooden chair

Wooden handpainted Dreamweaver kiddies chair
Wooden hand painted Dreamweaver kiddies chair

Online photo entry – plant photo entitled “Indigenous beauty”

First place – Ilundi hand stitched leather I-pad case valued at R450

Ilundi hand stitched leather I-pad case
Ilundi hand stitched leather I-pad case

Second place – R250 meal voucher from Decks restaurant in Kommetjie

Decks Cafe in Kommetjie
Decks Cafe in Kommetjie

Online junior photo entry – plant photo entitled “Indigenous is fun” taken by photographer under 16 year old

First place – R150 voucher from La Chatelaine

La Chatelaine in Fishhoek
La Chatelaine in Fishhoek

Second place – R100 gift voucher from Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Good Hope Gardens Nursery
Good Hope Gardens Nursery

 Such fantastic prizes, all of them!

Its FREE and EASY to enter….so get digging and snapping to win!

Foraging in the Fynbos

Foraging is in.

It’s hot and hip and happening.

It’s on the up and up and it’s trending right now.

Take a look at D.O.M in Brazil listed as the 4th best restaurant in the world and Noma in Copenhagen rated no 1 best restaurant in the world last year “Taking nature’s bounty to new levels”. They both work with indigenous ingredients.

Slow Foods are taking it seriously. The Ark of Taste is documenting it globally.

Locally check out this “West Coast odyssey” blog

This wonderful lady is even doing it in the city, check out her pavement foraging

Dr Renata Coetzee and of course the one and only Margaret Roberts (my hero) have some amazing recipes.

Here is an extract I found on Google Books from “Stories that Float from Afar: Ancestral Folklore of the San of Southern Africa” edited by J.D. Lewis-Williams: “Plant food or veldkos, as it is known in Southern Africa, was gathered principally, though not exclusively, by women. According to local conditions, veldkos comprised of edible roots, berries, nuts, grass seeds and so forth.” When I used to search for veldkos on the internet, there was a smattering of entries, but now it’s all over Google. At last! *Happiness* Here is a great link explaining more about veldkos as well as some local restaurants that cook with indigenous ingredients

We forage regularly at home to enhance our meals. Whether it is seaweed, wild mushrooms, indigenous plants, or even harvesting our garden vegetables, we always try to have something fresh in our meals.

I never used to forage. I used to shop mindlessly in the supermarkets, buying at will, regardless of the season. Since moving and living here I have become aware of what is readily available among the wild plants that grow in the area, how to prepare them and how exquisite all the flavours are. Before I lived here I would walk with half open eyes, enjoying the fresh air and commenting on all the pretty flowers. Now when we go for walks, I have become like a squirrel. A squirrel with secateurs and a basket. With my eyes peeled and nose twitching, I scan the bushes for ripe berries and edible flowers, checking for roots and shoots, rubbing and smelling the scented foliage to conjure up ideas for my next recipe. We tend to get excited when we see ripe seed on our walks. Shouting at one another to come and have a look, in fact. Very excited indeed.

Forging sustainably and responsibly is very important. And to know what is edible and what is poisonous is rather serious. We often have requests to be taken around to go looking for edibles. Even though we love doing this and definitely love eating and having fun, there are simply not enough hours in our day to do it all the time for free, so we are now offering “Foraging in the Fynbos” guided walks and tastings here at the nursery, on our mountain and in our gardens. See previous blog post for more details.

Foraging.

It’s on.

 Get your walking shoes on and don’t forget a bag.

Take my hand and let’s go find something to eat…. I’m hungry, aren’t you?

Garden and veld food, fresh and delicious
Wild garlic and purple carrots, can you dig it?