Category: Medicinal plants

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.

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Spring Forage and Harvest course

On a freezing cold and drizzly Saturday morning, our wild food enthusiast group set off on a Forage and Harvest garden tour.

We looked, picked and dug, touched, smelt and tasted, prepared, cooked and ate indigenous edibles, organic veggies, floral foods, wild herbs and weeds.

Everyone walked away with new plant knowledge, recipes, notes, a packet of seeds, new friends, a full belly and a smile on their face.

Here are a few of the many beautiful images that Juliette de Combes took on the day:

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Wild garlic

Gumboots required!

In the veggie garden

Borage

Cornflowers

Pelargonium flowers

Snacks

Kapokbos

Nettle

Fennel

Prepping

Wild garlic roll

Cooking

Relish on Bree

Nettle and spinach soup

Feast!

Thank you to all the wild food enthusiasts in the group!

 Lets do it again sometime – new season, new ingredients.

If you want in on the fun, contact us

and discover local wild food.

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

Winter photo haikus

For a change in rhythm, I decided to describe these winter photos of the nursery in Haiku form. They are not very good, possibly a bit cheesy, but I definitely had fun writing them!

Here are some haikus about nature. This blog has a new haiku every day. This one shows kids how to write haikus. And these are a few funny haikus.

Give it a go – its relaxing and fun and a perfect thing to do in your garden with a cup of tea on a sunny Sunday morning.

Let the sun shine down

on Knippophia praecox

glowing and greeting.

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Aloe aloe kids

wooden park with swings and things

climb and laugh and play

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A bird made of rust

in a nest of succulents

outside the office.

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A. ciliaris

in flower as a mauve star

so good in my tea

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Walk in and see us

Fall in love with our colours

dancing in the breeze

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Pathways to lead you

through inspiration and dreams

your garden design.

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Cool shady seating

a picnic in the shadows

rest your weary feet

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House under mountains

nurturing baby seedlings

till we can sell them

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Succulent koppie

kom kuier in this bathroom

don’t forget to flush

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Three white goats looking

don’t climb into my garden

but thanks for your milk

IMG_20130710_232123

The Aloe ferox

so medicinally great

garden pharmacy

IMG_20130710_232426

Happy planting from

Good Hope Gardens Nursery

hope to see you soon

IMG_20130710_220059

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!

Experience Fynbos flavours at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

We are now offering fynbos flavour taste sensations and fynbos education all rolled into one tasty little package….read all about it here:

Enjoy the Flavours of Fynbos at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Gael and Roushanna Gray invite you to join them at Good Hope Gardens Nursery to share and enjoy a seasonal organic veg and fynbos fusion food meal using fresh farm produce, indigenous herbs, roots and seeds foraged off their land and seaweed from rock pools along the Atlantic Ocean coast line. They will be sharing their knowledge of edible indigenous herbs and how to successfully grow them in your own gardens. A 10% discount will be available on all plants in the nursery including the edible and medicinal plant display.

Gael started the Good Hope Gardens Nursery over 25 years ago in its beautiful fynbos surrounds near Cape Point when indigenous plants were unpopular and exotics were the norm. She has done ground breaking work in introducing previously unused indigenous species into the horticultural trade and has a wealth of indigenous plant knowledge!

Roushanna has a passion for food having been brought up with an eclectic mix of Cape Malay cooking, Jewish and Christian traditional feasts, and Steiner school harvest festivals. She was inspired by the local edible indigenous plant availability and has been experimenting with the exciting flavours of the fynbos ever since moving to the nursery 7 years ago.

There are several organic vegetable gardens growing at the nursery as well as chickens, ducks, goats, sheep a pig and several beehives. Food is always a focus at the main farmhouse and something from the garden is always on the table at mealtimes. Friends and family are often over to share and enjoy the bounty of the land and indulge in the latest recipe.

Spaces are limited to 12 people max. To find out more info, costs or to book, please call us on 0217809299 or email us at fynbosplants@xsinet.co.za or roushanna@hotmail.com

The goods