Category: Photos

Pics taken in and around Good Hope Nursery

Foraging for flavour

On our last Fynbos Forage – Forage Harvest Feast – we welcomed the winner of our last Facebook competition, Nic Leighton and his partner Gabby Holmes.

Luckily for us, it turned out that they are both highly talented photographers and arrived for the forage armed with cameras and a passion for foraging and food – a great combination!

A huge Thank You to Gabby was kind enough to share some of the beautiful shots she took on the day, capturing each moment so that you can almost smell the fragrance through her photos.

 Wildfood snacks

Sheeps milk cheese

Edible flower cheeses

Forage Harvest Feast

Foraging course Cape Town

Rooibosand Pepermint Pelargonium cupcakes

Rooibos cupcakes

For those wanting to join us on one of these courses, we only have four left for the season with the first two upcoming forages already fully booked – so hurry and save yourself a spot soon by emailing roushanna@hotmail.com

We would love to have you join us in our Foraging and Feasting!

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?

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

 

Incredible edible adventure

This is a story about an edible landscape. Of our origins. Of our relationship with the sea. I’ll try and get my facts straight, but I am very caught up in the romance of it all…

Once upon a time, long long ago – between 123,000 and 195,000 years ago – the world went through a harsh climate change. A great Ice Age wiped out all human existence.

Wait. What?

All human existence?

No.

Because at the tip of dry and arid Africa, along a little strip of the Southern coast, there was a small group of about 600-700 people living, surviving and thriving on the indigenous edibles around them.

This would help explain the fact that humans have less genetic diversity than other species, which initially sparked the idea for researchers that humans were once reduced to a small population.

In this cold glacial period, ice sheets covered large parts of the earth lowering the sea level. There were intermittent warm periods where the sea level rose again, and this is when the Pinnacle Point caves in Mossel Bay were inhabited. In colder times when the sea receded, other caves were used which are now covered by the sea.

These Palaeolithic ancestors of ours lived in caves about 2-5kms from the sea. They were sustained by a unique, stable diet of nutrient rich shellfish full of Omega-3 fatty acids foraged from the intertidal rock pools as well as plant food from the abundant vegetation around them. Protein came from the land animals they could catch, but more importantly they had a steady supply of shellfish including brown mussels, periwinkles, alikreukel, abalone and the occasional beached whale. Carbohydrates came in the form of various underground tubers, roots, corms and bulbs foraged in the veld.

Fascinating research by an international team headed by palaeoanthropologist Curtis Marean from the Institute of Human Origins of the Arizona State University, show that this is where Early Modern Man evolved. Professor Marean says: “We found that the people who lived in the Caves approximately 164,000 years ago were systematically harvesting shellfish from the coast; that they were using complex bladelet technology to produce complex tools; and that they regularly used ochre as pigments for symboling. This is some of the earliest evidence for modern human behaviour.”

This year the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University at the George Campus hosted 35 scientist at the Palaeoscape 2014 Symposium. Organised by distinguished Professor Richard Cowling of the botany department at the NMMU, there were many speakers including Professor Curtis Marean, Professor Tim Noakes of the Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Cape Town and human ecologist Jan de Vynck.

So we were honoured, very excited and a little nervous when we were invited to cater for the opening dinner of this Symposium. One warm and clear Saturday morning, we began our wild food adventure. Led by the amazingly knowledgeable Jan de Vynck, we foraged for Indigenous edibles plants, snorkeled off the harbour and collected shellfish from the sea. It also happened to be hunting season, but unfortunately we had left our rock hunting tools at home (joke), so we bought some excellent Kudu and Ostrich steaks at the local butchery.

Please note that this was a purely scientific research exercise. The underground roots and corms that we found are not sustainable forms of foraging, they grow in some of the most endangered coastal zones already under threat due to urbanization and these plants in the wild should be preserved.

Here is a photo diary of our incredible edible adventure.

A HUGE thanks to Ranald McKechnie, Rayne Eaton, Martina Polly, Jamie Keenan and Tom Gray for being my foraging/surfing/catering/adventure crew.

FORAGING

Strandveld foraging

Digging for tubers

Strandveld foraging

The crew

Strandveld foraging

Ren finds a beauty – Pelargonium lobatum

Wild food foraging

To the coast

Wild food catering

Trachyandra divaricata

Underground edible corms

Ferraria crispa

Urban foraging

Urban foraging for wild cress

Coastal foraging

Alikreukel and periwinkles

Coastal foragingTalking shop

PREP

Alikreukel and periwinkles

Shellfish ready to be steamed

AAAAAH!likreukel

Aaaaahlikreukel guts!

Trachyandra falcata

Trachyandra divaricata flower buds

Strelitia seed flour

Strelitzia nicolai seed flour

Wild food catering

Wild greens

Indigenous edibles

Ferraria crispa and Dasispermum suffruticosum

Wild food chefs

Wild food chefs – that’s how we roll.

Streltia seed and wild garlic rolls

Creating Strelitzia nicolai seed and Tulbaghia violacea rolls

Chef Ranald

Trimming the Tetragona decumbens

FOOD

Oxalis mayo

Oxalis pes-caprae mayonnaise

wild food catering

Pizza with Ostrich, wild cress, goats cheese, Emex australis pesto and Pelargonium lobatum shavings

Indigenous edibles

Salvia africana-lutea infused Ferraria crispa on a bed of wild cress

Alikreukels

Alikreukels with Dasispermum suffruticosum on a bed of steamed Trachyandra, Sarcocornia and Tetragonia with Porphyra capensis seaweed butter

Wild food catering

Preserved green Searsia glauca berries on the right

Periwinkles

Periwinkles in a Tulbaghia violacea sauce

Sersia glauca berries - edibleKudu in a Searsia glauca berry sauce on a bed of wild cress

Pelargonium lobatum

Pelargonium tubers on show

Phorphyra capensis seaweed butter

Wild Atlantic Nori butter – Porphyra capensis

Strelitia nicolai seeds

Strelitzia nicolai seed and Tulbaghia violacea rolls

Honeybush cupcakes

Honeybush cupcakes with cream, wild berry jam and Carissa macrocarpa berries

How to eat a periwinkle

Explaining how to eat the periwinkles

Wild food catering

Describing the methods of cooking

Wild food catering

Botany jokes

The queue at the wild food catering at NMMU

Queue for dinner

Wild Food Catering

The feast!

We hope you enjoyed this. We had so much fun creating this dinner, from forage to finish. Our relationship with the sea and veld blooms in our continual wild food experimentation which always turns into a social occasion or educational experience. Either way is usually delicious.

For more info on our wild food catering, sustainable Coastal foraging and Forage Harvest Feast courses, email roushanna@hotmail.com