Category: Spring

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

 

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!

Late Spring Forage Harvest and Feast

Last Saturday we had another fantastic Forage Harvest and Feast!

Here of some beautiful photos taken by Werner Deblitz…scroll down and let your imagination take over…

Scissors

Foraging notes and recipes

 Get set, go!

Picking Pelargonium

Good Hope Gardens Nursery retail

Corinder flowers

Can you dig it?

Corn flowers

foraging feet

Snack time

Basket of goodness

Flower bath

Beetroot relish

Plates to be filled!

Lunch!

Dessert!

That was one of the last Forage Harvest and Feast courses of the season until Winter,

but we will be going on Seaweed forages in Summer to tide us over until then.

Hope you can join us!

Veggies and Composting in Spring

We have been working hard in our veggie gardens, getting them looking beautiful for our Forage, Harvest and Feast courses and as tasty as possible for us to eat from everyday – its a real working garden. Baby girl knows that if she find a packet and puts on her boots, she can get a tasty snack. “Peas!” she shouts, banging on the door. Its one of her first words. “More!” is another one.ImageSnack time!CompostHere is our rich, warm compost pile. When it gets turned over, you can see the steam billowing out.

Its beautiful. But its hard work. It’s really like having another pet.

You have to feed it and make sure it doesn’t get too hot or too cold and that it gets enough nutrients and oxygen. The optimum temperature for a compost pile is about 60 degrees so that the pathogens and weed seeds are inactivated. It gets nice and cosy like this because of all the microorganisms eating away at the degradable matter. Id love to finish off a stew or even a pot of rice in there one day!

But if you have a big old dry compost heap, it can even catch on fire in hot weather – seriously.

You can read all about it here. If you want something cute on compost Q and A, then check this out.

If it gets too cold, it will slow down the composting process and stop it doing its job. If it gets too hot, the poor little microbes die. We definitely don’t want that to happen, so we have to turn over the compost pile regularly. And if  the compost doesn’t get enough nutrients or air it wont work either.

I could go on for ever. There is so much more. But I don’t want to bore you with a big pile of know-you-know-what.

CabbagesPretty maids, I mean cabbages, all in a row

Broad beans and leeksBroad beans and Leeks

Veggie gardenCalendula, Lavender, Artemesia, Onions, Thyme, Lemon Pelargonium and Rosemary.

ArtichokesThe first beautiful Artichokes of the season

Veggie gardenCalendula, Borage, black Mustard and Swiss Chard

How many recipes have you got in your head now? I just have to see plants, any edible plants, and my mouth starts drooling with all the recipes going through my mind. You know the Matrix movie with all those green numbers and letters whizzing down the screen? It’s like that in my mind, except those numbers are all plant combos and recipes. Totally normal.

Protea cyneroidesI’ll end off with a photo of our stunning King Protea which flowers at the same time every year without fail, heralding the beginning of Spring.

Happy gardening!

Springtime arrives at the nursery

It is a perfect day here today at the nursery…

Not a breath of wind. The sun is out and all the flowers are in full bloom. A great soundtrack for today would be 340ml

Spring has finally arrived.

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Happy Spring!

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.