Tag: carrots

Roots and shoots

I was in the garden this morning, having a dreamy moment, doing the fun part I like best in veggie gardening which is the harvesting. As I was pulling beetroot out of the ground, two majestic cranes flew overhead. “Aaah.” I thought. “This must be SO symbolic!” A thin dark ribbon floated down from one of the cranes. In slow motion I watched as the wind changed and it headed in my direction.  Wake up and smell the organic fair trade coffee, hippy-girl, there is now bird poo in your hair. I took it as a good sign.  And also as a sign to wash my hair.

Beetroots are one of my favorite  winter roots , this purplish red veg is good for your everything. Read about it here

A lot of people forget all about the beetroots humble leaves. The leaves actually have more nutrients than the root. They are they same family as chard and spinach leaves, rich in chlorophyll, protein, calcium, magnesium, copper, sodium,fiber, beta carotene and vitamins A, B and C. They are slightly more bitter tasting than spinach, but nothing a bit of nutmeg and white sauce can’t sort out, or a crumble of feta on some fresh leaves in a salad.

There are endless recipes for beetroot. Winners in our family include beetroot cake (substitute carrots for beetroot  in a carrot cake recipe) with a cream-cheese icing, roasted beetroot with honey and fennel seed, beetroot leaf lasagna, homemade beetroot pizza – leaves and sliced root with mozzarella and fresh thyme, grated beetroot in coleslaw, oh I could go on for days. But don’t forget beetroot juice with ginger. carrot and apple. Or beetroot brownies, frozen yoghurt beetroot popsicle for kids, beetroot and goats cheese salad. OK I’ll stop now. Beetroot soup with Greek yoghurt. The end.

This UK website called Love Beetroot is all about beetroot (obviously) and has a great list of all these amazing fun facts on beetroot.

Our lovely friend was even growing them on a roof garden in the city.

Having a vegetable garden is kind of like that moment where you get pins and needles really badly in your legs just as your baby wakes up crying upstairs. You know its going to be tough, and you will probably have to get down on your hands and knees for part of the way, but you know the rewards are going to be amazing:  A happy baby and fresh organic produce. Those two things always make me smile. And a happy baby that eats your homegrown beetroot? You just cant beet that 🙂

Beetroots in Good Hope Gardens

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!

Farming and eating and beaching….Summertime!

Summer is here, along with the South Easter. We have been busy in the gardens, beach and in the kitchen…

The veggie gardens have been full and flourishing, and the figs are ripe and ready…eaten fresh with cheese and wine or made into jam – a winner! We also have a new spacious enclosure for the chickens and ducks to free range around in. The baby goat thinks its one of the dogs and and likes to bleat and run along with the dogs as they run and bark at our cars, welcoming us as we return home. Bookings are coming in for kids (children not goats) parties, the landscaping has picked up, while the bakkie has packed up! All the cars suddenly seem to be giving us problems – maybe its time for a donkey and cart 🙂 Other than that, its been so windy, windy windy!

Some fresh veg out the garden…sweetest peas and corn ever!!!

Biggest Patty Pans/Pots we have grown yet!

Even more organic garden veg.

And beetroot which when roasted…turned into this Rose petal, mango and roast beetroot salad. Yum!

We took a break from the kitchen and the farm and escaped to the seaside. Quite often.

 Swims at Dalebrook pool,

Did some digger loading at Scarborough beach,

Jumped for joy at Fishermans beach,

Did some breakdancing at Fish hoek beach,

And then came home to chill.

Enjoy the Summer everyone!

Fynbos and Food event!

And here is our stunning new poster for our Fynbos and Food Fair by the brilliantly talented Terri of Soult designs:

Dont miss out on this fun fynbossy event!!! Quick – go write it in your dairy now!

Photos of Springtime

Hello Spring!

Bringing mixed weather – sunblock and beach sand in your hair mixed with rainy days by the fire and gale force winds bringing down shadehouses….welcome to Cape Point!

Here are some pics of what we have been up to this month:

Succulents ablaze


Our Annual King Protea in flower on the koppie

and Fushia Vygies                                                                                                                                         Oppie Koppie 🙂

Chickens and landscaping

Vegetables from the garden. We now only use garden veg and flowers for our salads. As one customer said this weekend: “Ooh, its like a garden on my plate!”

We constantly are being asked the super secret recipe for our carrot cake…

So watch this space  – I think I will have to share the simple delights fo how easy and “moisty” this carrot cake is to make on my next post.

In the meantime to whet your visual appetite: below are some chocolate truffle filled wheat-free chocolate cupcakes.

We are having quite a lot of kiddies parties at the nursery lately..there is a convenient open space behind the playground and the kids pretty much entertain themselves which is great.

Jay&Lotta’s Dreamweaver web chairs   are possibly The Most Comfy to lie in after chasing your three-year old around to get him to drink some water to counter-combat all the jellytots eaten off the gingerbreadmen…and of course for using as a climbing frame as demonstrated below 🙂

Garden club and lovely Kids of Nature visitors

Business as usual…had another garden club in this past week…

Bergvliet Garden Club. The weather performed marvelously, they had a fantastic talk by Ownerlady while Kingoftheplayground performed tricks in the sculpture tree.


And tricks.

And we served them tea and tea and

Rose cupcakes                                                                                 and                               Pecan and white chocolate cake with

My new experiment…Crystalized indigenous flower decorations!!! Yes those are Tecoma capensis flowers on the cake, and Yes – you can eat them!!! And some more tea.

The carrot cake was served and served until and only one lonely slice remained:

Awww shame. And so then I ate it. Yum.

Blooming fantastic in the retail were these beeeutiful Erica’s:

pleased with our morning in the retail, we trotted off home to bake something else.

This weekend our lovely guests at the Fynbos Ecolodge were Petra Vandecasteele and Paul Goddard, esteemed creative writer and brilliant photographer, creators of the books “In Celebration of Fynbos”  and “Enya and James  in the land of Magic” (currently for sale in the retail….get one now!) but most importantly creators of James and Enya…. Kids of nature!

They enjoyed the experience of a weekend in and around Scarborough, including a Guided Fynbos walk and a Fynbos Fusion lunch at the Tea Garden.

And now on a Monday misty morning its raining and damp, just the way the plants like it. There are wet paw prints on the floor, another cake to bake and seeds to sort out and label.

Have a great week!

Count down to Fynbos Family Day event

And so its less than a week till the Big Day –

*x*x*x*Fynbos Family Day event on Monday 5th April*x*x*x*

So much to do…so many public holidays yet so little time. It always ruffles my feathers when it’s so close to an event…Will anyone come? Will too many people come? Will we sell all the plants and have to grow them from scratch? Will we run out of food or will we be eating rooibos cake for two weeks?

Got the display finished today. You can’t imagine the muscles involved in pushing wheelbarrows of plants around. They should really add it to all gyms exercise equipment. Respect to all barrow pusher around the world!

Mabuthi (Or Yourbuthi as Kingoftheplayground likes to call him) did the hard landscaping and I put the pretty flowers in..

and lugged the pretty flowers around from nursery shadehouses to display.

Tough work this flower business.

Especially that 20kg Leonotis.

Then after a quick snack from the Tea Garden

We went home and put on some tunes

And got down to making lunch for the Tea Garden. We have had amazing veg out the garden lately including


and carrots, potatoes, millions of herbs, baby tomatoes, aubergines, spinach, leeks, sweet potatoes, onions.

Gosh who needs shops anyway?

So we started making stew

While Expert Chopper-with-the-blunt-knife cut the soft potatoes and cabbage leaves and the dogs were happy with the flying veg that landed on the floor…

All in all delicious and nutritious enough to set us up for the next few hectic days. Tomorrow is more stocking up of the nursery, getting the stall holder space ready and ordering ingredients for the delicacies to be sold on the day.

Goodnight and hope to see you on Monday!

Fat of the land and driftwood constructions.

So the weatherman was being silly when he said gale force winds on Saturday…He meant to say Boiling hot and No wind on Saturday and Incredibly Breezy and warm on Sunday..oh and Nail Everything Down on Sunday night because by the time you remember it, it will have already Blown Away to Australia. Last night I felt like Dorothy in the tornado part of the Wizard of Oz.

Yesterday we went a pickin’ our crops.

There were some very interesting carrots in the bottom veggie garden. We wandered past the tea garden on our way up to the top veggie garden and saw

Pateka (pink) and Florence (purple) who are the beautiful tea garden ladies, delivering food and drink with a smile.

Food like this:

Mouth-watering cinnamon, cardamom & vanilla cupcakes*.


*Wheat-free of course.

Moving on – after convincing Kingoftheplayground that they were really rather sour and that there were much better things to eat in the veggie garden – we arrived and got to work.

Well, we went to work

and Pollox

took some

thyme out. Oh hahaha.

We found some ridiculously big carrots:

And some more fat of the land…..

And even found the Sutherlandia’s seeds almost ready for collecting.

This plants beautiful red flower is pollinated by sunbirds and had balloon-like seed pods. It has documented effects in treating very serious illnesses such as HIV and Cancer as well as their side effects such as anxiety, depression, TB and eczema. It is not, however, a miracle cure-all – its real benefits are to assist the body as an immune booster, is known to improve energy levels and gives an enhanced sense of well-being.  Wow people…what are you waiting for??? Why am I drinking this coffee? ‘ Scuse me while I go make some Sutherlandia frutescence tea…….

Okay, feeling great, looking good. Where was I?

Went home. Taskmaster was pleased with our bounty of goods. I said If we were living in the country we would surely win a pig-on-a-string at a fair for these massive carrots? He said No, farmers grow them that size all the time. Well. Even Mandy Doll was impressed with this one….Taskmaster had 5 mins to spare. He had a couple of screws, some wire and a bunch of driftwood. He quickly whipped up two bed side table lamps and this really cool feature light for the Ecolodge. He’s like Fynbos McGuyver. Now I know how to wire up a lamp in a fix…so easy! Even Kingoftheplayground was teaching Pollox how to do it with a pair of blunt-nose scissors and some toilet paper. Dont ask.