Tag: Forage Harvest Feast

SPRING events with Veld and Sea

  • FORAGING FOR FLAVOUR

    Thursday 15th September

This introductory morning of foraging with Roushanna Gray includes an intro, walk and talk, lunch and notes. Discover the delicious world of indigenous plant flavours, aromatics and fragrances, wild herbs, edible weeds and flowers and their culinary preparations and medicinal uses.

Venue: Veld and Sea foraging classroom at the Good Hope Gardens Nursery in Cape Point.

Time: 10am – 1pm

Cost: R400 per adult R180 per child

  • FLOWER WORKSHOPS

    Saturday the 24th of September

    Saturday the 8th of October

    Immerse yourself in all things floral – in the blooms and blossoms, the Fynbos and foliage, the delightful and delicious – a complete flower experience. Expect flower crowns, floral creations, edible flower picking, botanical champagne cocktails and the preparing and sharing of a floral feast. Sound totally dreamy? More info HERE.

    TIME: 10am – 2pm

    VENUE: Veld and Sea classroom in Cape Point

    COST: R550 for one, or bring a friend and each pay R500

    INCLUDES: Flower guides and recipes, floral arrangements and hanging succulent to take home, lunch and refreshments.

    TO BOOK: Please contact roushanna@hotmail.com

  • LEATHERCRAFT WORKSHOP

Sunday 25th of September

Join Safia Tucker – founder and designer at ILUNDI – as she shares her leather craft knowledge in our Veld and Sea classroom this spring. In this workshop, students will learn the basics of leather design techniques and how to make a beautiful handmade leather item to take home. This workshop will provide a wonderful foundation for beginner leather crafting.  No previous experience required. Create your very own hand cut, hand stitched, artisinal labour of love whose locally sourced, vegetable tanned cowhide creation improves with age and moulds to your lifestyle. A light and floral lunch, botanical cocktails and refreshments will be provided.

TIME: 10am – 2pm

VENUE: Veld and Sea classroom in Cape Point

COST: R1200 for one, or bring a friend and each pay R1050

TO BOOK: Please contact roushanna@hotmail.com

PLEASE NOTE: This is a small class and only 10 spaces are available – please book soon to avoid disappointment.

  • KIDS FORAGE AND HARVEST MORNING

    Tuesday 4th October

Kids are natural foragers. Remember growing up looking for Soursucks (Oxalis) in the winter and cape honeysuckles (Tecoma) in spring? It all comes very naturally! So imagine how fun a morning of gathering and tasting different scented leaves and edible flowers would be! The kids will learn fun facts about which plants the birds and butterflies love, get to meet the farm animals, create some artwork, make and eat delicious pizzas or scones with the foraged and harvested ingredients to enjoy with yummy Fynbos iced tea, and have fun in the playground with new friends.

TIME: 10am – 1pm

VENUE: Veld and Sea classroom in Cape Point

COST: R280 for one, or bring a friend and each pay R220

TO BOOK: Please contact roushanna@hotmail.com

PLEASE NOTE: This is a small holiday class – please book soon to avoid disappointment. Any kids under the age of 4 require a parent/guardian to accompany them.

 

Visit our VELD AND SEA WEBSITE for new events and watch out for these exciting SUMMER events:

Medicinal Plant Courses, Wild Flavour pairing events, Art and Craft workshops and Coastal Foraging.*** 

To join our mailing list, please email roushanna@hotmail.com

 

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Fynbos Foraging dates – August and September 2015

Forage Harvest Feast

Thank you for reading this post – please note, all our forages are now fully booked. To join our mailing list to be notified on any upcoming forages and events, please email roushanna@hotmail.com with PLEASE ADD ME TO MAILING LIST in the heading.

Fynbos foraging Cape Point

Introductory half day forage and feasting experience

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR:

Aimed at adults but children are welcome to join their parents. Anyone who has an interest in gardening, in wild food, foraging or indigenous edibles. Chefs wanting to discover new ingredients or foodies wanting to play with the diverse wild flavours in our Indigenous edibles. People interested in Fynbos, in vegetable gardening, self sufficiency, in the Slow Food movement or those that just want to have a unique and delicious experience at a beautiful venue with like minded people.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Each course is different according to the season and availability in the gardens and the bush. Explore the gardens, discover and pick edible floral foods and fresh organic vegetables. Forage for indigenous edibles, learn how to sustainably harvest them, utilize them in your kitchen, grow them in your garden and some of their medicinal properties. Learn about wild herbs and how to preserve and prepare them. After snacks and a gathering tour we will get creative in the foraging classroom kitchen and prepare and share a feast.

WHAT IS INCLUDED:
This half day course includes wild food snacks and drinks, a delicious three course lunch based on ingredients foraged, harvested and prepared by the group. You will also receive information sheets and recipes on the plants that we will use in the meal.

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 humour!

BONUS:

You can also enjoy a 10% discount in the nursery retail should you wish to purchase any indigenous plants for your garden.

PRICE:
R500 p/person or R1800 for group of four. Children under 17yrs R200, Children under 2yrs free. Full payment will secure your booking as spaces are limited.

DURATION:
10am – 2pm

DATES:

15th August   – FULLY BOOKED

26th August   – FULLY BOOKED

12th September – FULLY BOOKED

26th September – FULLY BOOKED

VENUE:

Good Hope Gardens Nursery, Plateau Rd (M65),Cape Point

GUIDES:

Roushanna and Gael Gray

IS THIS SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS:

Yes – all the dishes on this course are vegetarian, and all food intolerances are catered for, please let us know in advance.

MAX NUMBER OF PEOPLE PER COURSE:

16

AVAILABLE FOR A PRIVATE FUNCTION:

Yes – Min number of people required: 10.
TO BOOK:
email roushanna@hotmail.com

Fynbos Foraging Course

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!

Edible Landscape – by Roelien Steencamp

Edible Landscape

By Roelien Steenkamp

There is an indigenous food revival happening at the Good Hope Gardens Nursery, 60km south of Cape Town. Here, Roushanna Gray and her family are reconnecting people with the land by teaching them how to forage, plant and enjoy wild foods which grow freely and abundantly in the Western Cape.

I once overheard an unsettling story. Somewhere abroad, a man went for a ride on his horse. They trotted along a beach where rotten kelp lay piled in thick heaps .The smell was nauseating; a mixture of raw sewage and urine. It was not long before the horse collapsed and died, and his owner passed out. An autopsy declared the death of the horse, and the unconsciousness of its owner, the result of toxic fumes emitted by seaweed.

I have heard similar stories from those living very close to the sea where kelp lies decomposing – keep your room well ventilated because if you don’t, you might never wake up. Whether this was at all true or not, it fuelled my dislike for kelp: it causes headaches, stinks, blocks launch sites, dirties tidal pools, breaks propellers, etc. Little did I know that a few years later, I would gaze upon this abundant seaweed in an appreciative manner, considering it one of my favourite superfoods. Kelp has been a fertiliser for aeons. Extracts are used in thousands of products around the world. It is a huge industry, but how could it be of use to us in its unadulterated, whole form?

Kelp, among other seaweeds and algae, is considered a wild food. So what exactly does this mean? And why is it so relevant to us in this day and age?

Edible Landscape

Image by Christoper List

When I heard Roushanna Gray of the Good Hope Nursery was hosting a coastal foraging session in Scarborough, I was quick to sign up. It was a sunny Saturday and a low tide had exposed exquisite rock pools. With permits in hand, twenty of us gathered around Roushanna with notes, scissors and plastic bags. Our mission was to learn something we’ve forgotten: how to forage, prepare and enjoy what was freely available, prolific and nutritious in our immediate surroundings. In this case, it was shellfish and seaweed. Unfortunately it was red tide, which meant that the mussels were filtering harmful algae through their bivalves and were therefore inedible at the time. So vegetarian it was!

After filling our bags, we headed back to a nearby cottage where we rinsed our harvest in a tub. We divided ourselves into teams and chose a recipe to work with. There was something for everyone: sea lettuce pine nut pesto, tahini wrack coleslaw, kelp lasagne and for desert: candied kelp and seaweed ice cream. A delicious forager’s feast which hardly cost us a thing!

I was also curious about land foraging and arranged to meet Roushanna at her nursery near Cape Point two weeks later. It was a hot day, with the screeching sounds of cicadas filling the air. As Roushanna led me to my seat, I was immediately calmed by her presence, a presence that matched the serenity of the fynbos mountains surrounding us.

Roushanna’s passion for wholesome food has been in her blood since she was a little girl. “I had no plant knowledge. Everything I know now, I learned through research, exploration and my love of food. I grew up with a mixed heritage, so there was a lot of ‘fusion food’. My life out here, and my passion for wild edibles, started when I fell in love with my husband Tom. My mother-in-law, Gael, is a botanist, so we would go walking and she’d teach me how to indentify plants. This nursery has been running for 30 odd years.”

Roushanna also ran a tea garden at the nursery before dedicating more time to motherhood. “We used to serve rooibos cupcakes and fresh salads full of edible flowers and fragrant garnishes.” She pauses and a rush of nostalgia sweeps across her face, “I love how those meals surprised people. They couldn’t believe that this food was foraged from the mountains and our garden, that it could taste that good and be so satisfying. A new world opens up for them.”

Or, perhaps, I think to myself, a very old world they have forgotten…

We talk a bit more about her life at the tip of southern Africa and how it has humbled her. I ask her the burning question, “Just what exactly is wild food and can you survive on it?”

“It would be difficult and would require a lot of patience to survive on it,” Roushanna answers. “Wild foods are foods which grow in the wild, but they can also be found in urban areas, along pavements and parking lots. They are not planted by man. They are dense with minerals and vitamins. I always tell people that wild foods should be one part of their meal, not the whole of it. It adds flavour and nutrients to a dish.”

There’s something different to the way Roushanna talks about food. For her, there’s more to food than satisfying hunger. “I have become fussy since I’ve been eating this way, it’s hard for me to see those sad boxed-up specimens in shops,” she says with a shy giggle. “I feel so good after eating my own food. It connects me with the land, the seasons, the moon, the tides. It’s also very empowering to be able to source, identify and create a meal out of them.”

As we take a walk through the nursery, Roushanna points out several types of buchu and pelargoniums. We also taste some sour figs and purslane. It is a different taste, I admit to her, but it is an empowering taste which probes something long suppressed. After observing my responses, she says, “Our ancestor’s palates were accustomed to bitter foods, now our taste buds are numbed by all the sugar in processed foods. It’s about getting used to it again.”

For many, wild food brings up images of thorny berry bushes and dandelions – things we would consider weeds, or at least difficult to prepare and digest. Is it even possible to create a diverse menu from such foods? I observe the pictures of mouth-watering dishes on the walls of the room we sit in. It becomes evident that there’s a lot to work with: fruits, herbs, roots, flowers, leaves, spices, seaweeds, shellfish, seeds and nuts. Roushanna recommends taking a trip up the west coast for a taste experience, “Kobus van der Merwe, author of the recipe book ‘Sandveldfood: A West Coast Odyssey’, is a culinary genius. He would observe the shapes and colours of the sea and recreate that scene on your plate. I love going to his restaurant Oep Ve Koep in Paternoster.” Geographical location and seasons are important when it comes to foraging, she adds. We both agree that that’s an even greater excuse to travel our beautiful country – to search for food!

Roushanna also offers courses for children. Being a mother of two, she believes it vital to speak of the stories behind the plants: Where do they come from? Who ate them? How did they get their names? This helps the children, and adults, to gain a better understanding of the plants.

“My son grew up watching me forage and loves to go with me. If your children grow their own healthy foods, they are more willing to eat it. If they can associate it with something they love, that’s even better. I always add some wild edibles to all-time favourite snacks like pizza and scones.”

South Africa is a great place for foraging – from mushrooms and seafood in the wild Transkei, to the amazing fynbos and shellfish up the western coast, you’ll be busy for days. It’s worth doing some research on your next destination and speaking to locals. Searching for your own food can add an extra dose of adventure to weekends away.

Before I say goodbye to Roushanna, I ask her how she – a true forager – would describe her relationship with nature. She grows quiet for a moment, shakes her head as if in utter disbelief of how lucky she is and concludes,

“Without it, I’d be heartbroken. It is a big part of me, it is my therapy. I also enjoy watching my kids grow up in it. When I go surfing, I am humbled completely. I am in the present moment. All I think about are the waves. The act of foraging is similar. It brings me peace and happiness; it gives me a sense of place in this crazy world.”

As I leave the nursery, I drive along the cliffs bordering False Bay. It feels as if a thick veil has been removed from my eyes. I no longer just see shrubs flashing past me and rock pools in the depths below. I see an edible landscape.

Our ‘instant gratification culture’ has done a lot to disconnect us from nature. We are so used to heading off to the shops to quickly fill our trolleys with “ready to eat” foods. We have forgotten the greater gratification that comes from ‘Slow Food’ – taking our time to forage, plant, harvest, prepare and chew our food with thoughtfulness – savouring each mouthful, even if it’s something you never thought you’d ever like (in my case, kelp!).

Foraging was vital for survival before the advent of agriculture, but it is still vital today for a different reason: to reconnects us with the land.

To ground us.

Roushanna’s tips on how to eat wild:

1. Identification is the most important part! Ask an experienced guide or local. Observe, taste, smell, touch, make notes.

2. Plant the edibles in your garden. It will teach you how to identify them more easily out in the wild, as well as to develop a taste for them.

3. When in doubt, leave it alone: be 110% sure of edibility.

4. Know which parts of the plant are edible and which aren’t. Also know how to prepare the parts.

5. Never forage in a polluted space.

6. Tread lightly. Only take enough .The rule of thumb: harvest 1/3, leave 1/3 for re-growth and 1/3 for other animals.

7. Make sure it’s legal. A mussel permit which you can obtain from your post office allows for shellfish and seaweed collections, but it is illegal to forage plants. Never forage in a Nature Conservation Are, or private properties.

8. Indigenous edible plants are ENDANGERED; this is why it’s so crucial to tread lightly and to grow them yourself whenever possible.

9. Never forage shellfish during red-tide.

10. For seaweeds (kelp, sea lettuce, wrack), never gather loose floating pieces, always cut from ones fresh and attached to the rocks as close to the tide line as possible.

Roushanna’s top wild edibles:

1. Kelp (sea bamboo, Ecklonia maxima)

2. Num num (Carissa bispinosa)

3. Pine ring mushrooms (Lactarius deliciosus)

4. Veldkool (Trachyandra ciliata)

5. Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea )

6. Pelargoniums (from the Geraniaceae family)

7. Nettles (from the Urticaceae family)

8. Sea lettuce (ulva & monostroma species)

9. Ice plant (Dorotheanthus bellidiformis)

10. Kei-apples (Dovyalis caffra)

11. Cape Chestnuts (Calodendrum capense )

12. Mussels (there are two edible mussels – Black mussel (Choromytilus meridionalis) and the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis). Always eat the Mediterranean mussel first – it’s an alien!

©Roelien Steenkamp, 2015

Forage Harvest Feast – July 2015

On a windless, sunny, Cape winters day last Saturday, we held our first Fynbos Foraging course of the season – Forage Harvest Feast.

We looked at some very important foraging rules, sustainability of foraging, different ways of using Fynbos for flavour, indigenous edibles for culinary use and we touched on some of the medicinal properties of these amazingly useful plants.

We foraged and harvested wild and cultivated ingredients, tasting and smelling our way through the gardens and meandering wild paths in and around the Good Hope Gardens Nursery and then together we prepped and prepared a lunch feast with a few wild botanical cocktails made with The Botanist Gin to get things going.

A huge thank you to everyone who attended – what an awesome group! Every single person was so interested and involved, what a pleasure to share plant knowledge, the whole foraging experience and enjoy such a delicious meal with you all. A special mention of thanks goes out to the very talented Sitaara Stodel who was there to capture our day on camera and to Janet Lightbody for our beautiful Janet Ceramic heart dishes and ramekins.

Take a look at what we got up to:

Foraging courses Cape Town

Fynbos Foraging at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Wild food foraging Cape Town

Fynbos foraging Cape Point

Forage Harvest Feast

Foraging courses Cape Town

Forage Harvest Feast at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Foraging classroom Cape Point

Forage Harvest Feast Fynbos foraging courses

Wild greens pesto at Good Hope Gardens Nursery foraging course

Wild botanical cocktails

Forage Harvest Feast Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Foraging course Cape TownCheers!

If you would like to join us on one of our upcoming forages, please click HERE for more details or email roushanna@hotmail.com to book.

Liminal Alchemy – Exhibition experience

LIMINAL ALCHEMEY

[change by fire] . as rains soothe charred earth . as seeds burst from ash

a multi medium experience of art, music, food and dance performance, celebrating the regeneration of cyclical nature and the passage of seasons

* a solo exhibition of sculptures, prints and fynbos drops by
Daya Heller Art at Zensa Lodge *
* a live musical journey of bass and voice by Cyrille Carreon and Hein *
* a foraged feast of fynbos food by Roushanna Gray *
* dance performances :
of moon (yin) by Jade Kristie Khoury
& sun (yang) by Terri Wolff *

——————————————————————————-
Liminal Alchemy - Daya Heller Art
OPENING FRIDAY 17 APRIL 6 PM
– world cuisine by The Vintage Vinyl Cafe
– fire dance by Terri (with burning surprise)
– moon dance by Jade
– music concert by Cyrille & Hein

ART EXHIBITION OPEN DAILY 12 – 6 PM, 18 – 26 APRIL

CLOSING CELEBRATION FRIDAY 24 APRIL 6 PM
– fynbos feast by Roushanna Gray
– dancing by Jade & Terri
– music concert by Cyrille & Hein

{food and drink for sale}

——————————————————————————-

at ZENSA LODGE, 534 Egret Rd, Scarborough, Cape Town

——————————————————————————-

Tickets for evening celebrations R60
available at quicket,
or at the door

Liminal Alchemy

Fynbos Foraging Course Dates

Fynbos Foraging Course – Forage Harvest Feast

Forage Harvest Feast at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Introductory half day forage and feasting experience

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR:

Aimed at adults but children are welcome to join their parents. Anyone who has an interest in gardening, in wild food, foraging or indigenous edibles. Chefs wanting to discover new ingredients or foodies wanting to play with the diverse wild flavours in our Indigenous edibles. People interested in Fynbos, in vegetable gardening, self sufficiency, in the Slow Food movement or those that just want to have a unique and delicious experience at a beautiful venue with like minded people.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Each course is different according to the season and availability in the gardens and the bush. Explore the gardens, discover and pick edible floral foods and fresh organic vegetables. Forage for indigenous edibles, learn how to sustainably harvest them, utilize them in your kitchen, grow them in your garden and some of their medicinal properties. Learn about wild herbs and how to preserve and prepare them. After snacks and a gathering tour we will get creative in the foraging classroom kitchen and prepare and share a feast.

WHAT IS INCLUDED:
This half day course includes wild food snacks and drinks, a delicious three course lunch based on ingredients foraged, harvested and prepared by the group. You will also receive information sheets and recipes on the plants that we will use in the meal.

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 humour!

BONUS:

You can also enjoy a 10% discount in the nursery retail should you wish to purchase any indigenous plants for your garden.

PRICE:
R500 p/person or R1800 for group of four. Children under 17yrs R200, Children under 2yrs free. Full payment will secure your booking as spaces are limited.

DURATION:
10am – 2pm

DATES:

June 27thJuly 25th, August 15thAugust 29th

VENUE:

Good Hope Gardens Nursery, Plateau Rd (M65),Cape Point

GUIDES:

Roushanna and Gael Gray

IS THIS SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS:

Yes – all the dishes on this course are vegetarian, and all food intolerances are catered for, please let us know in advance.

MAX NUMBER OF PEOPLE PER COURSE:

16

AVAILABLE FOR A PRIVATE FUNCTION:

Yes – Min number of people required: 10.
TO BOOK:
email roushanna@hotmail.com

Fynbos Foraging Course