Tag: indigenous edibles

Pop-Up Tea Garden, Plants + Clothing Sale

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Saturday the 13th of Feb 10am – 4pm

Join us for a day of indigenous plants, second-hand clothing and delicious food.
Where:
Nestled amongst the Fynbos in Cape Point, the Good Hope Gardens Nursery is the perfect venue for family and friends to enjoy a home-made treat and a discount on plants and clothes at this unique pop-up event.
What:
FOOD – Fresh and Botanical is the theme of the day with floral foods, organic veg and wild edible ingredients harvested in and around the nursery. Veld+Sea will be creating a mouthwatering menu with sweet and savory seasonal delights, an array of Fynbos flavoured teas picked from the Veldkos garden as well as regular teas and fresh, strong coffee. Parusha Naidoo will be joining us with a selection of her super delicious vegan treats.
PLANTS – There will be a beautiful array of plants on sale in the retail and a crazy 20% sale off all plants! The nursery specializes in Indigenous plants and has a fantastic selection of Indigenous and Fynbos plants. They grow beautiful, hardy plants and trees specifically designed by nature to flourish in local climate conditions. Take advantage of the specials on offer at this even and green up your garden or balcony with these water wise plants
CLOTHES:
Aeren Fortune will have a rail of good quality, pre-loved ladies clothing from Ireland in a selection of gorgeous fabrics – silk, wool, etc. Treat yourself to some beautiful bargains!
Please note:
The tea garden will have outdoor seating, so we suggest bringing a wrap if the wind is up or get some tea time treats as a takeaway if it starts to rain.
BONUS:
There is a fun playground for kiddies to enjoy, a succulent koppie to meander up and a 30 min Fynbos walk for the adventurous. Dogs on leads please as there are free range animals around!
CONTACT:
Please contact roushanna@hotmail.com for any questions you might have or visit the Facebook event page for updates and info.

 

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Veld and Sea Flavour Challange

Calling all chefs, mixologists, cooks and foodies!

In a bid to create awareness and interest in all the delicious wild flavours our indigenous edible plants have to offer, we are launching a Veld and Sea Flavour Challenge this summer.

How does it work?

Every two weeks I will be putting together a mix of indigenous edibles for participating restaurants, bars and foodies, labeled with their common and Latin names and share a brief rundown of their culinary uses. No payment is required, just a trade exchange for the photos of the food or drink they create with the plants, so we can share them on our social media platforms, giving credit to the creators and establishments and inspiring others to join in this deliciously wild challenge.

How do I get involved?

Easy – email roushanna@hotmail.com with #veldandseaflavourchallenge in the heading and let me know who you are, what you do and where you are based.

What if I have my own indigenous edibles?

Epic! And even easier – just post your food photos on Instagram, tag it with #veldandseaflavourchallenge with a description of the botanicals you used plus what your dish is called and we will include your story in this incredible edible wild flavour food journey.

Indigenous edible plants with Veld and Sea

Coastal Foraging dates – Jan + Feb 2016

Introductory half day coastal forage and feasting experience

Seaweed-4
Image by Christopher List Photography

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR:

Aimed at adults but children are welcome to join their parents. Anyone who has an interest 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 shellfish and edible seaweeds and discover their unique umami flavours. People interested in healthy living, coastal living, self sufficiency, in the Slow Food movement or those that just want to have a delicious experience in the beautiful outdoors.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
This course will introduce you to some of our local edible seaweed, explore the magical world of rock pools, meet like minded people, learn how to sustainably harvest and prepare your macro-algae and shellfish, make various recipes together that will end in a feast.
We will start off the day meeting at the beach, and after an intro and snack on the rocks we will make our way down around the tidal pools where we will forage for edible seaweeds and mussels. This beautiful coastline is abundant with food, but as we always forage sustainably we will be focusing only on the seaweed that is prolific in the area and the invasive mussel species, stressing how to treat the wildlife with respect. After our morning on the rocks, we will head to Gael’s Beach Cottage on foot with our foraged food to prepare and create an outdoor lunch banquet.

WHAT IS INCLUDED:
This half day course includes wild food snacks and drinks, a delicious three course lunch based on ingredients foraged and prepared by the group. Notes include intro, identification, recipes and tide charts.

WHAT TO BRING:
Beach gear, slip-slops or booties, your mollusk permit (essential – available at your nearest post office), cameras, water bottle, a sense of humour and an appetite! Also please bring your drink of choice for yourself to enjoy with the meal (beer, juice, spring water, wine etc whatever you prefer)

BONUS:

Collect seaweed to take home and preserve in methods learned on the day. Enjoy the benefits of a seaweed face mask in between preparing and eating your meal.

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:
4 hours

DATES:

January 9th 8.30am – 12.30pm

January 23rd 9am – 1pm

February 21st 9am – 1pm

VENUE:

Scarborough beach

GUIDES:

Roushanna and Gael Gray

IS THIS SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS:

Yes – with the exception for our Mussel Pot all the dishes on this course are vegetarian and are enough to satisfy even A Very Hungry Vegetarian. 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

Edible seaweed
Image by Christopher List Photography

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

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.

Pop-up Tea Garden and Plant Sale – 30th May 2015

Pop-up Tea Garden and Plant Sale

Join us for a day of Indigenous plants and Indigenous edible delights.

Where:
Nestled amongst the Fynbos in Cape Point, the Good Hope Gardens Nursery is the perfect venue for family and friends to enjoy a home-made treat and a discount on plants at this unique pop-up event.
What:
FOOD – Fresh and Botanical is the theme of the day with floral foods, organic veg and wild edible ingredients harvested in and around the nursery. Expect a mouthwatering menu like scones with wild berry jam and cream, rustic garden veg quiche with freshly harvested salad greens and edible flowers, decadent Rooibos cakes, wild flavoured cupcakes and koeksisters in Pelargonium syrup. Enjoy an array of Fynbos flavoured teas picked from the Veldkos garden as well as fresh strong coffee, Ceylon, Earl Gray and Hot Chocolate with a twist.
PLANTS – Planting season has officially begun with our first rains softly falling. The nursery specializes in Indigenous plants and has a fantastic selection of Indigenous and Fynbos plants. We grow beautiful, hardy plants and trees specifically designed by nature to flourish in local climate conditions. Have fun in your garden or balcony this winter and take advantage of the specials on offer at this event.
Please note:
The tea garden will have outdoor seating, so we suggest bringing a blanket if the wind is up or get some boxed tea time treats to takeaway if it starts to rain.
BONUS:
There is a fun playground for kiddies to enjoy, a succulent koppie to meander up and a 30 min Fynbos walk for the adventurous. Dogs on leads please as there are free range animals around!
CONTACT:
Please contact roushanna@hotmail.com for any questions you might have, visit the Facebook event page for updates or go to www.goodhopegardensnursery.co.za and discover what we are all about.

Hope to see you there!