Tag: organic veg

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!

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Veggie Garden Club

Two weekends ago we had our very first Veggie Garden Club meeting here at Good Hope Gardens Nursery. The goal is to come together as growers from the area and to discuss ideas, problems we encounter in our gardens, share seeds and recipes. There are a lot of food producers locally as well as those who would like to learn, and I thought it would be great if we could get together and share knowledge and inspiration. We had a nice turnout for the first meeting, some people could not make it, but we filled the big wooden table in the Forage and Harvest classroom where the first meeting was held. The meetings will happen once a month at different gardens each time. Lucky for us, Kate Higgs – a fantastic photographer – joined our group and quietly took these beautiful photos.

There were a few things from the garden on the table for inspiration/to munch on.

Organic veg inspiration

Organic bananas

Rainbow radishes

Sweet potatoes

The group members varied from expert experienced permaculturists to those that had not yet started a veggie garden. Everyone had something interesting to contribute whether it was questions, answers, ideas, seeds or recipes.

Deep South Veggie Garden Club

Topics I had in mind that I wanted to cover were:

Crops, seeds, crop rotation and maintenance.

Topics that were discussed over the one and a half hours:

  • Baboons: Baboons are one of the biggest problem a food gardener faces in our area. We spoke about how to baboon proof your garden, what materials to use (check out your local dump) and how to build the structures like geodomes, cages and fencing.Deep South Veggie Garden Club
  • Veg planting guide: A Western Cape planting guide was handed around and we looked at what would work specifically in our area, what seeds we should be planting into the ground, what seedlings we should be planting and what to plant into trays. Deep South Veggie Garden Club
  • Hints and tips: The more experienced growers shared some hints and tips:
  1. Carrots and coriander need 8 days to germinate – after planting directly into the ground, cover with wet newspaper or hessian and keep moist for 7 days. On the 8th day, remove the cover and hope for a sunny day…..you will find the seeds have germinated and the weeds will have grown long, thin and white along the ground, searching for the sun. Once the cover is removed, the sun will scorch these white weeds, leaving you with only what you want in the bed.
  2. Wild rocket VS normal rocket – Wild rocket likes shade in late summer, it doesn’t get bitter, it self seeds easily and has smaller leaves. Normal rocket is a heavy feeder and would prefer to grow individually throughout your garden so scatter them around rather than plant a patch of them.
  3. The taste of herbs are diminished by the shade so rather plant in a sunny spot.
  4. For sweet carrots you need lots of minerals in the soil so add some phosphorus and potassium for tastier carrots.

Deep South Veggie Garden Club

  • We touched on seed saving, how to harvest seeds, how to store them and who had seeds to share.

Seed saving

  • Soil improvement – in our area the soil is very sandy. Sandy soil is good for drainage but needs to be enriched. We spoke about what to add to your soil. Get some horse manure from your local stables and mix with straw, Keep it wet and covered and spread over the sandy soil. Deep South Veggie Garden Club
  • MULCH MULCH MULCH. Watch Back to Eden for information on why mulch is so great for your garden. If you are not religious and can get past the biblical references, stick with it to watch and see how much sense the “forest floor” theory makes. Also invest/borrow or hire a wood chipper to chip up whole trees (branches and leaves included) or branches that need pruning in your garden. You can also get wood chips from your local dump or recycling center. Mulch should be about 10-15cm deep on your beds.Deep South Veggie Garden Club
  • We had a little talk and diagram drawn out for us by Pete explaining how wicking beds work. These container beds are about 120cm wide made from plastic containers or lined pallets. They have water and solid objects like rocks and bottles in the bottom layer, covered by biddem cloth. Next is a 30cm layer of compost followed by 6cm of wood chip. The is an inlet pipe that leads down to the water tank and feeds the plants through capillary action, so you don’t water the plants, just very occasionally top up the tank. Also an outlet pipe for overflow. Great for those with small gardens, or wanting to grow veg if you only have a courtyard or balcony. Pete makes these to order if you are not a great with tools.Wicking bed talk and diagram
  • We debated drip irrigation VS sprinkler/hose watering. Deep South Veggie Garden Club
  • Living near the Atlantic ocean we all have access to lots of seaweed. We spoke about using seaweed as a mulch or fertilizer. If you use undiluted seaweed your spinach can become more salty as a high content of salt in the soil will be absorbed by leafy greens.Deep South Veggie Garden Club
  • Hugelkultur was discussed and how we could/have implemented this in our own gardens. Deep South Veggie Garden Club
  • We shared recipes for leaves of the sweet potato and butternut. The first three shiny new leaves on a sweet potato vine can be used like spinach. Butternut and pumpkin leaves can be cooked with ground up raw peanuts in a coconut sauce and served on rice.Deep South Veggie Garden Club
  • A few of us had brought along some seeds to share – there was excitement and sparkling eyes as the seeds were passed around and we felt a bit like kids in a sweet shop.Radish seeds

What we should be planting now:

Seed Sowing Chart details by Franz Muhl.

Directly into the ground:

Beetroot. Final spacing: 8-12cm. Germination time: 7-14 days. Maturation time: 8-9weeks. Heavy feeder.

   Radishes. Final spacing: 3-8cm. Germination time: 3-5days. Maturation time: 3-4weeks. Heavy feeder.

Carrots: Final spacing: 4-7cm. Germination time: 7-10 days. Maturation time: 8-10weeks. Light feeder.

  Lettuce. Final spacing: 25-35cm. Germination time: 3-7days. Maturation time: 8-10weeks. Light feeder.

  Coriander. Final spacing: 1cm. Germination time: 7days. Maturation time: 3-5weeks. Medium feeder.

Garlic. Final spacing: 8-12cm. Heavy feeder.

Peas. Final spacing: 4-5cm. Germination time: 5-10days. Maturation time: 8-10weeks. Light feeder.

You can also direct seed turnips, nasturtiums, swiss chard and kale.

Into seed trays:

Onions. Final spacing: 10-15cm. Germination time: 6-14days. Medium feeder.

Spring onions. Final spacing: 4-8cm. Germination time: 6-14days. Maturation time: 8-10weeks. Light feeder.

Kale: Final spacing: 40-50cm. Germination time: 5-10days. Maturation time: 6-10weeks. Heavy feeder.

Swiss chard. Final spacing: 25-35cm. Germination time: 7-14days. Maturation time: 8-10weeks. Medium feeder.

You can also plant lettuce into trays.

Seedlings into the grounds:

Broccoli. Final spacing: 30-40cm. Germination time: 5-10days. Maturation time: 8-9weeks. Heavy feeder.

For organic seedling, Harts Nursery is a great place to buy from.

So maybe if you live in the Deep South you will be tempted to join us next month or if you dont live in the area, you will be motivated to start your own veggie garden club. As you know, food is kind of important to us humans – we should all learn how to grow our own and teach our children at the same time.

Happy planting and happy eating!

 

Tomato sauce recipe

For me, summer = tomatoes

There are so many different tomato varieties with such fun names, here are some examples:

Cherokee Purple, Lemon Boy, White Queen, Vintage Wine, Beefsteak, Green Grape, Black Russian, Yellow Stuffer.

Pretty cool. You can just imagine the colour variety.

We have been eating tomatoes all the time. As in every meal. With glut you need to get creative. Think out of the veggie box – Like in my Summer Glut post.

This time I am thinking very much In the Box. Or In the Bottle.

For my kids, tomatoes = tomato sauce, they dont really like the real thing. Which becomes a problem when your fridge is half full of them and so is your garden.

So I tried to make them a healthy version of the gloop they love so much. Are there any parents out there who have spent hours of effort in creating “delicious” healthy meals for your child only for it to be pushed aside or “Bleurgh!” to be declared after the first bite?

Yep. This was not one of those times. Success!

TOMATO SAUCE RECIPE

So first you have to put your tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes. Then put them in cold water so they are easy to handle – now the skin is super easy to peel off.

Tomato sauce recipeTomato peels

Tomato sauce recipeYou can even peel with one hand and take photos with the other.

Tomato sauce recipePeeled toms.

Then you add HONEY (I used two tablespoons) HERBS (I used oregano and thyme, you can use anything including wild sage, caramalised onions and garlic, wild garlic or whatever your heart desires) SEA SALT (just a few crunches)

Blitz with a hand blender.

Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for a few hours until the sauce has halved.

THE END

Tomato sauce recipeSo easy!

Quite delicious.

Tomato sauce recipeNot-so-fussy 1 year old eating homemade tomato sauce.

Tomato sauce recipe

Very fussy six year old boy eating homemade tomato sauce. That took hours. Miracles can happen!

Tomato sauce recipeThe grown up version on rice with basil and feta. Could work with anything – with pasta, pizza, as soup, on bread.

Goodbye Allgold. Hello kitchen. We have a winner.

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