Tag: Sustainable foraging

Veld and Sea Winter Events 2017

Join us for some deliciously exciting workshops this season. We will be heading inward to the land to experience the world of wild flavour in forests, wild mushrooms, botanical cocktails, kids holiday events, inspired gardening workshops and fragrant fynbos.
To book for any of these events, please email roushanna@hotmail.com

MUSHROOM FORAGING

Saturday 17th of June 9am-12pm

Saturday 1st July 9am-12pm

Join us on our winter forest forages led by avid mushroom hunter Justin Williams as we delve into the forest to learn all about the magical world of mushrooms! We will be meeting early and begin the foray with an educational talk about wild mushrooms, then head off into the forest to find what is on offer.

Participants will need to bring a basket, pocket/pen knife, rain coat (weather permitting) and outdoor-friendly shoes.
Cost: R350
Included: Notes, recipes, post-forage refreshments of nourishing mushroom soup, bread, aubergine and mushroom pate and a warming herbal tea prepared by wild food forager Roushanna Gray.
Location to be revealed to participants closer to the time.
Spaces are limited so book your place soon!
To join the wait list please email roushanna@hotmail.com

KIDS FORAGE AND HARVEST WORKSHOPS

Tuesday 4th July 10am-2pm ~ All ages

Thursday 6th of July 10am-2pm ~ Teenagers

Tuesday 11th July 10am-2pm ~ All ages

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. Imagine how fun a relaxed morning of gathering and tasting different scented leaves and edible flowers would be! This school holidays the kids will learn fun facts about which plants the birds and butterflies love, get to meet the farm animals, create some arts and crafts, make and eat delicious pizza with the foraged and harvested ingredients to enjoy with yummy wild flavoured flower drinks, and have fun in the playground with new friends.

TIME: 10am – 2pm

VENUE: Veld and Sea classroom in Cape Point

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

TO BOOK: Please contact roushanna@hotmail.com

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

BOTANICAL COCKTAIL WORKSHOP 

Saturday the 22nd of July 11am-3pm 

 Join Caitlin Hill, brand ambassador for The Botanist Gin on this exciting wild alchemy, botanicals and floral food filled day.

We will start with a foraging master-class in the Veld and Sea classroom, followed by a walk where we will gather wild herbs and edible flowers to be used in the drinks. You will learn the basics of cocktail making – the ingredients, techniques and equipment plus a special introduction to gin as well as how to make two classic gin based cocktails. Discover the world of tincture making and create your own bitters and infusions. A light floral inspired lunch, cocktails and refreshments will be served. Leave with a herbal bouquet and your very own wild booze creations.

Venue: Veld and Sea classroom, Cape Point

Cost: R650 per person. R600 per person for a group of four

To book: Please email roushanna@hotmail.com

WILD PIZZA AND BOTANICAL DRINKS

Thursday 13th July 10am – 2pm

Join us for a delicious and nutritious day of  discovering wild flavour around us and in your own gardens, led by Roushanna Gray. Discover the delicious world of seasonally available indigenous plant flavours, aromatics and fragrances, wild herbs, edible weeds and flowers and their culinary and medicinal applications.

Includes an intro, walk and talk, a lunch of botanical drinks and pizzas (cooked on a wood fired pizza oven) all created by the group with foraged and harvested ingredients. Notes and recipes to take home.

Cost: R550 per person.

To book: Please email roushanna@hotmail.com

GOOD HOPE GARDENS WORKSHOP SERIES

Gardening with the elements – practical modules on how to work with nature and not against it.

Cost: R600 per workshop or R500 per workshop if attending all 4.

Teacher: All workshops are led by experienced indigenous plant landscaper Tom Gray who has worked in hard and soft landscaping for over a decade.

Venue: All workshops will take place at the Good Hope Gardens Nursery, Plateau Rd, Cape Point.

EARTH (soil)

In this half day workshop, you will learn how to set down a good foundation from the ground up for any garden – food producing or otherwise. We will look at soil types, soil enrichment, compost making and mulching.

Included: Notes, soil enrichment recipes and suggested reading list, refreshments and a wholesome light lunch.

Please bring: Paper and pen, comfortable gardening clothes and outdoor shoes. Sun hat / rain coat.

WATER (reduce, reuse, recycle)

Focusing on residential water usage with regards to recycling water, capturing rainwater, storm water management plus spring, borehole and well point water usage. Touching on the usage of pumps and gravity fed systems. Simple filtration via use of mechanical means or living filters (reed beds) and water storage into tanks, ponds, pools or dams.

Included: Notes, water-wise plant list, refreshments and a wholesome light lunch.

Please bring: Paper and pen, comfortable gardening clothes and outdoor shoes. Sun hat / rain coat.

AIR (wind)

The Cape Of Storms is our home. This workshop deals with how to manage wind on a micro scale for the purpose of gardening. We will look at the use of indigenous trees, (edible and non) screens and structures as wind breaks, how the wind affects the soil and water usage in a garden, and touching on how wind can be harnessed to create alternative power. Looking at how aspect, micro-climate and location effect the immediate area around your house in which you are gardening.

Included: Notes, wind tolerant plant list, refreshments and a wholesome light lunch.

Please bring: Paper and pen, comfortable gardening clothes and outdoor shoes. Sun hat / rain coat.

FIRE (sun and seasons)

A workshop aimed at helping to plan your garden (edible or non) in terms of seasons and how to achieve an abundance of food. We will discuss the use of indigenous plants and conventional exotic plants as food crops. Adapting your garden plan to suit what is practical and attainable compared to what you wish to have in your garden, taking into consideration our harsh, dry local climate. Discussing scenarios such as hot, sunny, dry gardens vs cold, shady, wet gardens and possible practical solutions.

Included: Notes, suggested plant list, refreshments and a wholesome light lunch.

Please bring: Paper and pen, comfortable gardening clothes and outdoor shoes. Sun hat / rain coat.

Cost: R600 per workshop. R500 for attending all 4.

FYNBOS FORAGING

Saturday the 29th of July 10am-2pm

Sunday the 13th of August 10am-2pm

Saturday the 26th of August 10am-2pm

Introductory half day forage and feasting experience guided by Roushanna and Gael Gray. Each individual class 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.
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.

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!

Cost: R550 p/person or R2000 for group of four. Children under 17yrs R200, Children under 2yrs free. Full payment will secure your booking as spaces are limited.

Venue: Veld and Sea Classroom at the Good Hope Gardens Nursery, Plateau Rd (M65),Cape Point.

To book please email roushanna@hotmail.com

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Forage Vegan Pop-up dinner

What happens when you put a vegan chef and a wild food innovator in the kitchen together? Something fresh, festive and fantastic…take a look at Parusha Naidoo and Roushanna Gray’s first collaborative dinner that happened in the Veld and Sea foraging classroom at Good Hope Gardens Nursery. Gorgeous photos taken by the talented Gabrielle Holmes.

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A big thank you to all our wonderful guests who attended, to Mount Gay Rum for donating some of their delicious Black Barrel rum that worked so beautifully in our botanical cocktails and to Skermunkil for the use of her stunning ceramic bowls and spoons.

To join the next #foragevegan Food Art Feast happening in on the 16th of January 2016, take a look at the Food Art Feast Facebook event page for details and updates. To book and for more info, please contact roushanna@hotmail.com

Veld + Sea #playwithyourfood

My new re-branding is happening slowly with Veld + Sea branching out from Good Hope Gardens Nursery and organically taking on its own roots in a new and delicious field.

Bringing you wild food catering and pop-up events inspired by veld and sea and of course, our seasonal and sustainable foraging courses. There are even sweet whispers of a new product range at summer markets and a recipe book in the creation stages.

Here are a few beautiful images taken by the very talented Gabrielle Holmes at the last pop-up food event held at the foraging classroom at the nursery – a Spier Secret dinner.

“Building up to the Spier Secret festival, we will be hosting a series of intimate secret dinners with selected industry leaders in various locations across Cape Town. Focusing on community and sustainable and ethical food production, hosts will be creating unforgettable experiences in which they will share their knowledge, skills and ultimately, their table with you.”

 

Wave inspired salad - Veld+Sea cateringVeld + Sea catering

Wild berry couli and radish seeds

Wild greens and sheeps milk tartlet with a wild berry couli

Veld+Sea wild food catering

For more photos from the event please have a look at our album or visit the #spiercecret dinner page

To join our mailing and be informed of any upcoming forages, feasts and events, send us a mail to roushanna@hotmail.com with “Please Add To Mailing List” as the subject line.

Hope to feed you soon!

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.

Why should people learn to forage?

Why should people learn to forage?

Wild food foraging

I have been asked this a lot lately. I have tossed this question around in my mind, thought about the positive and the negative views of foraging, the realistic need for survival skills, the idealistic romantic dreams of gathering your own wild food and the sustainable issues in between. So far, I have come up with this.

I think there are two parts to this question – 1. Why should people LEARN to forage and 2. Why should people learn to FORAGE

The first question is as important as the second.

Its is a skill that you have to learn by the physical act of learning from someone with experience, it’s not just a skill you can learn off the internet or read in a book. The tradition of passing down the knowledge of foraging is rare in our modern-day world, yet for most of our human existence we have sustained ourselves through this skill. Without learning, foraging can be deadly dangerous – if you can’t positively ID the plant you want to forage, you could get seriously poisoned. Since the rising trend of foraging, there have been numerous cases of food poisoning and even deaths. You have to know what time of year to harvest, what part of the plant to eat, how much to pick and how exactly to prepare it. Where you are foraging from is very important as you are not allowed to forage on private land or nature reserves, and should be aware of pollutants. Sustainability plays a huge role when foraging become fashionable. Lets face it, if everyone started foraging again, it would be detrimental to our environment by threatening its biodiversity and by unintentional disturbance to its ecosystem. That’s why we encourage people on our foraging courses to plant indigenous edibles into their gardens for a more sustainable and practical solution : backyard foraging. Our indigenous plants are more suited to this harsh African climate than regular fruit and veg anyway and should definitely be included into all food gardens. A lot of our Indigenous berry bushes and fruit trees make great security hedges and windbreaks and the wide variety of perennial wild herbs are pretty much maintenance-free once established.

Indigenous herbs

The second question is a bit more personal…why do I think people should forage once they have learnt?

Its delicious, its nutritious, it’s a free form of clean, organic local food. I love the different range of wild flavours, the excitement as the season finally nears a favourite wild edibles time for harvesting, experimenting with new recipes and the delight in others enjoying the meal. Plant study is an ongoing love affair that never ends – the more you learn, the more there is to learn. There are so many wonderful stories, myths and muthi, power and traditions, behind our plants. Its empowering to have the knowledge to be able to feed yourself. It’s a joyous celebration of connecting with nature, understanding the seasons, being in touch with the tides and the moon phases. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to teach your children. Its indigenous food revival!

Foraged lunch at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Grewia occidentalis recipe

Grewia occidentalis is commonly known as kruisbessie or cross-berry tree. It is a fast growing small tree or large shrub, hardy, has fibrous roots and grows in a variety of soil conditions. It can be planted in full sun or shade, and makes a great wind break. Once mature, it likes to be pruned. They can grow up to 5 meters, wind dependent.

Grewia occidentalis

It has very strong wood that does not splinter and was used traditionally by the bushmen to make bows and by the Xhosa and Zulu to make bows and handles for axes and assegaai’s. It also has a host of magical and medicinal properties including using the bark as a shampoo to combat grey hair and making a tea out of the leaves and twigs to ease childbirth or for impotency and bareness.

It attracts butterflies, is loved by birds for its tasty berries and carpenter bees often find a home in its wood and relish the pollen from pretty ten petaled mauve star-shaped flowers. Livestock enjoy the bark and leaves.Grewia occidentalis flower

It forms a four lobed fruit, green at first and then ripening to a golden reddish brown waxy fruit. These fruits are sweet and chewy with a tough skin and a big pip. They were used by bushmen as snacks particularly for long journeys as they kept well as dried fruit. Other culinary uses include flavouring porridge, the fruit crushed for juice and either taken fresh or fermented for beer, boiled with milk or used in a goats milk yoghurt.

Grewia occidentalis berries

We have a big Grewia tree outside our house, filled with life – at the moment the berries are just beginning to ripen, and the garden is filled with the sounds of the birds and bees, butterflies and insects busy in the branches, flitting from flower to flower. I too, was in the tree. Dangling precariously from the treehouse planks, tiptoeing on the little branches, looking for some ripe fruit for my recipe. Crazed by the idea in my head, I even forgot about my fear of heights. Not dangerous at all. Especially when we spotted a massive snake in the tree a few hours later.

Hot crossberry drink.

Hot Crossberry drink - Grewia occidentalis

Ingredients:

1 handful of ripe Grewia o. berries

1 cup of milk ( I used goats milk)

A few half opened Grewia o. flowers.

Method:

Put the berries and milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins. Pour through a strainer and sieve, squashing all the flavoured milk through with the back of a spoon. Pour into a cup, serve warm. Pop a few semi opened flowers on top of the drink and watch as they open up completely with the heat of the drink. Smile as everyone claps.

This drink is deliciously malty and sweet with a hint of fruit, creamy in texture and a dreamy caramel colour.

Result!

Cheers to Indigenous food revival.

Grewia occidentalis

Grewia occidentalis berries

*references:

plantzafrica.com 

Indigenous Healing Plants – Margaret Roberts

Food from the Veld – F.W.Fox and M. E. Norwood Young

Tom Gray from Good Hope Gardens Landscaping

Foraging with MasterChef SA

Episode 15 of MasterChef SA aired last week on MNET, and the top 5 contestants were told they had to forage for their main ingredients from the beach, Fynbos and forest floor.

It was such a great experience to meet them at Scarborough beach and take them to the inter tidal rock-pools to forage for mussels, periwinkles and edible seaweed and then on to Good Hope Gardens Nursery for a Fynbos forage for herbs and aromatic to compliment the harvested sea ingredients. The contestant were a charming, friendly and super enthusiastic group and I could see recipes running through their minds as they discovered a whole range of new flavours in the wild.

Foraging at Good Hope Gardens Nursery

Click on these video links to see more of what we got up to

Foraging with MasterChef SA

With the rising trend of foraging, concern for sustainable foraging is high, and with the fantastic platform of national television, I stressed this point as best I could.

Sustainable foraging

After foraging in the Deep South, they went to meet mushroom guru Gary Goldman in the forest and was guided by his passionate expertise and foraged some choice specimens.

Mushroom foraging with Gary

The contestants did well in the kitchen and created beautiful dishes with their foraged goods.

The top two recipes were Sipho’s Polenta lasagna filled with fried mushrooms and mussels and Roxi’s wild mushroom mille-feuille with hazelnut sauce.

Delicious! Heres hoping this post will inspire everyone to get creative and go wild.

Coastal Foraging

To find out more about our Fynbos and coastal foraging courses email roushanna@hotmail.com