Tag: tortoise

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!

Summer time and the living is breezy

 February is the hottest month of our year!

The snakes and tortoises are wide awake. We are having to remove certain tortoises quite often from the veggie garden.Tortoise

The vegetables in the gardens quickly tend to bolt if not watered well enough, or get to dried up from

the South Easter who regularly makes her appearance. Like now. And yesterday. And probably tomorrow.

Luckily,  just around the corner we have a warm False Bay ocean for long delicious swims and an icy turquoise Atlantic Ocean around the other corner for screamingly refreshing  dips or exhilarating surfs.

Beach time

Summer also brings us:

Warm magical evenings with clear starry skies, sweet fragrant juicy tomatoes and plump purple sticky figs from the garden, super productive bees buzzing amongst all the flowers and warm freckled faces and dirty sandy hands after a hard day of playing in the garden.

Summer tomatoes

Hooray for summer time!

Sunny daze

Another fantastic day.

Took a German navy sailor for a guided walk. Hehe I led him up the garden path. No, not actually. After tea in the tea garden with his two lady friends, we had the luck of finding

A shy Geometric  Tortoise,  a flaming red Paintbrush Lily in the middle of the path, lots of orange parasite plants (Dodder) looking like telephone wire suffocating the plants ( Apparently, this means the suffering bush is ready for a burn) the reservoir, termite hills, beautiful Helychrisum flowering bush and the windmills. The wind was kind, the sun was hot. Thank goodness for my hat!

Later I heard my 2 and a half-year old boy, crying halfway down the path.

“Why are you crying?”

“I’m so, so sad!”

“Oh why? What happened?”

“I did step on a sharp stone. But I do want to go down there and make mud pies in the Tea Garden.” weep weep.

Pick him up, carry him back up the path and sense someone behind me. Its Nootnoot the kitten, followed by Pollox the  dog, followed by three chickens running to keep up. The word Circus leaps to mind…

Today I made      Wheat-free  Cupcakes                                                               and                      Cake                        for the Tea GardenAnd homemade chocolate                                                        and                                                    seeds for sprouting

Spot the odd one out?

Meanwhile, work of a different sort was in action….Taskmaster and the Lovely Lutho were hammers a blazing (my poor aching head) and renovations are going well. Note to self: Book into relaxing spa holiday next time renovations happens!

To make temporary space, these toys and one small happy boy looked like this:

Recipe for Homemade melt-in-the-mouth Chocolate:

5 tbsp coconut oil

5tbsp organic cacao powder

5 tbsp ground nuts (I used pecans)

2 tbsp icing sugar/honey

pinch of salt

Method:  1.Melt oil in a pot on a low heat on the stove. 2.Remove from heat. 3.Add rest of the ingredients and mix well. 4.Spoon into silicon ice tray and leave to set in the freezer for a couple of hours. 5. Eat them all fast before anyone sees. …..Oh its Valentines day so 6. Eat with a loved one and share the bliss!

Bye bye for now.