Category Archives: Seaweed

Coastal Foraging course dates – Summer 2014/15

Imagine an icy turquoise sea, fresh salty breezes, a long white sandy beach and rock pools filled with food.

Idyllic, yes?

Yes. But wait – there’s more….

On a Saturday closest to the new or full moon (to ensure the lowest tide for optimal forage time) a group of like minded foodies, armed with permits, relevant equipment and new found sustainable harvesting techniques, all forage in a group along the inter tidal zone for their lunch.

Does this make you hungry for knowledge, keen to awaken your inner hunter-gatherer and try out some exciting new dishes?

Then join us on one of our Coastal Forages this summer. Here’s a look at what we got up to over the past few weekends…

Coastal Foraging Cape Town

Coastal Foraging Cape Town

Coastal Foraging Cape Town

Coastal Foraging Cape Town

Coastal Foraging Cape Town

Coastal Foraging Cape Town

Wrack coleslaw salad - Coastal Foraging in Cape TownKelp salad - coastal foraging in Cape TownArtisan bread from Cape Point BakerySea lettuce and couscous salad - Coastal Foraging in Cape TownCreamy white wine mussels - Coastal Foraging course in Cape TownWrack and flower coleslaw - Coastal Foraging in Cape Town

 

Feast! Coastal Forage in Cape Town

Mussel pot - Coastal Foraging in Cape Town

Coastal Foraging course in Cape Town

We would love you to join us one one of these delicious experiences, details below…

Coastal Foraging in Cape Town

COASTAL FORAGING

Our half day Coastal Foraging 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 prepare your macro-algae and have a delicious feast!
We will start off the day meeting at Scarborough beach, and after an intro we will make our way down to the tidal pools where we will forage for edible seaweeds and mussels. This beautiful coastline is abundant with food! As we always forage sustainably, we will be focusing only on the seaweed that is prolific in the area, 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 feast. Notes include intro, identification, recipes and tide charts. 

Price: R400 per person or R300 for a group of 4.

Bring: Beach gear, slip-slops or booties, your mussel license (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)

Dates:

Saturday 21st Feb 10am – 2pm
Saturday 7th March 9am – 1pm
Saturday 21st March 9am – 1pm

April dates TBC


To book or for any queries, please email roushanna@hotmail.com 

WIN with ILUNDI and GOOD HOPE GARDENS NURSERY

Summer is here!

And its competition time….

Join our Facebook competition and stand a chance to win an ILUNDI signature sling

PLUS

2 x tickets for a Coastal Forage with us!

Click HERE to enter.

Good luck!!!!

Win an Ilundi signature sling plus Coastal Foraging tickets

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!

 

Febuary coastal foraging

On the 1st of Feb we had another really fun Coastal Forage.

Awesome people, fantastic conversation and scrumptious food!

Amongst all the awesome people on the course, Cape Nature botanist Rupert Koopman and his beautiful wife Florence De Vries also joined us. Florence took all the stunning photos in this post. Thank you!!!

coastal foragingThese boots were made for foraging…

Coastal foragingA little bit if info shared,

Coastal foragingfor collecting our foraged goods.

Coastal foragingMmmmmm mussels!

Coastal foragingWrack it and stack it. On my plate please….Wrack seaweed coleslaw. A thing of beauty and taste.

Coastal foragingApplying a seaweed face masks for amazing health and cosmetic benefits.

Coastal ForageIncluding instant happiness,

Coastal forageAnd ultimate bliss.

Coastal ForagingRustic ingredients for a gourmet meal.

The 1st of March and the 31st of March – both starting at 9am – are our next Coastal Forage dates.

Join us as we play like kids and eat like kings, and learn a little bit along the way too.

Contact roushanna@hotmail.com for more info or to book.

Wild Food catering

This weekend I made local wild food tasters for some Japanese seaweed scientists.

No pressure.

Wild cocktails

Wild mint and buchu brandy cocktails

Wild food startersBuchu brandy is excellent for settling the stomach. So after a heavy meal a shot of this would do you good….nice excuse!

Wild food seashoreCrumbed black mussels on a bed of wild nori

Limpet and periwinkle samoosasShe sells sea shells on the sea shore…

Wild food cateringLimpet, periwinkle and “krimpvarkie” seaweed samoosas

Sour figsPerfectly ripe, rainbow coloured sour figs

Ulva chilli bitesUlva seaweed and wild sage chillibites

Seaweed coleslawBrassicophycus and Chordariopsus seaweed coleslaw salad with edible wild flowers.

Wild garlic rollsNever-fail wild garlic rolls

Wild food dessertAnd for something sweet….

Agar-agar mini milk-tart “boats” with candied kelp and Carissa flowers.

Hope this keeps you inspired – Have a totally wild week!

2014

Happy 2014!

Here we are. In the future. The 2000’s – a world of robots and information at the touch of a button, food supplements in a pill, romance through a computer screen and commercial space travel.

But scratch at the surface  and discover we are all searching for a balance….

Yoga. Meditation. Detox. Me time. Time out. Book club. Fight club. Wine club? Outdoor festivals. Indoor exercise. Gardening. Chocolate. Hiking. Bach remedies. Extreme sports. Green juice. Journaling. Nut milk. Tantra. Scrapbooking. Sleep.

Happy, healthy, body mind and spirit.

Trying to get back to nature and live a lifestyle as organic and as healthy as we can. Back to basics, the Slow movement, reconnecting with our food, connecting with our community and being in the moment.

If you’re reading this, you have probably had too much screen time already today. Straighten your back, roll your shoulders and remember to go for a walk barefoot after reading this. Maybe just first quickly check your Facebook and your email.

And obviously have a glance at your phone. Oooh a new WhatsApp message!

Our lives are crazy. Things are so busy and exciting and tiring all at once and screen time is at an all high. A Pinterest board for groceries? No seriously now. Maybe they just lost their pen and paper.

So just chill out man. Like fully.

Come on a Coastal forage and have fun and meet great people and eat good food…..

A big thank you Loubie Rusch from Making Kos who took a break from creating her amazing food and joined us to snap all these amazing photos at our last Coastal Forage.

Coastal foraging

Coastal foraging

Coastal foraging

Coastal foraging

Coastal foraging

Nori - PorphyraCoastal foraging

Kelp - Ecklonia

Coastal foraging

Ulva - sea lettuce

coastal foraging

Coastal foraging

Coastal Foraging

Coastal foraging

Coastal foraging - face mask

Coastal foraging

Coastal foraging

Coastal foraging

Coastal foragingYum.

New 2014 Coastal Foraging dates:
Dates: Saturday the 1st of Feb – 10am
Saturday the 1st of March – 9am
Sunday the 31st of March – 9am
Price: R300 per person

The reason these courses are only once a month is because the dates and times are organized around the low tide at new moon (spring tides) to ensure maximum enjoyment in the rock pools as this is when the tide is out the furthest.
Please email roushanna@hotmail.com if you would like to book or have any questions and we will send you further details.

Hope you can join us!

Wild food supper

We recently had some friends in the field (pun intended) over for a wild food supper.

I thought I’d share with you some of the dishes we ate.

But first the prep. Gathering ingredients for wild foods is fun and adventurous and sometimes a little crazy.

Like surfing for our seaweed, or in this case, climbing up a ladder to collect the dried Strelitzia nicolai flowers towering overhead. You can eat the fresh seeds raw and the dried ones can be ground up and used as a flour. Just remember to leave more than you collect.

Strelitzia nicolaiStrelitzia nicolia dried flowers heads

Then you have to brave the bugs and spiders to find the beautiful golden fynbos pirate treasure inside the very hard seed pods.

Strelitzia seedsStrelitzia n. seeds

The seeds are like little hard black coffee beans with a white inside that can be ground up. The gorgeous orange fluff attached to them is the aril that is also edible. It’s a lot of work for a small amount of flour, but a labour of love is usually delicious!

wild food dessertAgar agar and strawberry brule w. Carissa macrocarpa flower and Strilitzia shortcake

Pictured above on the left you can see the final product…I used the flour to make a shortcake and included the aril for added edible decoration.

So now I will backtrack to the starters. Sorry. Its like reading one of those books that the beginning is in the middle and you start at the end and finish in the future. Confusing and edgy. Exciting and wonderful –  like these sweet and salty seaweed nutsSeaweed nuts

This a super easy, highly tasty snack to make. Whether you are hosting a Rugby Watching Braai or a Canape and Cocktail Soiree, these will go down a treat.

Using freshly washed and rinsed sea lettuce or Ulva, chop up a cup full and toss with assorted nuts. season with sea salt and sugar and pop in the oven on a low heat until the nuts are golden brown and the seaweed is crispy.

Yum.

We also enjoyed oven baked periwinkle and seaweed samoosas

Periwinkle samoosas

Periwinkle samoosasPeriwinkle and seaweed samoosas

Seaweed couscous salad – get the recipe here.

Couscous seaweed saladUlva couscous salad with wild garlic flowers

Never-fail-to-please ruby relish on Bree

Carissa and beetroot relish on breeCarissa macrocarpa berry and beetroot relish topped with Carissa bispinosa berries.

Wild garlic rolls and farm butter

Tulbaghia rollsTulbaghia violacea rolls

These were used to mop up the exquisite juices of the mussels….

Musssels and spekboomMussels in a creamy white wine sauce with garlic, thyme, Salvia chamelaeagnea, Portulacaria afra and whole baby onions.

For dips we had Morogo, Wild garlic and King Protea seed pesto and a Wild sage sour cream

Morogo pesto and salvia sour creamMorogo, Tulbaghia violacea and Protea cyneriodes seed pesto. Sheeps milk sour-cream flavoured with Salvia dentata.

We hope this inspires you to be creative and adventurous with your cooking this year –

Happy 2014!

 

Red ribbon seaweed

For one of the desserts at our Coastal Foraging, I make an agar agar jelly treat. To do this you have to collect the red ribbon seaweed that grows on kelp fronds and boil it to extract the agar agar.

Coastal foragingAgar agar kiwi jelly and candied kelp on ice cream.

The romantic version of collecting the seaweed is on a beautiful summers day..blue skies and turquoise sea. A surfboard, a smile and a skip down the beach.

The reality is usually more like a sand-blasted walk down the beach through a howling south-easter, slipping on the porphyra strewn rocks to get to the water’s edge at low tide, holding on with your toes and getting soaked by waves trying to reach the kelp.

If you try and have a surf you could easily get smacked if the face with your board like I did today. Who needs botox right? Dear wind, please hit my lip on the other side now. Angelina Jolie roll over – this is a Deep South extreme makeover.

And if you have missed low tide, you better start looking for a limpet with a lot of red seaweed growing on its shell.

Coastal foraginglike this but more.

Today we got the romantic version….

Coastal foragingA surfboard, a smile and a skip down the beach

Coastal foragingOk and maybe one quick little wave. Or five…

Coastal foragingCollecting the seaweed.

Coastal foragingFound a good bunch! Tough job hey. Gotta love these board meetings.

Coastal foragingWoohoo! Dreamy Summertime.

Coastal foragingLets go check out the haul…

Coastal foragingNeatly stashed away in wetsuit and top

Coastal foragingThe foraged goods. Nice.

A little bit of everything here – red, brown and green seaweed to eat.

Watch out for our next blog post to see what we made…

Happy holidays!

Wild wind and wild food.

Summer is here in full swing. And by full swing, I mean its full on windy. We have had a howling south-easter blowing for days. Causing havoc in the gardens, drying out the soil, whipping up our summer skirts, blowing sand in our faces and flattening out the surf. For days.

But the elements did not stopped us from having two more amazing Coastal Forages.

Coastal Foraging

Gathering food along a windswept beach only made us even more hungry for the feast we prepared…

Coastal ForagingGathering

Coastal ForagingStrandlooping

Coastal Forage seaweed facepackGarden Spa

Coastal ForageFeast!

It was an even more blustery day for the second group…

Coastal ForageGood and clean and fresh tralala!

Coastal forageCollecting mussels and seaweed

Coastal foragingA spontaneous swim!

Coastal forageMussel pot – infused with thyme and the memory of the sea.

A taste so fresh you have to eat it to believe it.

There was a satisfied silence as we tucked in around the table. Only punctuated every now and then by grunts and sighs of appreciation from the hungry hunters.

We will be repeating this Coastal forage course next year and would love you to come and join us.

Happy Summer living!

Seaweed

We are loving seaweed at the moment. Collecting it (sustainably of course) for our animals, gardens, food and for beauty treatments!

Coastal foraging

While it is fun and exhilarating to be foraging for your own free seaweed and mussels that are growing so prolifically at our beautiful beaches, it is important to remember a few rules. In all the excitement of foraging edible seaweed, it can be subject to over harvesting – especially in a focused area which could quickly be depleted:

  1. Always be sure the sea you are collecting from is not polluted and there is no red tide when collecting mussels.

  2. Collect at the low tide, closest to the tide line as possible.

  3. Never pull seaweed off a rock, rather cut pieces off with a pair of scissors leaving its “holdfast” attached to the rock so that the rest of the plant may regrow.

  4. Only cut 1/3 of the seaweed.

  5. Only pick seaweed for culinary use that is attached to a rock, don’t collect any you find floating or washed up on shore.

  6. Only pick seaweeds that look healthy and clean.

  7. Only pick what you need!

  8. Don t collect any unusual seaweed that is sparse in the rock pools, only what you see growing prolifically in the area.

  9. Watch your back! Never have your back turned to the waves as you collect, especially when collecting those elusive big mussels clinging to the rocks on the low tide line. On a stormy day, one wave can easily sweep you out to sea.

  10. Only collect what your permit allows.

  11. Respect all wild life when you forage. Take care where you walk.

  12. Sustainable harvesting ensures regrowth, conservation and abundance for animals, sea life and for yourselves for the next season.

For a great overview on seaweed written by Rob Anderson, please read here.

For info on the three different kinds of seaweeds – brown, red and green – please click on this:

3G Algae (Seaweed & Phytoplankton)

Sea lettuce

Visit this link on the Scenic South website for my Sea Biscuit recipe using Sea Lettuce or Ulva (shown above).

Kelp saladKELP AND AVO SALAD

Ingredients:

3 kelp blades, your choice of oil for frying, 1t tbs sesame seeds, 3 avocados, salt and pepper to taste, half a lemon.

Method:

Cut strips of kelp and quick fry in a hot pan until they turn green. Take them out and put them on paper towel to drain. Put them in a salad bowl and shake over the sesame seeds. Toss until coated. Chop up the avo and add to the bowl. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season to taste. Decorate with edible flowers. Great as a sandwich filler!

Enjoy! And if you have any tasty seaweed recipes, please do share with us!