Blog Archives

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

CARISSA MACROCARPA

CARISSA MACROCARPA
Carissa berries are commonly known as ‘Num-num’s’. The humble Num-num bush has glossy dark green leaves and big spiky thorns, protecting its delicate jasmine-like flowers and plump, juicy red berries.
When you pick a Carissa berry, you will find a milky latex at the base of the berry– this milky latex is usually a warning sign in most plants – but in the Carissa berry, it is non-toxic.
The berries are rich in pectin, which makes them great to add to jams, preserves and relishes, binding everything beautifully and glossing it with a ruby-red hue. It is also very high in vitamin C making it a nutritious snack eaten raw. The taste of the berries are tart, sweet, with a cranberry like flavour.
Carssa berry bush sketch

Carissa berry, beetroot and apple relish

Serves 6–8

Ingredients:
¼ cup of Carissa berries, sliced
2 apples cored, peeled and diced
4 small beetroots, peeled and diced
¼ cup of sugar
2 tbs honey
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
3 cloves
1 tbs fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper

Method:
Place all the ingredients in a small pot, except for the honey. Simmer over a low heat until most of the liquid has reduced, for approximately 40 minutes. When it starts to look bubbly and sticky, add the honey and simmer at a low heat for another 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and let it cool down. Pour it over a soft, room-temperature cheese such as Camembert or Brie cheese. Try to share it with your friends – that’s if it even makes it out of your kitchen!

carissa and beetroot relish

How to grow Carissa
Carissa macrocarpa, or ‘Num-num’, is a handsome evergreen shrub with fairly large shiny leaves, and grows to about 2 meters in height. It has thick sharp thorns and can be used to create an effective, impenetrable hedge. Carissa is found naturally in coastal areas from Humansdorp, all the way up to Mozambique. Although able to survive drought and poor soil very well, it grows faster in good soil with some watering. Carissa berry produces beautifully-scented white flowers from spring to mid-summer, and is followed by large red fruits rich in Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Carissa can be grown easily from seed sown in the spring, but it can also be grown
from semi-hardwood cuttings in spring.

 

Did you know…our recipe book is in the making! Take a sneak peak on the Veld and Sea website HERE

Summer 2017 with Veld and Sea

 

 

COASTAL FORAGING

Sunday 26th March 9am – 1pm

This half day 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 the Veld and Sea classroom in Cape Point (a 5km drive from the beach) with our foraged food to prepare and create an outdoor lunch banquet.
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.

More info on our website HERE

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

 To book: Please email roushanna@hotmail.com

WILD LOVE DINNER

Tuesday 14th Feb 6pm

Come and experience this once-off pop-up event dedicated to sustainable cuisine that will tantalize all of your senses.

The meal will be created by Roushanna Gray of Veld and Sea, using fresh seasonal ingredients and locally produced products, transforming them into delicious foods.
Vegetables, herbs and wild foods will be picked and prepared on site that day from the Good Hope Gardens vegetable gardens. Indigenous edibles, seaweeds, floral foods and local artisan products will be used.

Quality not quantity is to be observed and that means limited spaces! There will only be 12 seats available at this pop-up so please book soon to avoid disappointment.

The Wild Love dinner will be held in the Veld and Sea classroom at the Good Hope Gardens in Cape Point on Tuesday the 14th of Feb at 6pm.

Tickets: R500 per person

Included: Four course meal, 1 large botanical cocktail, 1 small gift. Guests are welcome to bring bring own wine, corkage not charged.

Vegetarians and Vegans options available!

To book contact Roushanna Gray at roushanna@hotmail.com

 

BOTANICAL COCKTAIL WORKSHOP 

Saturday 18th of Feb 11am-3pm 

 Join Caitlin Hill, co-owner of Mothers Ruin, Gin Bar 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

FERMENTATION WORKSHOP

Saturday 4th of March 10am – 2pm

Fermentation workshop led by Zayaan Khan.

Join us for a session in wild fermentation!  We will learn about chopped veg fermented in its own juice (such as sauerkraut), whole ferments in brine (such as pickles), and layered ferments (such as kimchi).  We will taste various ferments as well as condiments, mustard and ketchup and discover how to make them.

We will discuss the scope of fermentation and learn the basic understandings to build a community of fermenters and begin to revive the pantry.
We will discuss starters, jars and fermentation time as well as eat delicious lunch using fermented flavours.

Bring: Glass jars and bottles. Any sad looking or surplus vegetables, even that heart of lettuce at the back of the fridge! Please bring any fermented drinks or cultures you may want to share.

COST: R500

INCLUDES: Fermentation Guide, New Skills, lunch and refreshments.

Venue: Veld and Sea Classroom, Cape Point

To book: Please email roushanna@hotmail.com

WILD FLAVOUR

Fri 24th March & Fri 31st March    and repeated on

Sat 8th April & Sat 15th  April 

This is a two part introductory session in 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, snacks and notes.

Time: 9.30am – 12pm

Venue: Veld and Sea classroom, Good Hope Gardens Nursery, Cape Point.

Cost: R250 per class or R400 for both.

To book: Please email roushanna@hotmail.com

AUTUMN ~ Wild Food events with Veld + Sea

We are getting very excited at the approach of the cooler season, the first rains have already fallen, encouraging tiny, delicious winter shoots to show, and the first mushrooms have already been spotted in the forests.

Have a look at some of our upcoming wild food events below…
FREE TALK AT SCARBOROUGH HUB
Saturday the 9th of April 11am
Join Roushanna Gray at the next Food Dialogue Series hosted by the Foragers Shop in Scarborough under The Hub Café where she will be discussing and introducing some of the delicious wild flavours our area has to offer. She will be introducing you to 10 of her favorite indigenous edible plants, wild weeds, edible flowers and seaweeds. The discussion will touch on history, seasons, identification, sustainability issues, preparation, recipes and which plants you should be planting in your gardens.

MUSHROOM FORAGE
Wednesday the 4th of May
Saturday the 14th of May
Join us at our autumn forest forage 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 nourinshing mushroom soup, bread, mushroom pate and a warming buchu brandy and rooibos hot toddie 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 book please email roushanna@hotmail.com
 
WILD FOOD PAIRING EVENT
Fri 27th and Sat 28th 
This wildly exciting event will be hosted by the Culture Club Cheese restaurant on Bree Street in Town.
Details and menu TBC – watch this space or to put your name down please email roushanna@hotmail.com

Yoga + Foraging Retreat

YOGA + FORAGING RETREAT

Rejuvenate yourself with a coastal immersion.

DATE: Feb 20th
TIME: 9.00 am till 4.00 pm
WHERE: Cape Point (beach to be announced closer to event)
COST: R500 per person or R1800 for a group of four.

This day retreat is all about tuning into the natural flow of things. We’ll start at the beach, when the tide is low, with a nourishing pranayama and wild foraging adventure. We then move to Shamballah Tea House & Holistic Centre for a gentle mid-morning, hatha flow. After that you’ll enjoy a seaweed inspired, vegan lunch made from the fruits of your labor. At the end of the day, you’ll get to drift away to a guided yoga nidra relaxation and will be pampered with a foraged seaweed facemark. Leave floating and nourished, reconnected to natures’ bounty and rejuvenated in mind, body and spirit.

What to bring:

  • A hat and some sunscreen
  • Yoga mat
  • Wear comfy clothes you can move in
  • Water bottle
Facilitators:
Roushanna Gray – Wildfood teacher
Alana Cremonte  – Yoga teacher
To book:
Email roushanna@hotmail.com

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

Wild Food Tapas at The Cape Farmhouse

WILD FOOD TAPAS AT THE CAPE FARMHOUSE

Friday the 17th of July
Don’t miss out on this exciting edible adventure so deliciously fresh and local – these new flavour sensations promise to drive your taste buds WILD!

Chef Phil Mansergh and Roushanna Gray from Good Hope Gardens Nursery will be collaborating on this Wild Food Tapas night, combining their skills and creativity, preparing beautiful tapas dishes, each with an indigenous edible ingredient, sustainably harvested and paired to perfection.

MENU:
Locally baked wild pine ring mushroom artisan break bread served with wild fennel seed butter

Beach broth with foraged seaweed 

Cream of wild asparagus (veldkoel) soup

Wild spinach and paneer samoosas

Local goats cheese with mixed heirloom greens salad, caramelised oranges and Fynbos infused dressing

Organic potato wedges served with wild garlic and Oxalis aoli and a sweet chilli and sourfig sauce.

Kelp Sushi rolls

Hottentot fish cakes with spekboom mayo

Pork and seaweed sausages with wild berry (Num Num) jam 

Rose Pelargonium chocolate brownies with Catawba coulis and cream

Please book to avoid disappointment – phone 021 780 1246 or email info@capefarmhouse.com

CapeFarmhouse

Spier Secret Dinner

Hosted on 20 September 2015

Roushanna lives and works at the Good Hope Gardens Nursery in Cape Point. She teaches adults and children about indigenous edible foods and caters for pop-up events. Having been brought up with an eclectic mix of Cape Malay cooking, Jewish and Christian traditional feasts, and Steiner school harvest festivals, she has an ever-growing passion and love for food. Inspired by the local edible indigenous plant availability, she has been experimenting with the exciting flavours and diversity of Fynbos for the past eight years. The wide range of  delicious and nutritious culinary offerings from the beautiful inter-tidal rock pools along our coastline also play a major role in her cooking and courses.

Learn more about Roushanna’s foraging adventures on the sites below:

Costs R400 per person. Only 12 ‘seats’ are available so book in advance to avoid disappointment.

We will confirm actual venue addresses via email closer to the date.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS HERE.

Foraging in Cape Point with the Botanist Gin

A fantastic little video of the Botanist Gin foraging expedition that happened at the Good Hope Gardens Nursery this week…more from this exciting event to follow soon – watch this space!