organic

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rosemary hill market introduces family friday evenings

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2011-01-26 11:37

Rosemary Hill Farm Market has been around for two years. They're trying something slightly new as of this weekend, with a focus on family and food. They're also moving the market to Friday evenings in order to accommodate this.

Rosemary Hill is just that, a hill on a stretch of gorgeous organic farmland only 10 minutes outside Pretoria, or 45 minutes from Sandton (considering it takes at least that to get across Jo'burg, it isn't far).

The farm has been organic since 1978 and grows African potato, sutherlandia, rosemary, lavender, artemisia, lippia, spearmint, eucalyptus and other plants from which they distill essential oils. They have a herd of Nguni cattle and grow other crops like pecan nuts, as well as vegetables. Next door to them is the Max Stibbe Waldorf School.


volunteer and get to experience a biodynamic farm - firsthand

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2011-01-24 10:27

Taking a gap year? And want to learn all there is to know about working on a biodynamic cheese farm?

We are a small mixed (mainly cheese-making and dairy goods) biodynamic farm in the Western Cape, South Africa. We are looking for one or two volunteers or apprentices to come and work on our farm for six months or more.

The 800ha farm is situated in a remote beautiful valley in majestic mountains. Most of the farm is indigenous bush and streams. We farm +/- 15ha. We have 45 goats in milk, 25 young female kids, 1 billy goat, 4 Jersey milk cows, a small beef heard with an Nguni bull, a sow with 7 young pigs and a new litter of 9. We also have 4 horses, 2 beehives, a 0.1ha vegetable garden, +/- 8ha gravity irrigated pastures, +/- 7ha wild grasses pasture and a dam.


a bountiful garden

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2011-01-11 10:16

our tomato crop has been incredible this year...


terra madre - a celebration of slow food

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2010-12-08 09:34

Petrina Roberts gives an account of the conference in Turin:

As a result of our work in South Africa supporting local food gardens in Khayelitsha, Mfuleni and the Eastern Cape, I was invited to attend the recent Terra Madre Conference in Italy, funded by the Slow Food International Movement.

It was a life-changing event!

I arrived after a long flight having worked till 5am the morning of the 19th October to a wonderful welcome at the airport in Milan. Thereafter we travelled to the venue where the opening ceremony was taking place.


strawberries are fair picking this saturday

Submitted by MichaelE on Fri, 2010-11-05 12:52

strawberries by stimpy on deviantartstrawberries by stimpy on deviantartIn true British tradition we will be celebrating the coming of the summer season with our SUMMER STRAWBERRY FAIR ON SATURDAY 6th NOVEMBER at The Stellenbosch Fresh Goods Market. November is the season for Strawberries in the Cape Winelands, so instead of going picking, come fill up your bags with fresh, early morning picked strawberries from the popular strawberry farms in our area.

Other products include:
Strawberry Cupcakes & BAKES
Summer berry Dancers
Strawberry Soap & Salts
Plenty of champagne and strawberries
Smoked Springbok Strawberry Salad
Homemade Strawberry Jams
Rudi's Strawberry Sausage 
Sugar Cones topped with ice cream and strawberry pesto
Strawberry Kiddies face paint & Balloons, eagles and owls, sand art for the children
The Hearth Fair, Designer goods, Boutique wear, Emerging design & Crafts
Music & Picnic blankets for hire, gardens, oak trees, plenty of space and parking

The launch of our new


elgin open gardens - a gardener's bliss

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-11-01 11:34

the auldearn garden in the elgin valleythe auldearn garden in the elgin valleyThis last weekend was the first weekend of the annual Elgin Open Gardens. The weather was stunning - perfect for a day out in the beautiful Elgin valley, which is known for its apples and beautiful gardens. The gardens are also open next weekend, the 6th and 7th of November. You pay a small fee ranging from R5 to R20 a person, which is donated to a different charity. This year there are over twenty open gardens that you can visit. It's best that you plan on leaving early and spend the day in the valley, so that you have time to explore some of the gardens. There are some absolutely stunning gardens that are sure to inspire you.

We stopped off and had a leisurely brunch at the Houwhoek Farm Stall, which serves delicious food and has great stall, at which we bought some wonderful dried apricots for the road.


harvest – recipes from an organic farm review

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-09-30 09:15

Harvest: Recipes from an organic farmHarvest: Recipes from an organic farmThe Stevens' moved out of the city to get away from the rat race and who can blame them when they moved onto an idyllic farm and started an organic farm and vineyard. Christine's alchemical powers in the kitchen also spawned Harvest, a cook book.

The style that Stevens goes for is something akin to British food writer Tasmsin Day Lewis, a mix of family anecdotes mixed with recipes and a focus on home grown, local and seasonal produce. The pictures in the book are beautiful and capture the essence of life on the Stevens farm in the Slanghoek valley of the Western Cape. The farm has post card perfect views, and a wonderful situation, beautifully captured by photographer Russell Wasserfal along with fantastic pictures of the enticing dishes.

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the big green smoothie – secret to a perfect recipe

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2010-09-23 09:40

There's something about spring in the air that has brought about an upsurge in vegetable juicing and green smoothie making in our household.

Last night, for instance, we juiced a really delicious 'red' concoction – beetroot, cucumber, apple and pineapple – that our four-year old, red moustache in evidence, voted as 'even better' than the carrot juice we have finally got him to quaff.

My other half has expounded the health benefits of green juice for an age now. But no matter how many times I hear about how alkalising, high in anti-oxidants, rich in fibre, calcium and iron it is, there is something about the taste that is, well, I'm just not that mad about green juice.


sproingg! spring into action and start planting

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2010-09-02 11:30

pic:: greenpoppic:: greenpopWell today is more of a spring day than yesterday was. I was not feeling a spring vibe at all yesterday. More like the middle of winter, today however is a totally different story. It's feeling fresh out there, but not icy. It's sunshine rather than a blanket of black cloud.

So now that it's official what are your green plans for springtime? Spring is the beginning of a new growth cycle, a time for getting your fingers in the soil again...

For me this time of year is mainly about getting the veggie garden all fired up once more. Its been ticking over during winter as, with no frost, we can still grow a lot of the staples, albeit


grow to live review

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2010-08-26 10:47

Grow to Live: By Pat FeatherstoneGrow to Live: By Pat FeatherstoneGrow to Live: A simple guide to growing your own good, clean food is a book that every South African food gardener, whether novice or not, needs to have on their bookshelf. I've become quite a collector of gardening books and there are some really informative books out there. Some were written in the 80's and 90's, or earlier, when it was fashionable to nuke your vegetables with every herbicide, pesticide, fungicide and other -icide known. You were advised to routinely spray with the likes of Malathion, Karbaspray, Metasystox and other chemical weapons of mass destruction. And you had to know all about applying the right proportion of NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) ala 2:3:2, 2:3:4, 3:2:1 or whatever. Well, following this advice would lead to a 5:4:3:2:1 explosion and the death of life in your garden.

So now you know what the book is not about, enter Grow to Live. This is a book that will make your heart soar as an organic gardener. The book distills the considerable knowledge


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