Farm fresh veggies!!

One week in and I have found a source of fabulous farm fresh vegetables and fruit.  The system is run by a lass called Chene and she drops off your bag weekly. You can also order farm fresh duck and duck fat from her.  

This is what I got for R60!

I am now on the hunt for a source of good grass fed meat and farm milk.

Harvesting

Starting to eat more and more of my garden.  I have the brassica blues though.  I think they are all going to bolt without heads.  Any tips?

amaDumbe

Recently, my friend Vanessa and her husband Gavin sent me some strange looking brown tubers in a parcel (full of other lovely goodies for me too).  They turned out to be amaDumbe, or more commonly known as Madumbi here in South Africa, or as Taro elsewhere.

amaDumbe
Scientific name: Colocasia esculenta

This ‘‘potato of the tropics’’, amaDumbe (Colocasia  esculenta) is found all over the world in subtropical regions and is cooked much like a yam. amaDumbe, originated in
Oceania and South East Asia. It was spread by human settlers eastward to
New Guinea and the Pacific over 2000 years ago, where
it became one of the most important food plants economically and culturally. It is believed that amaDumbe has been cultivated for over 6000 years.

The mature corms and young shoots of amaDumbe are mostly used as boiled vegetables, but the corms are also roasted, baked, or fried. Roasted or boiled corms can be eaten alone or with stew.  amaDumbe corms are very rich in starch and they are a good source of dietary fibre.

I got six tubers in my parcel and instead of popping them into the oven, I have planted them so that I can harvest many more in 8-10 months time.

The plant looks just like an elephant ear and the young shoots and leaves are also edible. I hope they grow.

 

 

Sunrise

Slowly I am getting into my routine of getting up before the sun to feed the chickens and water the vegetables before I head off to work at 6.30 am every morning.

If you told me 5 years ago that I would be doing this I would have laughed in your face. I was a corporate girl who hired people to do the dirty work and I stayed in bed till the last minute as it was one of my favorite places.

Now I find that I really enjoy this time as I watch the sun rise over my growing greens, listen to the birds sing and the water spraying gently.  Who would have known 🙂  I surprise myself daily.

 

It’s all about food…..

Everything I have been doing lately is all about food and it has been so much fun.  My first batch of vegetables are finally planted. This has been two years in the planning so it’s a big thing for me.  They are all safe and sound, away from browsing animals and the baking sun in their little cool cloth house.  I made raised beds using recycled broken vegetable crates with shade cloth liners.

Functional but not very pretty. I will be cutting off all the excess cloth to neaten things up a bit.

My whole food healthy eating plan is continuing well and I am feeling a difference already.  yesterday we had this super fritata for breakfast

and made some homemade cold drink using rosella flowers and lemon grass.  It turns bright red once it has been in the fridge for an hour or two, sweetened with a touch of honey and absolutely delicious.

so much food on my mind, I even painted a cabbage 🙂

This painting is one of six macro paintings I am doing to hang as a group in my kitchen. They are on stretched canvas so will not need to be framed.  I have also completed one of a slice of lemon but I am not happy with it.

I wonder how many other people have ever painted a cabbage 🙂

Taking stock

My food gardens are starting to take shape.  This weekend I managed to barter for a banana tree and some paw-paw trees which will be delivered to me this week.

I also added some wild garlic, chillies, a gooseberry bush, feverfew, mint, a new rosemary bush (I drowned my last one)

I rescued this chilli bush from a nursery where it was being eaten badly by bugs. I hope its happier here.

Got this Aloe from a good friend – will use it for Aloe vera

Wild basil looking good

A gifted sprig of mint is thriving in its new home.

Parsley, chives and oreganum doing well

Gooseberry planted in its new home

Feverfew – I still have to experiment with this herb

New wild garlic – I have had this plant in may homes before but never used it for eating – I am going to give it a try.

And finally – a now Fred proofed raised bed

with new seeds peeping through.  Planted here are, tomatoes, cucumbers, rocket, beetroot, more chives, radishes, baby marrows, and probably some others that I can’t remember.

What do you have growing now?

 

Missing the obvious….

When I planned to grow my own food in the middle of a game reserve I knew I was going up against the odds.  Careful planning of the beds was necessary to avoid my food being eaten by other creatures. Firstly, I had to think of every animal on the reserve and plan how to stop them eating the vegetables.  My final plan is to have a caged in area with shade cloth to protect the plants.  While it will take me some time to get this ready I decided to plant out one raised bed to at least get some growing done.  I planned to use netting around the bed to keep porcupines and small buck out and hoped that the baboons would be preoccupied with the citrus orchards a few kilometers away.

This last weekend I planted all my seeds directly into the bed. I did not erect the netting as there were no visible plants to eat yet.  I was confident that all would be well with my seeds.

But I missed something very, very obvious and when I went to check if the bed was still damp this morning I saw to my horror – two scratched heaps of sand exactly where I planted my seeds.  My first thought was – darn it – I didn’t know that porcupines dig in the sand for seeds.  I took a closer look and saw some very familiar spoor.  I am getting quite good at identifying spoor – especially these ones because I see them all over my dining room table!  Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

Darn it Fred!  This is not your giant litter box!

Photo of Fred by the Bean