Peas in a pod 

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Veggie news 

On Thursday and Friday Ben Getz of Urban Harvest and his hard-working team installed this beautiful vegetable garden at the Dora Tamana preschool in Khayelitsha. (The veggies hadn't been planted when I took the photo, so I drew them in).

This food garden was made possible thanks to the generosity of Gunter Berner who fundraised in Germany. With a little weeding and lots of watering the children at Dora Tamana will soon be eating healthy veggies at lunchtime, grown in their own garden!

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100% home grown! 

Yesterday was the second week running that all the veggies Richard had on sale at the Friday organic market were from the Mielie food garden. Congratulations, Richard - you're doing a sterling job! Even Buhle is pretty impressed.
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Almost harvest time 

Things have been so hectic of late - I am doing a bit of freelance and we're also dreaming up a brand new bag to be launched at Design Indaba. Hence the silence on the blog front.

Unfortunately I can't really show you any images so I thought I'd write an update on my veggie garden, which has been christened Happy Chaos II, my house being Happy Chaos I. After a gruelling war against the aphids, my artichokes are finally starting bear fruit - or flowers? And oh my, are we going to get creative with tomato recipes around here. Any ideas, anyone?

I also harvested a little potato puppy!
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A very special guard-Frog 

When we started our food garden in Khayelitsha, I also made a little veggie patch at home. It has been a source of constant joy and delicious nibbles - and the summer bounty hasn't even begun.

While I was to watering the veggie patch late this afternoon, I spotted a young Western Leopard Toad on the path. These beautiful velvety creatures are an endangered species that breed in our area. During breeding season the local conservation group puts up roadsigns that warn drivers to drive with extra care at night, as this is when they tend to be out.

Imagine that! Such an exquisite, rare creature protecting our veggies from pesky insects.

(In case you were wondering why I also planted plastic bottles, I made tiny holes with a hot pin in them before planting. When I water the garden I also fill the bottles to ensure that the moisture seeps deep down to the roots.)
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Thank God it's THURSDAY! 

Thursday is sebenza (work) day at Mielie, when we see all our weavers. It's busy. It's noisy. It's messy. It rocks.

Capetonians, don't forget about the organic market at Montebello tomorrow morning. We have some beautiful baby fennel in - delicious just steamed with a blob of creme fraiche and black pepper.

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This beautiful young cow came sauntering past the food garden in Khayelitsha today. Her markings are typical of the Nguni cattle, wealth of the Xhosa people and a universal inspiration to designers in many different disciplines.

She reminds me of the AJ bag on the right, specially requested and designed by James as a surprise for his girlfriend. Apparently she loved it. Who wouldn't? I think we'll call it the Nguni design.
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Do It Day 

Friday was Do-it Day, a volunteering day organised by Greater Good SA. We received funding to buy border plants for the food garden that will serve as a wind-break and loads of seeds, as well as some gardening equipment. Then it was off to Khayelitsha to muck in!

Thanks a million to the following: Sue and Gorgina who organised it all and Cary and her two sons, Ross and Drew who worked hard in the garden. The seeds were arranged by Jo and donated by St. Cyprians school and Starke Ayres also donated seeds and equipment. Thanks also to Justin, Cary, John, Ant as well as Cary and Sue's parents for their part in making the day such a success.
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Wordless recipe 

We had the freshest, most beautiful baby spinach on the sale at the market on friday and I made a roulade using chicken breast and the spinach and thought I'd give you the recipe - in pictures. Some ingredients that are probably not visible in the photos include: chilli, cinnamon, ricotta, parmesan. I made a gravy with some sweet mustard... hmmm.

This is my kind of recipe - nothing too accurate or prescriptive! Let me know if you need clearer instructions, ok?

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Veggie update 

Thought I'd give you a little update from the veggie side of life. Our community food garden in Khayelitsha is going along beautifully, under the watchful eye of Richard and the wise guidance of Ben of Urban Harvest. We have planted five trenches that are all at various stages of growth.

See those two beautiful cabbages on sale at our Friday Market? They're from our garden! The parsley too, as well as the misuna, which had all sold out by the time I took the picture. Not bad considering that we dug our first trench in April and we put the fence up at the end of March!

The rest of the veggies on sale at our Friday organic market are sourced from various other community food gardens in Khayelitsha. We plan to continue supporting them even when we are able to sell more and more of our own produce.

Remember, you're welcome to join us in the garden on a Wednesday between 12.00 and 2.00, when Ben and his team come to give us a lesson in the intricacies of organic gardening. Just give me a call and meet me at Montebello at 11.30 and I'll give you a lift.

I'd like to thank Richard, Zanele, Ben and his awesome Urban Harvest team for their hard work and commitment, come rain and shine - and howling wind. In her absence, I'd also like to thank Annemarie Mohr and her family, who helped us get the garden started and is now back in Germany.

We've only just started, and there's a lot more work - and expenses - ahead, but now that it's spring I know we'll be having loads of fun.
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