forage in your own garden for wild plant foods

the newly purchased native vegetables

the newly purchased native vegetables

I recently found a selection of indigenous wild vegetables at a community fair in Muizenberg (I say wild because in South Africa the culture of native vegetables is only in its infancy).


I bought what I was told were indigenous mint and Sandkool, Veldkool and Soutslaai. I planted them out along an su drenched plastered and unpainted wall on a raised bed, as they love good drainage, lots of sun, sandy soil, and are lime tolerant. In the beginning I am giving them strong protection from animals and sun with leafy Carissa and olive twigs. I've given each a cup of rain water every morning. After a week there is no sign of dessiccation. I hope they do well and I can gift small plants to everyone I know.

I find that naming is quite inconsistent but believe I have the right mint Mentha longifolia. The others should be Othonna auriculifolia, Trachiandra ciliata and Mesembryanthemum guerichianum, according to general descriptions online, but allocation of the Afrikaans common names is very regionally diverse. Only the Trachiandra ciliata looks like something I have. It appears I have two varieties of Trachiandra.

Nonetheless, it is a beautiful moment for me. I've so desired cultivating these, this is the beginning of it all. Other foods which I have are Oxalis pes caprae, it comes up everywhere here, Carissa bispinosa and indigenous jasmine planted in 1998 and thriving in sand (made a preserve with the Carissa berries yesterday) the African wild apricont Dovyalis zeyheri which thrives in Observatory but in Goodwood has produced one fruit in 23 years), and lastly Blousalie (planted a year ago) and thriving.

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Apr 22, 2017
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indigenous wild vegetables will save water
by: Caroline

I've heard these wild vegetables are very very drought resistant. They could be ideal for growing in a world that is heating up.

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