Cape Gooseberry Jam

Cape Gooseberry Jam

This is an easy-to-make jam with a delicious sweetish-tart flavour. These little yellow berries go by quite a few names. Here in South Africa we know them as Cape gooseberries and appelliefie in Afrikaans. They are also referred to as ground cherry, goldenberry or by their Latin name, Physalis peruviana. The Cape gooseberry has a mildly tart to sweet taste and makes a delicious jam. This is a very simple recipe and apart from the gooseberries, all you need is…

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Lemon and Yogurt Cake

Lemon and Yogurt Cake

Winter in the Cape is lemon time. We are in the midst of citrus season in South Africa and lemons are plentiful at the moment. A Lemon and Yogurt Cake is a great way to enjoy this season’s fruit. If you have a surplus of lemons and are looking for some inspiration as to what to do with them, read on. My sister gave me this recipe a few years ago and now it is my favourite go-to for lemon…

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What to do about slugs and snails in your garden

What to do about slugs and snails in your garden

I have yet to meet a gardener who doesn’t bemoan the slugs and snails eating their plants. If you feel discouraged when newly planted seedlings are chomped overnight believe me, you are not alone. Do beer, egg shells and copper really work in deterring them? I put some of these methods to the test and share my findings and experiences about what to do to combat slugs and snails in your garden. I have a confession. I’ve killed many snails…

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The birds in my garden – Mousebirds

The birds in my garden – Mousebirds

It is encouraging to see the different bird species that have made their homes in my garden over the years. I love watching them. Each with their own special characteristics and habits. One bird that is particularly amusing to watch is the mousebird. I call them my garden acrobats. Three species of mousebird are found in South Africa. I am fortunate to have two of them in my garden: the white-backed mousebird (Colius colius) and the red-faced mousebird (Urocolius indicus)….

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Making Lilly Pilly Jam

Making Lilly Pilly Jam

Not all berries that are edible are necessarily to be found in the veggie garden. One such berry is the bright pink Lilly Pilly berry. This one grows on trees and hedges. And one great thing to do with Lilly Pilly berries is making Lilly Pilly Jam. When my computer hard drive died a few weeks ago a number of my ideas for blog subjects evaporated into cyberspace. Not even the IT gurus could breathe life back into it. It…

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How to grow Butternuts

How to grow Butternuts

Whether you know them as butternut squash or butternut pumpkin, butternuts are an easy crop to grow. Even the most novice gardener could be confident to give them a try. Interestingly this species of Cucurbita moschata is the result of cross breeding Hubbard squash and Gooseneck squash nearly ninety years ago. It gained popularity over the years and now this squash with its buttery orange flesh has become a firm favourite. Butternuts are an example of winter squash. They are…

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Tackling Pesky Pumpkin Flies

Tackling Pesky Pumpkin Flies

Pumpkin flies are a cause for much heartache and despair amongst farmers and veggie gardeners alike. Often mistaken for a wasp, these deceivingly attractive-looking flies can destroy a crop of squash if left unchecked. In this blog I share my experience in tackling this pesky pest. What are Pumpkin flies? Pumpkin flies, or lesser cucurbit flies, are similar to fruit flies. Although, as their name suggests, they have a particular liking for cucurbits. And believe me, it’s not just pumpkins….

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10 Healing Herbs – healthy for you, healthy for your garden

10 Healing Herbs – healthy for you, healthy for your garden

For centuries herbs have been used in remedies, tinctures, oils and more to promote healing and health but did you know they are also healthy for your garden? Many years ago when my mom gave me a book of herbal remedies she inspired me to look to herbs for their health benefits. Over the years I have come to respect their healing properties and have learnt that growing herbs can promote a healthy garden too. There are so many different…

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Let’s see what’s growing in the veggie garden this Spring

Let’s see what’s growing in the veggie garden this Spring

Back in August the social media gardening groups were abuzz with comments about who was planting what for spring. Many recommended sowing seeds in trays in the greenhouse so the seedlings would be ready to transplant into the veggie garden as the weather started to warm up. Now, being two thirds of the way through spring, let’s see what I have managed to grow in my veggie garden. Being someone who has been known to follow solid, logical advice on…

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Attention Ladybirds! The Aphids are this way

Attention Ladybirds! The Aphids are this way

My heart just sinks when I see aphids on my plants. I am sure this is the case with most gardeners. These little sap sucking insects can wreak havoc in the garden especially in spring time when there are so many new shoots and succulent leaves to devour. Remember though, nature is all about balance so at the other end of this see saw is the little ladybird. A hero in my eyes without a doubt. What is an aphid?…

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