Shireen Freeman

Shireen Freeman

Shireen is a barefoot gardener and kitchen witch who loves to grow food and medicinal herbs on her rural homestead in the Overberg mountains. She works closely within her community as part of the Greyton Transition Town's Valley Food Gardens initiative, unlocking the food-growing resourcefulness of the Genadendal Valley.
saving seeds

5 Tips for Growing and Saving Seeds from your Home Garden

Saving seeds from your own garden can be a most rewarding exercise – but there can also be some disappointments if you are unaware of some basic, time-saving points. This guide will help you choose which seeds to save and give you a head start in planning and maintaining a successful seed saving garden. You will also learn about when to know if seeds are ready to harvest and how to best store your seeds for longevity. Of course, the…

Read More

Planting a Garden is Believing in Tomorrow

This year has been extremely challenging, to say the least. As a nation we have faced uncertainty on every level. From survival to thriving, we have had to unite and make quick and careful decisions based on an urgent and collective need to defend and sustain what is most important to. And the right to healthy, nutritious and accessible food has consistently been at the epicenter of dire need as thousands upon thousands of people desperately seek their next meal.…

Read More

Growing in Bereaville

Johan has been doing an excellent job of nurturing a range of organically grown seedlings that were planted out just a few short (and stormy) weeks ago with the support of the Valley Food Gardens initiative in Greyton. His generations worth of knowledge about farming on this land in Bereaville is proving to be great and his efforts are already paying off. Seedlings are healthy and ready to grow in their new homes  Preparing the land using traditional methods Checking on the…

Read More

Onion, Honey & Cinnamon Soothing Syrup

This simple medicinal syrup is made with onion, honey & cinnamon and can be kept in the fridge for up to six months. It soothes a sore, dry, itchy throat and can also assist with the healing of wounds. The honey and cinnamon offer antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties while the humble onion stimulates the immune system, and the essential oil is an expectorant, antiseptic, anti-fungal, anticoagulant, and has analgesic properties. You can also add grated ginger, minced garlic, grated…

Read More

Sunday Stroll through the Veggie Garden

This morning I woke up to the deep tolls of church bells echoing through the valley and later the chorus of hymns drifting in from the distance. It made me feel content as I fed the cat and lit the stove and it brought back childhood memories of my Ouma’s NG Kerk songs. Time is different here. It’s slower, predictable and mingled with voices and animal calls carried across the valley. During the week it’s just about silent, save for…

Read More

Barefoot in Bereaville

I have been blessed with the opportunity to “grow home” in my off-grid homestead in the quaint and rural village of Bereaville, near the better known town of Greyton in the Overberg, Western Cape.  I am enjoying playing in my veggie garden, orchard and berry house – and of course, getting up to some serious magic making in the kitchen!      Thank you for sharing this adventure with me! 

Read More

Glutney: A Versatile Chutney Recipe for Gluts of Veg at Harvest Time

We are delighted and very grateful for an abundant harvest of marrows and tomatoes (that just keep coming!). This is our latest harvest and we are preparing to make GLUTNEY: a simple, versatile recipe that can preserve various gluts of veg at harvest time. I learned the base of this recipe while working on an off-grid eco backpackers in rural Eastern Cape with a most dynamic Israeli sister when we had an overrun of green tomatoes – and the first…

Read More

Spicy and Sweet Purple Sauerkraut

Last week we decided to visit one of our neighbours who are growing the most beautiful organic vegetables from their home market garden in the suburb of Pinelands.  The Pinelands Market Garden Open Day turned out to be marvelously inspiring and we walked away with some great ideas and some rather sexy cabbages! On the way home I remembered that I had some cranberries and wouldn’t they add the perfect sweetness to a spicy sauerkraut? Yup, I believe they would! Sold…

Read More

Bounty, Water Wising and Liquid Fertilizing ~ August ’17 Round Up

Yay! Our purple cauliflowers are doing well – and they taste amazing! We have been feeding them every two weeks with liquid manure tea, which they seem to really enjoy. Our verdict is they are best eaten straight out the garden – raw and all! Of course, peas are also be best straight out the garden! Kids love opening them up and eating the yummy gems inside. Our rhubarb is also doing well – look at those big leaves! When…

Read More

Nourishing Nettle ~ Wild Food & Medicine & How to Harvest without the Sting

Sometimes Nature has an odd sense of humour. Take Stinging Nettle – Urtica urens here for example: at a glance she looks rather unassuming, even inconspicuous. Now, take a closer look: see those fine hairs? Well, if you’ve happened to brush past stinging nettle, you will know what I am talking about: those hairs sting as they come into contact with the skin – and not just a momentary prick but a lingering stinging and sometimes itchy and almost burning…

Read More