Creative at the Cottage

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

Barefoot in Bereaville

I have been blessed with the opportunity to “grow home” in an off-grid homestead in the quaint and rural village of Bereaville, near the better known town of Greyton in the Overberg, Western Cape.  Over the next six months, I will have the opportunity to play in the veggie garden, orchard and berry house – and of course, get up to some serious magic making in the kitchen!      I look forward to sharing this barefoot adventure with you! 

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

New Neighbours, Wonderful Weeds & Spring Planting ~ July ’17 Round Up

This last month went by just like that! Maybe it just feels that way because, as they say, time flies when you are having fun! Last month found us enjoying our new self-composting beds, setting up our mini glass hot houses and planting a variety of seedlings that we brought up at home. This month saw us expanding the garden while helping our neighbour re-design and build her new chicken sanctuary/rescue centre. Let’s take a look at some before and…

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

A Shout-Out to Nasturtiums ~ Beneficial in the Garden & in Medicinal Food Recipes

One of the most beautiful things about the winter garden has to be nasturtiums. We have grown to love her bright orange, yellow and even red blooms and her big, round leaves that rise up to dance in the breeze.They bring with them some winter brightness as well as the pollinating bees to the garden. Our kids love to pick a nasturtium leaf that has a few droplets of water nestled in it’s centre and watch how it rolls around…

Read More

Making Herbal Oil Infusions ~ for Culinary & Medicinal Use

We really enjoy preserving our cuttings from medicinal shrubs and flowers in the garden by infusing them in oils for later use: be it in the kitchen or for our herbal remedy chests. Today we are going to speak about using herbal oil infusions for culinary & medicinal purposes and show you how you can make them at home. What & How In herbal oil infusions, the beneficial properties of specific plant materials are extracted into an oil using a…

Read More

Roast Balsamic Beetroot with Honey & Rosemary

Here is a beautiful, simple beetroot recipe that is great hot or cold. Of course, there is nothing better than using beetroot and rosemary fresh out the garden! Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 30 – 45 minutes (depending on size of vegetable chunks) Ingredients 6 cups washed beetroot cut into small chunks Balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons Olive oil 2 tablespoons Honey 2 tablespoons Crushed garlic 2 teaspoons 4-6 sprigs of fresh Rosemary Salt and pepper to taste Optional Extra…

Read More