Launch of the Growers Guide

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We are excited to announce the launch of Cape Wild Foods: A Growers Guide! This publication is aimed at small farmers and home gardeners. It brings plant and cultivation information as well as images about a selection of 22 local indigenous food plants. With this book we hope to engage many others in knowing more about, growing and to using the Cape’s local indigenous foods.

Wild foods expert Loubie Rusch of Making KOS, has been collaborating with the SI for several years. In 2016, the SI funded a pilot Cape Wild Foods Garden project on an urban farm in Khayelitsha. It was here that Loubie first explored bringing several local wild foods into cultivation that previously had only ever been foraged as a means of access. Since then, several urban farmers have been inspired to take up cultivating a few of them.

You will find several planted in the food garden at the SI as well as at the Living Soils Community Learning Farm. Farmer students as well as the wider SI community and staff took part in planting day events to establish these plantings – the first in 2017 and more recently in 2020. Visitors as well as SI staff and students in the academic, farming and hospitality streams have engaged in a number of different learning opportunities about local indigenous foods over this time.

The past year and a half has seen a deepening of the SI’s involvement with Local Wild. During lockdown the hospitality team pivoted to start Wild Harvest, the SI’s bottled produce initiative that makes use of several of the indigenous edible and aromatic plants growing on the SI’s grounds and food gardens. SI’s hospitality also includes some of them in the Green Cafè and the school children’s meals. In 2021, the Local WILD food unit of which Loubie is the founder, drew closer to the SI through a publishing project and project funding applications.


Local WILD was born out of a passion to enhance knowing about, growing and using the local indigenous wild foods of the Cape that have become forgotten and underutilised. Its collaborative projects engage with the social, ecological and economic concerns of the people and the places to which these foods belong. They uphold equity and diversity in their restorative engagements.

Local WILD and the SI are collaborating on a series of informative publications to support farmers, gardeners, chefs and home cooks wanting to make use of the Cape’s local indigenous foods, but who find it difficult to access information easily. The first, Cape Wild Foods: A Growers Guide, provides information and images about a selection of 22 plants. Its sequel,
A Cooks Guide is addressing the same plants that are also being covered in a separate nutrition study.

The Local WILD Food Store collaboration with PEDI Agrihub and the Good Food Network is committed to equity and transparency in the online transactions it facilitates. Its short supply chain ensures direct market access and maximises earnings to the small scale growers and producers it engages with. Information on the Food Store’s listings is supplemented by the sale of the SI and Local Wild’s publications. This makes it possible for its retail stores customers to sell both ingredients as well as information to their customers who may not be familiar with the Cape’s indigenous foods. Both Living Soils and the SI food gardens are supplying cultivated indigenous ingredients through the Local WILD Food Store.

Books are available for sale! R300 retail, or available for wholesale purchase to book stores. Please contact for more information.