Long ago, and lasting for a period of millennia, the Cape Floristic Region was experienced by its local inhabitants as a richly biodiverse edible landscape.
In the very recent past, however, modern agriculture has come to present the single biggest threat to its biodiversity, while its edibles have become largely forgotten and ignored.
At the Sustainability Institute we have undertaken a project, in collaboration with local wild foods innovator and expert Loubie Rusch, to cultivate and revive the use of some of the local indigenous plants that occur naturally in this region, as well as make use of food garden waste that is so copiously generated in our food system.
The WILD HARVEST range of salts, seed mixes and vinegars make use of the nutritious and flavourful, sustainably grown local wild herbs and leafy greens as well as wild weeds and vegetable offcuts that are usually either ignored or thrown onto the compost heap. In buying this product you are supporting the livelihood opportunities as well as the landscape regeneration opportunities the project is enabling.
The WILD range finds its inspiration in the flavours and aromas of the local indigenous foods and herbs of the Cape Floristic Region. By reviving and promoting the growing and use of these fragrant and deliciously nutritious plants in cooking, and as they increase in popularity over time, we will be enabling them to reclaim the landscapes from which they have been transposed but to which they rightfully belong. The wild aromas of the salts, seed mixes and vinegars of this range can be used to enhance flavour or add texture to a wide range of dishes and salads.
Inspired by the small vegetable garden at the Sustainability Institute, this range is embracing the vegetable offcuts, the many edible weeds that are so readily denigrated, and several indigenous leafy greens. All of these are usually either tossed aside or ignored during the gardening or cooking processes. Our garden salt and stock powder makes use of the likes of carrot tops, the outer leaves of broccoli and cauliflower, wild mustard, chickweed and marogo. Minimising this food garden waste is simultaneously making additional nutrition available to us while deepening the flavour of the wide range of foods to which they can be added.
These two ranges are now available for purchase by shop or deli owners to sell to the general public. Please get in touch with us if you would like more information.
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