Wild Harvest

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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.

WILD Range:

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.

GARDEN Range:

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.

Place an order or enquire

wildharvest@sustainabilityinstitute.net

The Team

MANAGING DIRECTOR: INSTITUTE PROGRAMMES

Vanessa von der Heyde

Cook

Yolanda Mhlawuli

Green Café Supervisor

Khanyiswa Wem

KITCHEN ASSISTANT

Megan Mavandal

GREEN CAFÈ COOK

Devy-Leigh Roberts

Nourish Programme Manager

Sinesipho Baduza

MANAGING DIRECTOR: INSTITUTE PROGRAMMES

Vanessa von der Heyde

Vanessa von der Heyde did her MPhil through the SI in 2013 and was so inspired by this life-changing journey that she graduated with a burning desire to not only be a changemaker herself but also enable others to be changemakers in working towards a more equitable, inclusive and resilient world.

Upon graduating, Vanessa established a non-profit organization with the aim of continuing the food waste project she had started in Enkanini during her MPhil research. This led her to explore the concept of Social Entrepreneurship and she completed the Social Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme at GIBS in 2014. She is now responsible for the successful execution of the academic programmes on the Institute’s behalf, the co-ordination of all the non-academic elements around the programme, and managing the interdependencies between this programme and other programmes at the Institute. The primary objective is to create a world-class learning experience for the students in the programme, and maximising the value for all stakeholders of this programme.

Cook

Yolanda Mhlawuli

Yolanda joined the Institute in September 2017 as a cook, when she moved to Cape Town. She is in charge of all the baked goods served at the Green Café. Yolanda loves cooking and interacting with people. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, listening to music and spending quality time with her children.

Green Café Supervisor

Khanyiswa Wem

Khanyiswa is the Green Café supervisor.

Prior to coming to the Institute, Khanyiswa worked as a chef de parte at Spier Wine Farm and she has a national certificate in Hospitality and Professional Cookery. She enjoys cooking and creating new healthy recipes that accommodate most diets. Cooking is her passion and it gives her great pleasure seeing customers enjoy the meals she prepares.

During her spare time she is involved in youth development activities, motivational talks, reading, playing games with her family and listening to music.

KITCHEN ASSISTANT

Megan Mavandal

Megan is a Kitchen Assistant at the Sustainability Institute where she is responsible for preparing meals for the SI’s children as well as keeping thekitchen looking spotless.

Megan is a people’s person and prior to coming to the SI she worked in various shops assisting people.  Megan is passionate about food; she is also an avid reader and especially enjoys fairy tales and love stories.

GREEN CAFÈ COOK

Devy-Leigh Roberts

Devy-Leigh is the cook in the Green Cafè.

Nourish Programme Manager

Sinesipho Baduza

Sinesipho Baduza joined the team in May 2021 as the Nourish Programme Manager. She oversees the children’s feeding programme, events, the Green Café as well as the Wild Harvest product range. Sine’s background spans across the fields of maritime, financial accounting and business, and culinary arts and hospitality.

Following her passion to further explore the hospitality and culinary environments, she has worked in some top local and international restaurants, as well as managing her own catering company. “My passion is in the development of systems within our kitchen and the development of my team to ensure they each realize their personal potential. Food and cooking is an act of service. Nourishment is one of our fundamental needs for survival and I’d like to see the Nourishment Programme grow and reach its full potential.” In her free time Sine enjoys playing the piano, and learning about the healing properties of indigenous herbs and plants.