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The Bard Garden is our new potager in the cooking school grounds.

The first phase of planting was completed on 27th October under a brooding indigo sky and the heavens opened within minutes of planting the last of the sunflower seeds.

After the rain

The process began by asking Brett Bard of Tortoiseback Vegan Haven to collaborate with us on the design and cultivation of the garden in order to grow flowers, herbs and vegetables for use in the cooking school and restaurant. It will be a learning vehicle for our chefs and gardening team, as well as an inspiration for the students to the school and locals in town. We have gone for a harmonious garden design based on The Golden Ratio.

We are now into the fourth month of the development of The Bard Garden. As with most projects we did hit a few hiccups along the way, including reservoir leaks that swamped the designated area, gaining tricky tractor access into the grounds of the school through the neighbour’s fence, and losing some of our initial seedlings to the scorching sun. But throughout the ongoing project we all continue to learn and really enjoyed the layout work and planting. Recent rain was a blessing that also boosted our usual lei water irrigation.

The edible landscape

We will also be running courses along with Brett and Loubie Rusch to introduce the concept of “know, grow and use the edible landscape”. These will feature wild plants of the Western Cape along with other usual cultivated plants to inspire a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle to grow your own local, seasonal herbs and vegetables with cooking guidance and recipes. The first of these weekend courses is on Dec 10 – 12 2021. Book here.

Here are a few images of the development of the garden. In a month or so we will be using the produce in our restaurant dishes and will be able to forage fresh ingredients for cooking classes. Poem by Brett – inspired by Mary Oliver.

 

‘In Spring I have known

the taste’ of sprouting 

broccoli

purple and green

baby carrots plucked from the soil

Asparagus shoots and lettuce hearts

blossoms of artichoke and nasturtium

“how calmly, as though it were an ordinary thing,

we eat the blessed earth.”

 

See you in the garden. See you in the kitchen.

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