Archive for the ‘Seasonal Tips’ Category

When I moved to Cape Town, and into my very first flat, I tried to grow basil and rosemary. Both of these plants died. Without putting all the blame on my not-so-green fingers it probably had a lot to do with the fact that my flat only had a sliver of afternoon sun. Now that I have a garden I am going to give it a try again.

Thanks to the lovely old lady who previously owned our house I’m already half way there, with a very big rosemary plant outside my kitchen door. This is the reason I am inspired to plant a few more herbs, starting with basil. Once you know the convenience of walking outside, grabbing a couple of leaves and tossing them into your food, you will never want to go out and hunt for fresh herbs on the shelves again.

So, this weekend I am going to buy a basil plant and plant it in my garden. The growing season for basil has just begun, so it shouldn’t take much for it to flourish. Apparently they need full sunlight. Easy, we have a north-facing garden. And they don’t like extreme wind. This could be a problem, we live on the Peninsula and the South Easter likes to visit often in summer. Luckily we have quite a sheltered garden, but I am going to have to choose the spot very carefully.

Why basil? It’s a great herb in salads because of its peppery flavour and pungent aroma. It also does well if frozen, which is good to know for when my plant becomes large and overgrown. But the main reason is because it is the key ingredient in pesto. Well, basil pesto.

My favourite pasta dish is Pesto Pasta: a bowl of penne pasta, fresh basil pesto, a dash of olive oil, rosa tomatoes and olives all tossed together. I used to have this meal at least once a week when I was single, but unfortunately it’s not Alex’s favourite. Although he does enjoy it, he needs a meal with protein to feel complete—so we don’t eat it as often as I would like. Although this may change.


If you don’t have a basil plant you can still make your own pesto, check out the recipe for Basil Pesto on the recipe page. 


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Do you like your strawberries with ice cream? Or do you prefer them in a smoothie or baked in a pie? Well, whatever your preference the good news is it’s strawberry season. And if you love them as much as I do why not plant your own strawberry plant, that way you can have them as often as you wish.

It’s easy to grow your own, and it could be your first step in starting your own little organic garden. Strawberries don’t take up much space, so if you’re in a flat or a small home you don’t have an excuse.

First, prepare the soil by weeding and adding manure. Then put the strawberry plant (stem at soil level) every 35cm in rows that are 75 cm apart. Water well and you’re done. Easy as strawberry pie.

Make sure you look after your plant. Don’t forget about snails! You can put down pellets (safe for other wildlife), or broken egg shells under each plant. And if you think the birds can get them too, place a net over your plant.

Did you know? Strawberries are fat free and have no cholestrol. They are also high in vitamins and low in calories.

Start your day with fresh strawberries in a smoothie, or perhaps at snack time. Check out the recipe category for a simple and delicious Strawberry Smoothie recipe from my summer favourites. 

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