It’s Jacaranda season !

Jacaranda mimosifolia

This exotic tree is popular in South Africa but is no longer allowed to be planted here. This one flowering in Ladismith, Little Karoo.

Karoo gold (Rhigozum) flowering now in its natural habitat.

This spiney shrub blends in with the karoo scrub until it blooms profusely in the summer with bright yellow flowers, dotting the veld like bright gold nuggets.

Today John the Farmer planted up Tomato + Sweet basil seedlings.

Roma tomato + Sweet basil

Plant a guild of tomatoes, basil and marigolds for a flavorful and pest-free crop.

You know it’s going to rain when these cacti flower.

Echinopsis eyriesii

My Amaryllis flowered ! (Hippeastrum reginae).

This South African cultivar sends out leaves and scape at the same time after a season of vegetative growth. It can be grown in a pot or in the ground and it’s long lasting blooms are prized as cut flowers. They thrive when transplanted every few years.

Staghorn fern. (Platycerium bifurcatum)

Green door, what’s that secret you’re keepin’ ?

Today John the farmer is harvesting broad beans.

Fava beans can be stored frozen. Splice them in half, then remove the tough skin.

Boil rapidly for about a minute so they turn dark green.

Plunge them into iced water. Drain.

Pat them dry, then freeze !

Today John the Farmer is fermenting some herbs.

Sceletium tortuosum is a rare succulent plant that has medicinal properties that relieves anxiety and lifts depression in those with a serotonin imbalance.

It is used by the first people of South Africa, the Khoikhoi and the San during hunting expeditions as it reduces appetite and increases stamina.

It can be chewed, drank as tea or snuffed with different effects according to the method taken.

It is prepared traditionally by fermenting and then drying the herb.

It occurs in the karroo regions of the western cape, typically growing prostrate under the shade of other bushes and trees.

Sourdough Recipe.

Sourdough starter:

1 Cup sourdough

1/2 Cup water

1 Cup flour

Mix and leave in container at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.

Baking:

1 Cup refreshed sourdough

2 Cups water

3-4 Cups wholewheat flour

Mix above ingredients, leave in mixing bowl at room temp. for 1/2 hour.

Add 1 teaspoon salt with a little water and mix.

Leave to stand at room temperature for 4-5 hours.

(If baking next day put in fridge after 2-2 1/2 hours.)

Shape sourdough + fold.

Cover with cloth and let rise for 2 hours at room temperature.

Last 1/2 preheat oven to 200-210 deg. C

Bake for 45-60 min.

Bonsai of Portulaca afra (Spekboom).

Indigenous to South Africa this species has been found to extract the most carbon from the air for any tree it’s size. It is found on rocky slopes in arid conditions and flowers in extreme drought conditions.

It is a popular bonsai subject because of it’s caudiciform (tree trunk-like) appearance. Pictured is a variegated type.

I want it to lean over almost horizontally so I used crutch-shaped sticks to prop it up.