This week, Grootbos had the honour of hosting Loubie Rusch, an expert in fynbos foraging. Loubie is a well known urban food forager, who has been sharing her passion by educating people on the indigenous foods available to them which is available from the veld.
In a presentation attended by Grootbos staff, Loubie shared her knowledge of indigenous plants. She started her presentation by sharing plants that are commercially available from nurseries which can be used as flavouring like the wild garlic, wild rosemary and indigenous salvias as well as plants which can be grown for their fruit (kei apple, num num & wild plum) or be used as a vegetable. She moved on to plants which grow wild and are edible and can be incorporated salads or vegetable dishes and soups. Loubie emphasised that the plants must be sustainably and ethically harvested and suggested that the plants can be introduced initially by making substitutions. After the presentation, Loubie shared a variety of different edible plants for tasting which included sandkool, seekool, sea celery as well as some common weeds such as dandelions.
Loubie led a foraging expedition with the Grootbos chefs, including visits to our Green Futures nursery and to the beach to see what they could find for dinner. Ben, Grootbos Executive Chef, incorporated the foraged ingredients in dinner that evening.
Loubie also spent time at the Green Futures nursery and Growing the Future farm to explore the possibilities of growing some of the commonly foraged items for use in the Grootbos Kitchens, and to introduce foraging to our local community through our food security programmes.
We would like to thank Loubie for giving of her time and knowledge and for inspiring all of the staff! We can’t wait to see what the Grootbos chefs come up with!