Monday, June 30, 2014

The Oranjezicht Organic farm and Market

Last Saturday was a rare one for us; we had the day off and were in town. And it was one of Cape Town’s perfect mid-winter Champagne days, bright, clear, sunny and warm. So it was our first chance to visit the Oranjezicht City Farm and Market which is at the top of Upper Orange Street and open every Saturday from 09h00 to 14h00. To quote them: "The Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) is a non-profit project celebrating local food, culture and community through urban farming in Cape Town. The farm is financed primarily through the funds made at the Market Day.” Check out their web site

This fantastic organic market garden was started and run by the local community on an old unused bowling green and historic site. On Wednesday afternoons you can go and pick your own vegetable from the garden, as a guided self-harvest is held between 4-6 pm, weather permitting. Parking is a bit of a challenge but we got there about 11 am and found some on one of the side streets.
A view from on high of the well laid out market garden with a view of the city centre and Table Bay in the distance.
All the stalls are covered, so if it rains, their goods are protected
Good advice
Musicians playing some good music all morning, with a visitor enjoying the music and the winter sunshine
There is food available to eat and places to sit down. We so hope this area doesn't expand too much and drive out the market traders who are selling a wonderful selection of fresh organic and other foods for you to sample and take home to cook and eat. This is still a true ‘Market’ and there is no alcohol on sale
Lots of fruit and vegetables for sale from the garden and some potted plants, seedlings and herbs to take home
Under the dome. Lots more seasonal fruit and vegetables and products to see and buy
Two happy customers with Cheryl Ozinsky, a mover and shaker who, with others, motivated the community to start this superb venture.. You may remember Cheryl from when she was the successful head of Cape Tourism. John has known her since the inception of the Waterfront in the early 1990s, when they were both involved in its set up
Buying fruit and veg for the week
The garlic is small, but very potent. We went home with a bag of it
Dried herbs, fruit and even vegetables
Cheryl packing fresh mushrooms for a customer
Yes, you do need some olive oil
Our old friend Jane Selander of Constantia Cheesery, selling her cheeses
Organic nuts and fruit from another old friend, Peter Owen of By Nature, who still sells at the Biscuit Mill
Some wicked delights and hey! A raw pizza on the Banting seed biscuit base. Clever
Some beautiful loaves and some popular botterkoek to take home
And even some gluten and carb free bread. We were able to taste it. Hmmmm, not sure that flax flour works that well
An old friend from the Long Beach Market, Don Yeowell, with their range of jams and preserves
Fresh pumpkins piled high, at reasonable prices...
... displayed on the Woodstock Bakery's 1964 Chevrolet C10
There is a huge children’s playground below the market, lovely on a sunny day
and lawns to picnic on
Friends and families exploring the vegetable garden
Cabbages, kale, broccoli and cauliflower protected from butterflies and their caterpillars
Companion planting of pansies, which are edible, and kale
Borage and herbs like thyme are companion planted amongst the lettuces to prevent insect predation
Early peas, heading up their wigwams, and more companion marigolds in another veggie patch. Healthy broad bean plants in the background
A solar powered water pump keeps the leiwater flowing
Lavender and morning glory
Rows of brassicas and onions
Nice to meet old friends; organic wine farmers Tanya and Willie de Waal of Scali wines in the Voor Paardeberg, were there enjoying the day with their children
Turning the formidable and enviable compost heap, which was steaming nicely
Lynne getting BIG ideas for our small veggie patch
These are going to be magnificent cauliflowers
A very clever method of planting, if you don’t have much space
How the eye is deceived. We saw this kale as dark maroon but the camera sees it as green
There are, of course, beautiful views of our Table Mountain, which the city surrounds - how many other cities have a mountain in their middle?
A sentiment we are happy to agree with, even though we do sell you imported luxuries
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

140626 Main Ingredient's MENU - Under Milkwood - Milkwood Bay luxury Guest house - Olive Tree Country House - Celebrations at Alto - Brandy and Tapas pairing at the Mount Nelson - KWV Mentors wines at the Test Kitchen - Shiraz SA Wine Challenge Awards Lunch and tasting - Kaapzicht – Celebrating 30 years of Winemaking - Franschhoek Wines for the Trade

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A sunbird enjoying a wild dagga sundowner near the Heads, Knysna
In this week’s MENU:
* Under Milkwood
* Milkwood Bay luxury Guest house
* Olive Tree Country House
* Celebrations at Alto
* Brandy and Tapas pairing at the Mount Nelson
* KWV Mentors wines at the Test Kitchen
* Shiraz SA Wine Challenge Awards Lunch and tasting
* Kaapzicht – Celebrating 30 years of Winemaking
* Franschhoek Wines for the Trade
To get the whole of our story, please click on MORE... at the end of each paragraph, which will lead you to the blog with pictures. At the end of each blog, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back.
This week’s Product menu – Winter is truly with us – time for risottos, so come to us for the best Italian Carnaroli and Violone Nano rice.  And when you curl up in front of the fire, and feel winter lazy and want to hibernate, why not relax with a delicious French paté, a bottle of good wine and a special person. And you can get them from us........ See them here.
We had some more really busy days as we continued our trip from Calitzdorp to Knysna, but we have enjoyed them very much indeed, especially as we have been receiving more invitations to stay at and to view more luxury accommodation in different areas, allowing us to have short breaks away, so that we can write about them. We will be back in Knysna for the Oyster Festival in July.
Under Milkwood     Under Milkwood near the Knysna Heads is a group of log cabins (called chalets) hidden amongst heritage milkwood trees overlooking the lagoon. Lynne stayed there with friends about 20 years ago and so we were very glad to be invited to revisit to see the changes they are busy making. It is owned by Paul Van Zuydam, a South African who lives with his wife in the UK and who owns Le Creuset and Screwpull, two internationally successful companies. There are also two other properties attached to Milkwood that we were able to view. It is a lovely place to stay and if any of these properties interest you check out their website: Contact General Manager Clary Starbuck who was extremely helpful to us.  MORE.....
Milkwood Bay is a luxury Guest house near the Eastern Knysna Heads, which is part of the Milkwood Collection. We were invited to view the house while we were staying at Under Milkwood which is next door. It is a very beautiful house, luxurious, very well decorated in classic modern sea and beach colours and comfortably and tastefully furnished. It is full of original art and has magnificent views of the Knysna lagoon. Each of the 5 rooms has been individually decorated and offers under-floor heating, television with satellite channels and a telephone. The guest house has a covered swimming pool and sauna. An English breakfast is served on the balcony overlooking the lagoon or in the dining room area. It is possible to hire the whole house. We think it would be perfect for wedding parties or special family occasions  MORE.....
Olive Tree Country House     Next it was time to head back towards Cape Town. On the way Annette Ashley had asked us to stay for the night at Olive Tree Country House in Hermanus , which is owned by her family. This large commodious house, available for hire, is on the banks of the Onrus river, and is situated on Glen Fruin estate just behind the Hemel and Aarde Village on the R43. This makes it perfectly situated for visits to the wine country of the Hemel and Aarde valley behind it or to the seaside resorts all along the coastline from Stamford to the Bot River estuary.  MORE.....
Celebrations at Alto     How to hit the ground running? Leave Hermanus at 10 am and drive through to Alto in Stellenbosch to celebrate their 90th anniversary as South Africa’s oldest red wine estate. Many of the most worthy media were present and most of us had to admit that this was our first visit to this lovely farm. That needs to be remedied. We think it is because it is in an area full of charismatic wine farms but it is so worth the effort. But who knew this treasure was there, they have kept rather a low profile until now and things are changing. Alto are famous for their good value Alto Rouge blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and now Petite Verdot (the blend varies slightly each year). We got to taste a 1993, 2001 and 2004 and these wines have lasted. But they also produce some really exiting and delicious Shiraz and very classic Cabernets on this 193 hectare farm with 93 under vines.  MORE.....
Brandy and Tapas pairing at the Mount Nelson      And the day was not over for us yet. We dashed home, unpacked the car and with five minutes to spare arrived at the Mount Nelson hotel for a tasting of their new Winter Tapas and Brandy Menu which will be served daily from 12h00 to 23h00. Does brandy go with food? You can now find out for yourself. We assembled in the Planet bar and rather took over the area in front of the fire on this chilly wet evening. This tasting was organised by MW Dr Winnie Bowman, Executive Chef Rudi Liebenberg, Christelle Reade-Jahn of the Brandy Foundation and Gabi Palmer Bolton, PRO for the hotel group.  MORE.....
KWV Mentors wines at the Test Kitchen     As if this week could not get any better? Then it did. On Thursday we attended a tasting of the newly released KWV Mentors wines at the Test Kitchen, where some of their best wines were paired with the food of South Africa’s number one chef, Luke Dale Roberts. It was a tour de force of wines which, to quote Johann Fourie, Chief Winemaker at KWV, “started the renaissance of KWV”. This renaissance was driven ably by Cellar Master Richard Rowe.  MORE.....
Shiraz SA Wine Challenge Awards Lunch and tasting     Friday saw us at the Vineyard hotel for this event now in its second year. First we were able to do a tasting of some of the shirazes which had entered the competition. The standard is amazingly high and we need to start taking bows for the quality and range of styles we are able to produce now. Overseas wine media and buyers are starting to see how well we can make this grape produce. There were also several Shiraz blends to taste and the grape certainly brings a lot to these blends, softening edges and making more complete wines that can last or be enjoyed young and fruity.  MORE.....
You too can taste these wines at the Shiraz Showcase to be held at the Vineyard hotel on the 1st of August. The Hotel will be running a very good special with the tasting, dinner and a room afterwards with breakfast. Check out their web site
Kaapzicht – Celebrating 30 years of Winemaking     Friday was another of those days with two big events, luckily the timing didn’t clash and we wouldn’t have missed the Kaapzicht Celebration in Bottelary for all the tea in China. We got to know the friendly and welcoming Steytler family when we were studying wine in the 1990’s and have loved their wine every since. We thank them for letting us be part of this family celebration – the second we have attended in the last month. We sold their wine in our shop and continue to buy and drink it as often as we can. Major David Charles Steytler bought the farm after the war, in 1946, when it was called Rosendal. There have been four generations farming since then, at first mixed farming and then they changed to grapes. Danie and his brother George bottled their first wine in 1984, when the farm was renamed Kaapzicht (transl. Sight of the Cape). They have a beautiful view of Table Mountain from the farm, hence the name.  MORE.....
Franschhoek Wines for the Trade     Monday saw us driving to Franschhoek for the Media and Trade tasting of Franschhoek wines held in the L’Ormarins Motor Museum. 27 producers had stands and we tasted as many as we could manage during the limited 2 hour tasting. We would have liked it to be longer; it is a long way to drive for a short tasting of so many wines and it seems not a great many of the trade or media did so. There is always a lot of networking at these tastings. As there was no catalogue, Lynne decided to taste varietals and wine that appealed to her so she tasted mainly Semillons, Chardonnays and white blends. Then she managed to do a few of the red wines from specific farms. John circulated and tasted a varied selection.  MORE.....
There is a huge and rapidly growing variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do in our world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for which we have information. To see what’s happening in our world of food and wine (and a few other cultural events), visit our Events Calendar. All the events are listed in date order and we already have a large number of exciting events to entertain you right through the year. Events outside the Western Cape are listed here.
Learn about wine and cooking We receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses here. Karen Glanfield has taken over the UnWined wine appreciation courses from Cathy. See the details here
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here.
In addition to the new Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School, Chef Peter Ayub runs a six lesson course for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details here
Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has cooking classes in Fish Hoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here.
Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia.
Brett Nussey’s Stir Crazy courses are now being run from Dish Food and Social’s premises in Main Road Observatory (opposite Groote Schuur hospital).
Lynn Angel runs the Kitchen Angel cooking school and does private dinners at her home. She holds hands-on cooking classes for small groups on Monday and Thursday evenings and she has decided to introduce LCHF (Banting classes). The Kitchen Confidence classes, which focus on essential cooking skills and methods, have been expanded and are now taught over 2 evenings. She continues to host private dining and culinary team building events at her home. She trained with Raymond Blanc, and has been a professional chef for 25 years. More info here

20th June 2014
Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our online shop for details and prices.
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Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169
Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. Have fun while you learn more about wine and how it is made! Tours can be conducted in English, German, Norwegian and standard or Dutch-flavoured Afrikaans.
Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters and our blogs are ©John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
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