Best Wood to Use for a Braai: Selecting the Ideal Timber for Your Barbecue

In South Africa, the braai is not just a method of cooking but a significant part of the cultural fabric that unites families and friends.

Selecting the right wood for a braai is an integral aspect of the tradition, imparting a distinct flavour to the food and enhancing the overall experience.

Braai enthusiasts take great pride in their skill at creating the perfect fire, which starts with choosing the appropriate wood that burns hot and lasts long enough to cook the meal thoroughly.

A stack of dry, aged oak logs sits beside a gleaming stainless steel braai, ready to be lit for a smoky, flavorful barbecue

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Spekboom Medicinal and Health Benefits: Exploring Natural Remedies

Spekboom, scientifically known as Portulacaria afra, is a succulent plant indigenous to South Africa. Often referred to as ‘elephant bush’ or ‘elephant’s food’, it has garnered attention not only for its environmental benefits but also for its potential health and medicinal uses. This plant is recognised for its knack for purifying the air, with a remarkable capacity for carbon sequestration, which has made it a subject of interest within environmental circles. Moreover, its dense root system is instrumental in combating soil erosion, underlining its ecological significance.

The health advantages of spekboom are multifaceted, given that the plant’s edible leaves are packed with vital nutrients. These luscious green leaves are a formidable source of Vitamin C—a nutrient integral to the immune system and skin health. Moreover, the leaves have been traditionally used for their therapeutic properties, offering relief from ailments such as sore throats, mouth infections and even dehydration. Indigenous knowledge systems have long employed spekboom for its curative benefits, and contemporary health experts are beginning to acknowledge its potential.

Spekboom’s versatility extends beyond its nutritional value; it is increasingly being integrated into culinary applications. The succulent’s leaves, with their tart, lemon-like flavour, make a zesty addition to salads and juices, enhancing dishes with both flavour and a nutritional boost. This adaptability in the kitchen, coupled with its health benefits, positions spekboom as a plant of interest for those seeking to incorporate more health-conscious and sustainable options into their diet.

spekboom health

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How to Grow Herbs in Water: A Simple Guide for Beginners

Growing herbs in water, also known as hydroponic cultivation, offers a neat solution for cultivating a selection of culinary favourites within the comforts of one’s home. This method eliminates the need for soil, primarily utilising water as a medium to nourish a variety of herbs. Adaptable to small spaces such as kitchen counters or windowsills, … Read more

Herb & Veggie Growing Guide: Essential Tips for Home Gardeners

Gardening enthusiasts often find the cultivation of herbs and vegetables to be a rewarding endeavour. Growing one’s own produce not only ensures a supply of fresh and flavoursome ingredients but also contributes to a sustainable lifestyle. By integrating both herbs and vegetables into garden plots or containers, gardeners can maximise their space and enjoy a variety of tastes and textures at their fingertips. Whether one is experienced in the horticultural arts or just beginning, understanding the fundamentals of plant care, seasonal sowing, and soil preparation is essential for a thriving garden.

Each herb and vegetable comes with its own set of requirements for optimal growth. While most herbs favour well-drained soil and can thrive even in poorer conditions, vegetables may require more specific nutritional and spacing considerations. A sunny position is generally preferred, although some herbs can tolerate shadier spots. Awareness of frost tolerance is also crucial, as some plants are more susceptible to cold weather than others. As a gardener plots their course through the seasons, a month-by-month guide can provide timely advice on what to sow and when to harvest, ensuring a productive garden year-round.

In addition to practical plant care, determining the type of garden that best suits one’s needs is a beneficial first step. Whether the aim is to cultivate a culinary herb garden filled with essential cooking ingredients, or a medicinal plot focused on plants with healing properties, the choice will influence the selection of plants and the garden’s layout. Starting with a plan and a clear theme helps in creating a more manageable and enjoyable gardening experience. As the garden and the gardener’s interest grow, the range of herbs and vegetables can expand, leading to a diverse and enriching garden ecosystem.

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Veggie Seeds: A Guide to Selecting and Planting for Your Garden

Vegetable seeds are the foundation of any fruitful garden, offering gardeners the joy of growing a variety of produce from scratch. Whether one decides to cultivate heirloom tomatoes, crisp lettuces, or fiery chillies, seeds provide the essential beginning to what can become not just a source of food but also of satisfaction and education. With an increasing interest in sustainability and organic produce, many enthusiasts are turning to their own gardens to ensure that their vegetables are grown without the use of genetically modified organisms or harmful pesticides.

Gardeners have a diverse array of seeds at their disposal, ranging from root crops like beetroot and carrots to leafy greens such as kale and spinach. Companies in South Africa boast collections that include over a thousand locally grown open-pollinated and heirloom varieties, catering to both novice and experienced cultivators. In addition to providing a wide selection, these companies often offer valuable guidance on how to nurture the seeds into thriving plants, ensuring gardeners can approach the task with confidence and support.

Starting a vegetable garden requires careful planning and consideration of factors such as climate, soil type, and water availability. Seeds should be selected based on their suitability for the growing conditions and the seasonal calendar to maximise yield and taste. By choosing the right seeds and deploying the proper care, gardeners can transform their outdoor spaces into verdant patches that promise not just sustenance, but also a deeper connection to the earth and the food it produces.

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