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food swop

Community Food

Our Community Food Swop on Wednesday afternoons is going from strength to strength. I am amazed and delighted at the quality of produce and goods that are being traded. Dinner on Wednesday nights have become the highlight of the week.

I’ve called this dish Community Salad – lightly stir-fried spinach (Northern Lights variety); pan fried Oyster mushrooms; marinated Tempeh; sauteed cherry tomatos; fresh rocket and baby asparagus.




This is the first time that I have cooked with Tempeh and I am an instant fan. It is not as silky as Tofu rather more nutty and absolutely delicious. To find out more go to or Google for recipes and local suppliers.


A bunch of fresh spinach sliced (not to thin, you dont want to cook it to a soggy mess)

3 large oyster mushrooms

A handfull  or two of cherry tomatos

3 or 4 slices of Tempeh per person (you can substitute with Tofu if you cant get Tempeh)

Some fresh rocket and asparagus – the thinner variety

1 Tblspoon Basil Pesto

A few glugs of olive oil

A bit of Sesame oil

Fresh or dried marjorma & thyme

First marinade the slices of Tempeh in a puddle of light soy sauce with a pinch of cumin, paprika & cayenne pepper.

Get the tomatos going in a pot with a glug of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with thyme and marjoram, black pepper and pinch of salt. Sautee on low heat so that the tomatos release their juice and mingle with the olive oil but keep their shape.

Tear the oyster mushrooms into strips. Put a bit of olive oil into a wok, add the oyster mushrooms with a pinch of salt and sautee till golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Sprinkle some sesame oil into the wok and fry the tempeh till golden brown. No need to add salt – the soy sauce is salty enough. Remove tempeh slices and set aside.

Wipe out the wok with paper towel and re-oil the wok with olive oil. Add the spinach and stir-fry quickly. Add a tablespoon of basil pesto and toss into the spinach. You dont want the spinach to get to cooked and limp. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Dish a mound of spinach onto each plate – try a create height. Scatter the cherry tomatos on and around the spinach, drizzling any left over tomato-oil over the dish. Then add the oyster mushrooms (if they have gotten a bit cold, toss back into the wok while you are dishing up the tomatos). Toss up the rocket and baby asparagus and put a bunch on top of the stack. Then add the tempeh strips.

I love food that makes every cell in your body tingle with nutritious goodness! But the true hero’s of this dish are:

Ronel – who grew the spinach. This is her first foray into growing food. Ronel has an award winning guest lodge in Bibbyshoek – Forest Edge.

Brett – made the basil pesto. Brett owns a small, intimate vegetarian restaurant just down the Rheenendal road called  Veg-Table. It is open on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Bookings are essential. viagra sans ordonnance Contact Brett 074 833 9516

The incredible Tempeh is handmade by Jesaya another Bibbyshoek resident.

Oyster mushrooms – grown right here on the farm by Bert.

Rocket and baby asparagus came from the back garden.

The blessing of real, earth-grown cherry tomatos came from Deborah. Yes, pictured is my tomato loot – which has subsequesntly been turned into tomato chutney and tomato chilli sauce – more on that next time.








Rheenendal Produce Swop – Best Retail Therapy Ever!

I attended my first produce swop this afternoon. A few members of the community decided to stop trying to plan it and just do it – so there we were today, outside the Portland Mini Mark, with our vegies, fruit, yoghurt, honey, eggs etc. displayed on the back of Brett Garvies’ bakkie, negotiating trades.

For example, I took a few kilos of our Golden Delicious apples, some packets of sundried Oyster mushrooms and a few jars of Fig Conserve. I didn’t swop it all out – the apples were all snapped up though (When was the last time anyone ate a totally pesticide free apple?). I came home with cialis : generiques homemade linguini pasta, a jar of local raw honey, two 80% pure chocolate brownies, a small bunch of spinach and 2 jars of homemade yoghurt.

A monetary value is placed on each product and you negotiate a fair trade of your produce for produce that you want. No cash. But you must return glass bottles to the producer, fair enough, jam jars have become stupidly expensive!

And best of all – I now know the names of two people that I have been greeting at the store for the last two years, I met two people for the first time and had the time to really catch up with friends who I seldom see, even though we live in the same community.

A big Thank You to Debbie Henley and Brett Garvie for getting us together – may this be the start of wonderful times, great local food and bringing a community together.

The Rheenendal community produce swop happens every Wednesday afternoon from 4 – 5 o’clock. Cash sales permitted to non-producers after the main trading.