Five great reasons to grow spekboom in your gardenApril 28, 2020
Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) is also known as elephant’s food or pork bush. It’s a succulent and indigenous. It is the perfect plant for you to grow in any size garden, and here are my five favourite reasons as to why.
- It is spectacularly easy to grow. You make a small hole and plop it in, cover with dirt, and it will thrive. It is virtually impossible to kill. It is water-wise and will survive on as little as 20 cm of water per year;
- It improves the quality of the soil and at the same time, the air you breathe. It absorbs loads of carbon from the air and fixes it into the soil where it does more good than harm. Carbon is responsible for global warming, and so you’ll be doing the planet a favour if you plant it;
- It is adaptable to any biome- in other words, it can grow just as well in a rainforest as in arid conditions. If we are lucky enough to have a year with good rains it will still do well and not drown;
- Once you’ve grown your first one, it’s super easy to propagate, so you need only buy a few. After that, once it’s big enough, you break off a twig and put it in the ground, and it’ll grow. For this reason, it’s a great way to introduce kids to the joys of gardening.
- You can eat its leaves. Traditionally they are used to help exhausted or sick animals to gain much-needed vitamins and minerals. In salads, the leaves give it a refreshing lemony flavour.
As a bonus- the leaves are good for your health as they are full of vitamin C. Here’s an easy and delicious salad recipe to try.
Spekboom, Chickpea And Tomato Salad
- 2 x 400 g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 250 g baby tomatoes
- Two avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced and blanched
- two handfuls spekboom leaves, rinsed
- salt, to taste
- For the dressing, mix
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 T white-wine vinegar
- 1 T honey
- 1 T smooth mustard
- freshly ground black pepper
- Two sprigs flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Rinse the chickpeas and place in a salad bowl with the tomato, avocado, onion and spekboom leaves and pour over the dressing. Lightly mix and allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving, sprinkle with salt, to taste. Easy.
By Fiona Ayerst
Going Local with Growzit
Growzit is South Africa’s online farmers market, a place where local producers and service providers can connect with local shoppers. A place where communities support each other for the common good.
Please take a few minutes enjoying browsing your local stalls.