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Knowledge Sharing with Making KOS’ Loubie Rusch

We’ve dedicated the month of September to local Heritage food and ingredients, with this week’s Market Boxes highlighting indigenous food and the amazing work indigenous knowledge-holders like Loubie Rusch continue to do. Loubie's fundamental aim is to diversify our local food system through the inclusion of indigenous wild food plants to our diet. 

 

Meet Loubie Rusch

Loubie Rusch is a local wild foods innovator, activist and consultant who's passion is getting people to know, grow and use the forgotten local wild foods of the Cape Floristic region. 

As Loubie recently shared in her guide titled 'Local Wild Foods Of The Western Cape': 

“We live in the smallest but most biodiverse hotspot on the planet. Many of the Cape’s magnificent plants are edible, and are known to have sustained us, even evolved us in our common ancestry over millennia”.

Despite our range of nutritious wild plants, much of our edible wild plants have nearly been forgotten. There’s a clear need to document and share plant knowledge about using our wild plants sustainably – in response to this, your Market Box is excited to have indigenous plant pro, Loubie, join us every Wednesday of this month, in a four part Tips ‘n Tricks Instagram series. Her videos will show you how to use and store the edible indigenous foods in your Market Box and, of course, she’ll guide you through her wild plant recipes. 

 

What’s on Loubie’s menu this week?

This week, Loubie replaces her floral crown for a chef’s hat as she shares her Brakslaai Salsa recipe, born from years of exploring and innovating with some of the rich but ignored food diversity around us. The brakslaai, as it is known in the arid Kai !Garib district, is called so for its salty taste and ability to grow in salty soils. This traditionally eaten South African plant's high tolerance for salt and drought make it an excellent future crop as we face increasing likelihood of more arid conditions in our part of the world.

The brakslaai is a Market Box first, and has been carefully harvested from N'Rougas Farm, a budding regenerative farming business in partnership with local indigenous knowledge holders. The first seeds have been sown in cultivation on the farm and with the break of spring, baby brakslaai seedlings are beginning to shoot from the ground. Plants' tolerance of salty, arid conditions is often associated with exceptional anti-oxidant properties. 

Brakslaai is full of antioxidants, helps suppress high blood sugar levels and has natural antibacterial properties – keep an eye out for Loubie’s recipe with this wild plant later this month.

We are super excited to have Loubie and the network of suppliers and producers she has brought onboard (from Wild Harvest, N’Rougas Farm, and Pedi Farm) join our Market Box family and share years of knowledge with you about indigenous plant life. 

 

 

Loubie’s Brak Slaai Salsa by Loubie of MakingKos

With a food processor:

- Rinse your brakslaai well. Roughly chop about a handful of the brakslaai leaves and finely slice the stems, discarding any fibrous stems. Set aside.

- Peel and very roughly chop one apple, or a chunk of cucumber or one green pepper (whichever is your favourite!) Place the chunks into a food processor, along with the zest and juice of one lemon, a five centimeter piece of peeled and sliced ginger, and two deseeded and roughly chopped chillies (leave the seeds in if you’re brave). Pulse the food processor a couple of times to roughly chop and mix everything together.

- Add in your brakslaai and pulse again to process a bit more but be careful not to blend too much or you’ll get a gooey mulch!

Season to taste. 

 

There’s more than one way to use your brakslaai and all the indigenous produce in your box this week. Get cooking with all the new recipes found on our Recipe Inspiration blog. Visit https://farmersmarket.ucook.co.za/blogs/recipe-ideas