Specialties from the Southern Garden: Nostalgic Vegetable Dishes

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After graduating from culinary school, Chris Williams honed his skills working in New York restaurants until , when his father lured him home to run Lone Star.

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Since coming back, he has enjoyed reconnecting with his South Carolina roots and drawing on his training to surprise Lone Star customers with some unexpected additions to the popular Sunday buffet. Another weekend specialty is bluegrass music. The restaurant also serves as the setting for annual Labor Day and Memorial Day bluegrass festivals, adding to the nostalgic vibe that defines the Lone Star, says Pat Williams. Preheat oven to degrees. Prepare cheese spread by combining mayonnaise, cheese and grated onion.

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Salt and pepper to taste. Grease a byinch casserole dish with butter or pan spray. Cut seven slices of bread into medium-sized cubes and layer bottom of pan evenly. Layer tomato slices, shingle style, over the bread, reserving the neatest slices. Trim crust from remaining eight bread slices and arrange on top of tomatoes.

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Cover the top layer of bread slices with a little more than half of the cheese mixture. Arrange remaining tomato slices in shingle style as before. Season again with salt and pepper. All level of gardeners are welcome to join Ernst, our resident botanist, and our garden team in an exploration of plant propagation. Ernst will also share his extensive knowledge through an illustrated talk in the garden lecture room.

Specialties From The Southern Garden: Nostalgic Vegetable Dishes

After welcoming guests in the Bakery, our head butcher, Jaco Koegelenberg, will take you to meet our herd, which is entirely farm reared and grass fed. In the Meat Room, Jaco will explain its operation and everything you need to know about meat, from the fields to the butcher. The day will start with a stroll through the garden to pluck, sniff and taste a vast range of herbs, both local and exotic.

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For this workshop we invite Bev Missing, founder of the luxury bath and body brand Rain, author of The Rain Book of Natural Soapmaking and close friend of the Babylonstoren family, to teach you all the skills necessary for soapmaking. The workshop will start with harvesting fragrant herbs such as rosemary and rose geranium, specially grown on the farm for their essential oils. Guests are then invited to our distillery to observe the process of distilling essential oil.

Bring an old hand towel to wrap up your handmade wares to take home. Easily grown in containers or even as house plants, these waterwise plants have become popular worldwide.

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Take a stroll through the olive orchards with farmer Ian de Villiers and Linda Costa, doyenne of the olive industry in South Africa, who will explain how to grow, maintain and harvest olives. We then move from orchard to press as Klaas Stoffberg, our resident olive man, explains the production process. Finally, Linda will share her tried-and-tested methods for preserving your own olives. Learn how to make mampoer, witblits, grappa or brandy with distillation expert Andries van der Walt. This hands-on workshop will explain the whole process of distilling with a variety of fresh fruits.

Andries will take you through fermenting, distilling, making cuts, tasting and finally blending, for you to end with a distilled product, ready for drinking. Nose your way through the world of fragrance and discover the joyful variety grown at Babylonstoren. First join Gundula, guardian of our Healing Garden, in harvesting and steam-distilling herbs specially grown for essential oils.

Then explore the garden with creative, flower-power gardener, Constance, to collect and make your own tussie-mussie. Now recognised for its numerous health benefits, gut-loving ferments has long been a way to preserve foods. Become part of this revival as kombucha brew mistress Kari Doorduin shares her passion for making fermented beverages, and gives you the chance to start making your own in the comfort of your home kitchen. Come and spend the day with Ernst van Jaarsveld, our resident botanist and tree expert, as he guides you through the diversity of trees in various Southern African ecosystems, including the highveld, bushveld, and subtropical coast, coastal Karoo, Namib and fynbos biome.

Together you will explore the cultivation of trees at Babylonstoren and their use in the garden, how they are propagated from seed and cuttings, as well as how to combat typical pests and diseases. Toss out the pesticides! Climbing plants or creepers grow throughout southern Africa, and many make excellent garden plants, whilst some make wonderful house plants.

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Hedges can be grown from indigenous shrubs and trees and are especially useful as a security fence. Come and spend the day with our garden team, exploring and identifying various indigenous climbers and creating useful hedges and barriers. Drought-tolerant, hardy and amazingly diverse in shape, colour and type, succulents have taken the gardening world by storm. Learn to cultivate, propagate and design a succulent garden under the keen and knowledgeable guidance of Ernst van Jaarsveld, our resident botanist.

After walking through our cycad garden to look at various succulent ground covers and species, Ernst will share his top succulent tips during an illustrated talk in the garden lecture room. Interested in keeping chickens at home, but not sure about the pecking order? Spend a day with experienced poultry farmer Christo Botha and visit the fowl house to explore what is needed to keep chickens happy and healthy. Christo will share his passion and tips for keeping free-range fowls at home, and provide guidance for selecting the best local breed for your garden.

Bonkei is a traditional Japanese garden art form using moss and rock landscapes. Gert van Tonder, a gardener accomplished in the classical Japanese style, will draw on the experience he gained whilst working in gardens in Kyoto, Japan. Each workshop participant will be invited to put these tips and techniques to practice with their very own miniature moss and rock landscape to take home.

Guests are invited to dust their hands and put their backs into some kneading, proving and baking before taking a guided garden tour and enjoying a rustic farm lunch in our Bakery. Peachy will share her secret home-baked recipes and shaping methods so you can impress at home, while Tina helps each guest make their own sourdough starter to take home and nurture there. Come and see how our main mouse on the farm, Alta Eybers, makes cheese in the fully equipped Cheese Room. Guests are then invited to a hands-on fior de latte experience before being treated to a lunch of cheese, meats and preserves, fresh from the Babylonstoren deli store — the perfect end to a cheesy day!

A good trim goes a long way to ensure a good crop of fruit the next season! Spend the day learning from Anton Roux, our pruning pro, as he guides you on how and where to prune fruit trees into shape — be it peach, plum, quince or fig. Espalier is the art of training your fruit trees to grow against a wall or fence. Trusty secateurs in hand, our resident pruning pro, Anton Roux, will invite guests to admire the various espaliered fruit trees on display in the Babylonstoren garden — apples, pears, quinces and nectarines.

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He will then get down to the details of the different stages of tree shaping in the espalier style, from years one to ten. For thousands of years, the indigenous peoples of southern Africa survived in the veld by foraging for their food — bulbs, shoots, flowers and fruit. Guests will also learn how to propagate these edible varieties to take home and plant there.

Our guests are invited to a lunch menu inspired by the indigenous food plants discussed in the workshop, served in the Bakery. We invite you into our festive venues to explore different plant-based decorative styles for the table and to share as gifts.

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Each guest will go home with a herb posy or a bouquet of their own creation. Spring is in the air and what better way to celebrate than with fresh asparagus spears! Young asparagus plants take up to three years before they are ready to be harvested, but once established, they can be cut again and again for many years.

We take you from farm to table in this workshop, starting with the basics of growing the asparagus plant to bringing the best out of its tender stems in the kitchen. Liesl van der Walt, our head gardener, will impart her knowledge about preparing the soil for planting and nurturing the crowns through the seasons, before the Babel chefs demonstrate their best asparagus-cooking tips on a fresh harvest for lunch. We welcome you to a guided walk through the Babylonstoren garden to see the thousands of clivias growing in the shade of our wild olive trees, as well as the Mick Dower collection displayed in the Puff Adder.

During this walk, our experienced clivia growers will share their wealth of knowledge on the different species of clivias, their selected hybrids, and how to sow, grow and maintain them — including dividing old plants, potting mixes and fertilisers and treating common diseases. Babylonstoren prides itself on the organic fruit and vegetables that abound in our gardens, and we are happy to share our experience. Join Brent Reid and Darryl Combrink, the Babylonstoren vegetable team, in the vegetable garden where they will demonstrate their top growing tips and tell you more about crop rotation, no-dig soil preparation, compost, mulches, propagation and planting.

Bring your binoculars and gumboots and join us for a walk through the garden to spot some of our feathered friends. At Babylonstoren we have more than 70 species through the seasons — from the nocturnal barn owl to the gregarious mouse bird — and as the garden grows, more and more birds are attracted to visit or stay. Come and get to know your local birds and learn how to invite them into your own garden.

Welcome to the sanctuary of our Healing Garden, where Gundula, the guardian of this special space, will inspire you to look at herbs with new eyes. Our Babel Restaurant is famous for its seasonal salads in red, green and yellow. Join our gardener Didi for the morning harvest to find the freshest salad leaves and seasonal flowers in the garden, before following her to the washroom to clean and wash. Join us for a meditative day of picking, steeping and sipping in our Healing Garden. Gundula, the guardian of this garden, will give you the grounding to concoct tantalising teas and tisanes to suit any taste and ease a range of ailments.

The workshop ends with a refreshing glass of herbal kombucha and a healthy lunch in the Healing Garden, after which you can return home with a cutting of your favourite herb.