Acokanthera oppositifolia, Bushman's poison bush
(widespread along northern and eastern South Africa)
This shrub or tree is evergreen with fleshy, leathery and glossy dark green leaves with paler undersides. These undersides are often strongly veined and tinged red. It bears scented white flowers and purplish berries that resembles plums.
Medicinal properties: colds, headaches, toothache, stomach pain, anthrax, tapeworm and snake bites.
Parts used: roots (as a paste on snakebites or powdered) and foliage, dried and powdered as a snuff or used in infusions as a nasal spray.
Organic Hot Pepper Spray
This can be used to repel rabbits and other pests from your flowers and some vegetables. Note, use caution with vegetables as a peppery taste may remain.
1. Put 6 hot peppers and two cups of water into a blender.
2. Mix at high speed for 1-2 minutes.
3. Pour into a container and set aside for up to one day.
4. Strain liquid through a cheese cloth.
5. Add liquid into a one quart container. Fill container to top with water.
Apply liberally to plants. Re-apply every week or two or after rain.
The Kitchen Garden
It is most rewarding to pick and eat your own home-grown, organic vegetables, fruit and herbs, but many gardeners are not willing, or able to dedicate the time, effort and space needed. However these gardens needn't be very large, strictly formal or tucked away. You can easily introduce certain herbs, vegetables and fruit to flower beds or pot-planted for growing on patios and even balconies. Particular fruit could be trained as very ornamental espaliers. Kitchen gardens should be an aesthetic pleasure, yet also provide in your culinary needs.
Holiday Project: Festive Dried Fruit Slices
Core and slice apples/oranges into 1cm thick rounds. Soak them in a solution of lemon juice and salt (1 cup juice to 1,5 tablespoon salt) x 15 minutes. Pat them dry afterwards and place them on baking trays in the oven for 6 hours at 150 degrees. Keep the door slightly open and turn the slices when they start curling. Use these as festive creations such as wreaths, on top of gifts and pinned to candles.
The Gardening Eden Team
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