We live a short distance upstream from the largest curtain of falling water in the world. In high-water season nine million cubic meters cascade over Victoria Falls in a second. Such is its force on a clear day we can see the plumes of spray-smoke rising high into the sky all the way from our farm.
Young beetroot just pulled from the garden.
Tom Robbins, the American author, had a thing about beetroot. Just consider these lines from his novel, Jitterbug Perfume:
“The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip. … The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime.
If I was asked what I’d plant in my garden before anything else, it would be a selection of fresh herbs and then tomatoes. Nothing does it for me quite like fresh herbs. Basil. Dill. Mint. Parsley. Oregano. Sage. Thyme. Rosemary. Tarragon. The list goes on.
Capers are a luxury in these parts … and I love capers. If I’m lucky I may find a small jar in a grocery store in town, but more often, I have to stock up on our infrequent visits to Johannesburg in South Africa, or Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, a mere six-hour drive from the farm.
Chris grows 60 hectares of wheat on the farm, which in a few weeks time will be harvested and sent to a miller-cum-baker up the road. I will watch with a wistful stare truckload upon truckload of wheat heading out the gate to be turned into flour and used in someone else’s bread. I know it’s business; I know it’s commercial farming.
Spring is upon us out here in the African bush, which sounds ridiculous when you consider that our daytime temperatures move from mild to boiling in just a few weeks.