Indigenous Edibles

On Livingseeds Farm, our main focus is on food crops – traditionally, we have focused on heirloom and open-pollinated vegetables. There is, however, a massive resource of real South African and international heritage food crops that have gone unnoticed by the general gardening public.

We are blessed to have a broad base of professional food gardeners who specialise in rare and unusual crops, often known as forgotten or lost crops. These growers have spent years cultivating and understanding such crops. Through their dedication, Livingseeds can supply these lost varieties to the South African gardening public.

There is a massive diversity in traditional food crops that our “Western palate” is totally out of tune with. The Western palate has a propensity for soft and sweet, often mistaking sweet for flavour. It’s gotten so bad that crops are sold solely on a Brix index – the higher the Brix, the more in demand the crop. But Brix is an indication of sweetness and not actual flavour.

Traditional food crops are seen as orphan crops as they are not seen as commercially viable. The world revolves around 4 staple crops: corn, wheat, rice, and soy bean. All of these have been bred to suit commercial requirements in terms of planting, fertilization, harvesting, processing, and consumption. Thanks to our bodies constantly being tempted with sweet, soft carbs, our palates have been damaged and our minds addled as to what food is.

Orphan crops are often not what we would expect as standard fare; however, the surprises in flavour and texture are deliciously astonishing. Even better, they come packed with nutrients, fibre, and flavours that make you wonder why you had never encountered these amazing foods before.

This year, take the plunge and plant a few indigenous edibles. Very often, these crops are limited in stock and tend to sell out quite quickly. Being subscribed to our newsletter is the best way to ensure that you get a heads-up when they come into stock.

Cancer Bush (Kankerbossie) Herb Seed

Cancer Bush (Kankerbossie)

Sutherlandia frutescens (‘Karoo’)Another must-have medicinal plant this selection is of the stronges..


Confetti Bush (Dark Pink) Indigenous Edibles

Confetti Bush (Dark Pink)

Coleonema pulchellumA 1.5-2m evergreen woody shrub which is found in the wild in the Western and Eas..


Kei Apple

Kei Apple

Dovyalis caffraKei Apples are native to South Africa and are named after the Kei River in the Easter..


Kluitjieskraal - False Buchu "Glentana" Indigenous Edibles

Kluitjieskraal - False Buchu "Glentana"

Agathosma ovataOriginating in the Kluitjieskraal region between Tulbach, Wolseley, and Ceres, this c..


Marula Indigenous Edibles


Sclerocarya birrea spp caffraMost commonly found in Limpopo, however can also be found in Kwa-Zulu N..


Mondia - African Ginseng Vegetable Seeds

Mondia - African Ginseng

uMondi, African Ginseng or African Viagra (Mondia whitei) 2021 has been a year of firsts at Livings..


Natal Orange Indigenous Edibles

Natal Orange

Strychnos spinosaAn indigenous tree to tropical and subtropical Africa which is also known as a Monk..


Natal Plum (Num-num) Indigenous Edibles

Natal Plum (Num-num)

Carissa macrocarpaAlso known as AmaTungulu. This fast growing, wind resistant and dense thorny shrub..


Shona Cabbage Indigenous Edibles

Shona Cabbage

Cleome gynandraKnown as Chinsaga, Cat's Whiskers, African Spider Plant, African Cabbage.  The w..


Sour Fig Indigenous Edibles

Sour Fig

Carpobrotus edulisAlso known as Cape Fig, Ghaukum, Umgongozi. This succulent is easy to grow as a gr..


Tassel berry Indigenous Edibles

Tassel berry

Antidesma venosumA semi-evergreen to evergreen tree found in parts of Africa, including the Eastern ..


Wild Mint Indigenous Edibles

Wild Mint

Mentha longifoliaA fast growing herb that can grow up to 1.5m high, however only usually grows betwe..


Wild Rosemary (Kapokbossie) Indigenous Edibles

Wild Rosemary (Kapokbossie)

Eriocephalus africanusBushy evergreen shrubs with grey foliage that reflects sunlight. The leaves ha..


Wilde Malva

Wilde Malva

Pelargonium cucullatumA fast growing plant mostly found from Saldanha to Baardskeerdersbos. Requirin..


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Indigenous, Edibles, Orphan, Lost, Local, Heritage, Vegetable Seeds

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