Jane Griffiths

About Jane Griffiths

Jane Griffiths is a television producer, writer, artist and traveller who has been growing organic vegetables and herbs in her Johannesburg garden for more than fifteen years. Her best-selling book Jane's Delicious Garden led to a vegetable revolution in South Africa, with thousands of home growers following in her green footsteps. This was followed by Jane's Delicious Kitchen, a collection of delicious recipes for cooking and preserving home grown produce. Her newly released Jane's Delicious Herbs provides a wealth of information on growing and using nearly eighty different herbs, whether it is for cooking, healing, cleaning, pet care or simply feeling good. Visit her website at Jane's Delicious Garden and follow her on Twitter @DeliciousJane

Getting back to your roots

May is the time to harvest the earthy autumnal flavours of turmeric, Jerusalem artichokes, ginger and horseradish.

Root vegetables come from different families but all have one thing in common: growing fat, succulent roots is a luxury for them. When faced with adverse conditions, their first priority is survival. Fat roots are not top of the list as far as they are concerned. Continue reading

Old brooms protect your crop from birds

For the first ten or so years of growing vegetables I didn’t have too much of a problem with birds eating my crops. There would be a few nibbled leaves and I didn’t mind sharing. Then one year, almost all my Brassicas were stripped of their leaves in one afternoon by a marauding flock of louries. I tried shiny reflecting CD’s and twirly scarecrows, and I tried smelly seaweed spray but nothing prevented hungry mid-winter birds once they had discovered my garden. And they retained the memory. The following year, the louries were back, this time they were joined by mouse birds. So I went out and bought bird netting and battened down the hatches. Continue reading

Urban farming explosion!

I was in Cape Town last month for my niece’s wedding and I took the opportunity to visit the Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF). A pop-in visit turned into an afternoon’s expedition. I met up with Sheryl Ozinsky, the founder of the garden, who is passionate about greening urban spaces. As we met she gave me a bag of black Turkish figs – my most favourite fruit of all – that I munched as we walked around the farm. Continue reading

Botswana’s delicious Delta

I am the magic ingredient” is written on the back of the chef’s T shirt in the open plan kitchen at Xudum Lodge in the Okavango Delta. Beyond the kitchen, across an expanse of water, is an island where two elephants are tucking into a tree they have just pushed over. Continue reading

A vertical garden to cover your water tank

Last year I collaborated with Talborne Organics and Grant Gove of GLC Design Studio to create a magical cottage garden for the Garden World Spring Festival. One of the ideas we came up with was to cover the JoJo water tank with a vertical garden and fill it with vegetables and herbs. I loved the result. Many people want JoJo tanks but they don’t want to waste limited garden space to install one – this JoJo water tank wrap garden actually created more garden space. Continue reading

How to make some Christmas spirits

It is always shocking when I see Christmas decorations in the shops. The glittering balls and shiny tinsel are a glaring reminder that the year is nearly over – when it feels like only yesterday we were celebrating its start. In our fast paced city, gardening helps slow things down. Especially when we utilise our garden ingredients in all aspects of our lives – including Christmas presents. Nothing says “I Love You” as much as a homemade gift and even more so when the gift is also home grown. Continue reading

From tennis court to vegetable garden

Last year I gave a talk at the Country Club Johannesburg. As part of the talk, I said to the audience that a committed organic gardener will always recycle, reuse or reinvent rather than buying something new. For one of the audience members, this was his “Ah ha!” moment. Continue reading

Magic in the garden

Growing a vegetable garden can seem a mundane and prosaic activity. For me however, there is something far more spiritual and magical about it. By holding a handful of seeds I am holding an entire vegetable garden in my hand. When we start growing our own food we tap in to the magic of creation itself. We become attuned to the cycles and seasons of birth, growth, abundance, senescence and death. In our busy lives it is easy to lose touch with the essentials. Becoming a vegetable gardener changes that, as we become increasingly aware of the magic that surrounds us. Continue reading

Itchy and scratchy

Itchy and Scratchy have been living in my garden for over a year now, providing us with about 12 large eggs a week, with dark orange yolks from all the greens they eat. Unfortunately, over the last two months, egg production has dwindled. Itchy has got it into her hen bird brain that she wants chicks. Continue reading

Vertical vegetables – and making sturdy garden tripods

It is a truism of gardening that no matter what size our gardens are, we run out of space. The vegetable garden is no exception. Lured by pictures on seed packets, we plant until our gardens burst. A simple solution is to grow upwards. I call it 3D gardening. Adding tripods and other vertical structures to our vegetable gardens maximises space. Vegetables, such as butternut and gem squash, which normally ramble across metres of ground, can easily be trained to grow up tripods. Continue reading

Jane’s Delicious Garden

If someone had told the wired twenty-something-year-old me that I would not only become an avid organic vegetable gardener, but also write a best selling book about it, I would have wanted to know what they were smoking from their garden. By the time I was 25, I had travelled down the mighty Congo River, been inside the crater of a live volcano, come eyeball to eyeball with a mountain gorilla and touched the glacier on the Mountains of the Moon. Me – a gardener? No way. But today I can’t imagine my life without a garden. Continue reading