It’s waterblommetjie season in the Western Cape and pickers can be spotted harvesting this locally indigenous flower that grows in shallow ponds between June and September.
The waterblommetjie (Aponogeton distachyos) is one of South Africa’s most famous edible plants with a long history of use by the indigenous Khoikhoi, both medicinally and as a nutritious food. Waterblommetjies goes hand in hand with winter in the Boland. Samantha September and Monique Saulse (pictured below) have been harvesting waterblommetjies at Oudepont farm outside Wellington for that past six years and can pick up to 10kg of this delicious local delicacy per day. Here they are pictured in preparation of the annual Waterblommetjie Festival in September.
Windmeul Cellar and Rhebokskloof in the Boland town of Paarl have joined forces to showcase this indigenous, seasonal delicacy during the annual Waterblommetjie Festival on Saturday, 2 September. Conveniently located less than 5km apart both venues will offer a fun-filled line-up for the whole family and dish up waterblommetjies in a variety of ways.
Great waterblommetjie dishes and award-winning wines as well as live entertainment are on the cards at Rhebokskloof. This family-friendly destination with its luscious lawns and beautiful views is ideal for families offering kiddies activities such as jungle gyms, jumping castles and water slides, while the grown-ups sample a variety of waterblommetjies dishes and enjoy a glass of wine.
Windmeul will be hosting their customary potjiekos competition with prizes up for grabs in the traditional and non-traditional categories as well as best stand. The entry fee of R200 per pot includes a bottle of Windmeul wine, 1kg waterblommetjies, wood and braai drum. Entries closes on 25 August so don’t delay if you want to be in the taste-off to earn the coveted title and bragging rights as overall winner. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The festival co-incides with the monthly Windmeul farmers’ market, where visitors can stock up on fresh local produce such as locally grown waterblommetjies. A special Windmeul waterblommetjies and wine pairing session will be presented featuring cellar master, Danie Marais’ original waterblommetjies recipe. A dedicated play area with a jungle gym is available for younger visitors. Live music by Ruan Theron and Wynand Windpomp.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enter the Run the Vines trail run at Windmeul before tucking into some delicious waterblommetjies. Distances include a 3km for juniors, 5km, 10km and 17km with starting times between 08h00 and 08h45. Entries range between R80 and R180 depending on the distances and can be done online (https://entries.onsite-events.co.za/). Medals for all finishers.
Free entry to the venues can be secured with the donation of one tin of canned food per person. The cans will go the official festival charity – Athlone House of Strength, a shelter for abused women and children in Paarl.
For more information, visit www.waterblommetjiefees.com or @WaterblommetjieFees on face