Hello from the farm, August 2020 August 3, 2020
The support from the public since lockdown has been incredible – from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Spring is almost upon us, and with it, a celebration of new things – one of which will now be regular mailers where we will share news from our farm, some delicious recipes to make with our produce as well as competitions, specials and weekly offers (scroll down). So, pour yourself a glass of fresh-pressed beetroot juice and read on for what’s been happening at the farm.
At any one time we have 28 000 vegetables in the ground planted in a 1-ha area between our olive grove, which is all farmed organically. Over the past two weeks we have planted 8000 seedlings! These are: Ford Giant Spinach, beetroot, leeks, turnips, Italian parsley and broccoli.
The ritual of preparing the soil is something special. We mix six organic fertilisers together, which we add to each wheelbarrow of organic compost. Each time we plant we add a 5-cm layer of organic compost. We try our best to build up the soil health. Enriching the soil is a priority. By keeping the plants healthy they are more resistant to pests and disease.
Something else wonderful that happened recently is that our beautiful friends Rozy & Andrew Gunn gifted us the sexiest compost area. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was so excited about something. Their amazing craftsman Richard from Iona brought poles from Rozy’s farm Brocha (home of my favourite syrah, Solace) and with so much pride built us something, which is a thing of beauty. I am so, so grateful.
Rozy has kindly shared her knowledge on how to successfully build static compost heaps, which includes alternate layers of food matter, dry straw, green grass, and dry leaves. Lime is spread in between each layer, which aids in decomposition. Our friends at Truth Coffee very kindly gave us about 200kg of their ground coffee. This is coffee that didn’t pass their high standards, being slightly over-roasted so they donated it to us for our organic compost.
The apple trees are in dormancy. We’ll begin pruning soon. Around mid-August, ‘Budbreak’ (a mineral oil) the first spray of the new season is applied.
Most areas in South Africa are climatically marginal for the production of high-chill deciduous fruit. We’re lucky that our little slice of paradise in Elgin is heaven for apples too.
Keep well friends, and remember to nourish, nourish, nourish—both body and mind.
All my very best,