As part our appreciation for Agriculture, we visited a few beautiful farms in and around the Hermanus area. I can’t get enough of the simple life so many people are creating for themselves on the little pieces of land. What could be more fulfilling than producing your own food, let alone share your surplus with patrons?
Tabby and Alex hosted us on their organic farm just outside Stanford. I happily share their beautiful story.
So Alex and I decided when we returned from London that we would like to experience the farm life. We found a small cottage to rent on a farm just outside Stanford and so began our incredible and tumultuous journey into farming.
We started off with two puppies, two cats and a handful of chickens. We’d read in our “self-sufficiency bible” that pigs were a good way to plough the land which you intend using for vegetable farming, so next on our list was to acquire two female pigs (we were not ready to start farming pigs just yet) and we were off!
Four months later we discovered one of our pigs had been mated on the day we got her and so we then became pig farmers. We also started our bee keeping business and added a few ducks to the menagerie.
Two years later our daughter, Ripley, was born and shortly after that we moved to Goodluck Cottage and expanded our vegetable & animal production to include rabbits and goats. We opened Graze, our country style farm to fork bistro. Another two years went by and our darling son, Thando arrived and everything seems to be ticking along just nicely, we appropriated more cats, another dog, many many more rabbits, ducks, chickens & pigs and apart from the relentless feeding, weeding and cleaning we are loving our back-to-basics farm life and wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.
We don’t use any chemicals or pesticides we stick to organic principles, we make a lot of compost from our own animal manure and restaurant waste. We also make worm tea, comfrey tea and seaweed tea and a nutrient booster. We try to do companion planting as much as possible to keep pests away, but don’t mind a few bugs here and there. We grow a lot of medicinal herbs and plants for ourselves and for our animals. If a crop fails or gets infested we feed it to the animals, they don’t mind the extra protein. We also sprout grain for the animal feed which increases the nutrients and also the volume.
This farm gives you the most wonderful feeling of innocence and sincerity, I couldn’t help feeling free and very much like a child again. Surrounded by animals and fresh air, freedom and prosperity.
If we all spent a little bit more time growing our own food we could all enjoy the simple joys of a crop, appreciating life from seed to fruit to table. I can see and feel the difference in Mishka’s mood when she spends time with animals and does some digging. She is calmer, happier and more inquisitive. These are the little things getting lost in technology. No amount of simulation compares to breathing farm air, walking into a chicken coop with a hand full of feed or picking fresh veggies. It grounds her and gives her a sense of belonging.
Take some time out of your life, out of your city and see the difference in your child’s behaviour and curiosity. It’s worth every kilometre travelled out of town!