Ode to autumn

Autumn has arrived on the farm. As the sundial slows down, the olive trees hang thick with fruit. In the cellar, the focus shifts from pressing and processing grapes for wine to the crushing of olives to create the 2024 vintage of our olive oils.  

Olive harvest on Babylonstoren farm Franschhoek South Africa

In the garden, quince ripens along the espaliered hedges as the bounty of pomegranates and persimmons are harvested. We’re also planting broad beans, root veggies and leafy greens for harvesting in the cooler months.  

Sunsets are at their most vibrant this time of year and the cloudless skyline transforms into a real-life impressionist artwork at dusk. It marks the turn of the season, a harbinger of slower days that are perfect for long, restorative walks in the garden.

Boland risotto 

We’re celebrating a decade of growing our own Boland risotto rice on the farm. The first seeds of carnaroli rice were planted at Babylonstoren in October 2014 and were tended to with much care – and even more water – to produce stellar crops year after year. Each bushel of rice is harvested and threshed by hand to obtain the “caviar of rice” as carnaroli is also called. Last year’s harvest supplied Babel Restaurant with around 100 plates of our very own risotto.  

Book at Babel Restaurant in April to experience this year’s harvest in all its creamy, luxurious perfection, as prepared by Babel’s head chef, Schalk Vlok. Read his tips for creating your own risotto here


We’re harvesting our very first crop of loofahs on the farm this year. Grown from the sponge gourd plant (Luffa aegyptiaca), these quirky cucumbers take sustainable self-care to the next level. At Babylonstoren, they’re cultivated under the expert eye of Elzé Bresler and her team. 

“They’re such vigorous growers. The plants thrive in our tunnels. Unlike many other cucurbits, the loofahs are naturally pest resistant. We dry the gourds on the vine, which takes up a lot of space and time. When they’re dried entirely, we peel the brown skin and shake out the seeds. Then it’s ready to cut and use – a plant-powered pamper grown on the farm.”  

Elzé Bresler, Babylonstoren tunnel expert  

Available on the farm or online at shop.babylonstoren.com, with free delivery nationwide. 

Babylonstoren Farm Hotel Franschhoek South Africa

Sink into autumn dreams 

Make the most of the long weekends and longer autumn nights by checking in at the Babylonstoren Farm Hotel, recently honoured with the Luxe Hotel of the Year award for 2024. 

Hotel guests can immerse themselves entirely in the farm experience. Embark on an early-morning water buffalo tour or sleep in and enjoy a lazy, grazy lunch at Babel Restaurant. To soak in the slower days, the Garden Spa offers uninterrupted views over Simonsberg Mountain from within the farm’s heated swimming pool.  

When the day winds down, draw a long bath and slip into crisp white sheets as you drift into an autumn dream … It’s also one of the best times of the year to enjoy the magnificent mountain drive to the lookout deck where you can marvel at the beautiful sunset whilst sipping a sundowner.  

If you book in April and make use of our winter season offer, you can stay for four nights and only pay for three.

April Farm Workshops    

3 April 2024 – Sketching in Babylonstoren’s garden  

4 April 2024 – Risotto 101: a delicious celebration of Italy’s most famous rice dish 

5 April 2024 – Everything’s better with butter: make butter & bake buttermilk rusks 

10 April 2024 & 17 April 2024 – Explore the world of Babylonstoren’s olives 

10 April 2024 & 17 April 2024 – Explore the world of Babylonstoren’s olives

12 April 2024 – Leathercraft: an introduction to whipmaking 

18 April 2024 – All about eggs: from coop to table 

19 April 2024 – Bake your own: teatime treats with choux pastry & almond flour 

23 April 2024 – Craft your own homemade soaps 

24 April 2024 – Capture the season’s scents with fragrant herbs 

26 April 2024 – Distillation: make your own mampoer!

Book now https://babylonstoren.com/workshops