What’s on in JanuaryDecember 22nd, 2023
The New Year is off to a bitterlekker start as the garden awakens to a kaleidoscope of colours, complemented by the hum of buzzing bees pollinating the bountiful summer harvest.
When you wander through the garden, listen out for the lively symphony of buzzing honeybees. Spot them dancing among the vibrant blooms of nymphaea lilies, carob trees, vygies, lavender and eucalyptus trees and peek through the windows in the mulberry block to spot them around the hives. Then, follow the sun to our sunflower maze in the stone fruit block and see these joyous flowers turn their heads towards the sun.
The Kitchen Garden is flourishing with a smorgasbord of summer herbs like basil, oregano, thyme and sage, as well as basketfuls or courgettes, pattypans, aubergines and peppers that are picked daily for Babel and the Greenhouse Restaurants.
Further afield farmer Ian and his team are harvesting juicy plums for a sweet taste of summer, as well as almonds, mealies and the first of the crunchy summer apples.
The queen of our nursery tunnels, Elzé Bresler, is harvesting an abundance of fresh, crunchy heirloom cucumbers. This year, she has been experimenting with a few interesting varieties like Crystal Apple, European Loofah, Jelly Melon, Ouma African Loofah and Space Master, to name a few.
You can also look out for sweet peppers like Chocolate Beauty, Sweet Banana and Marconi Yellow, Red and Purple, as well as unusual watermelons like Golden Midget, Monache and Golden Honey in our farm harvest boxes.
Nuts about almond milk
As January unfolds, the anticipation of a bountiful almond harvest fills the air. We cultivate three varieties. Nonpareil (French for “without equal” or “incomparable”) is the main cultivar grown on the farm and prized for its soft shell, naturally sweet and buttery taste, and incomparable versatility. Alongside it, we also grow the Peerless and Ferragnes almond varieties. Be sure to visit the Lekker Room during this time of year – it’s an enticing space filled with diverse almond flavours, where they are expertly roasted and presented in a variety of tempting ways.
Apart from healthy treats, we also use these almonds to make fresh almond milk. We’ve tweaked our recipe to achieve and extra fine foam when frothing. The new and improved barista-friendly version is available either unsweetened, or sweetened with honey or vegan-friendly dates.
Adventure-loving travellers will be glad to hear that we’ve just unveiled two new cottages in the Fynbos collection. The cottages are perched at the top of the farm, surrounded by fynbos, and are ideal for families and friends. The new cottages have two and three bedrooms, respectively. The latter’s third bedroom is a self-contained suite with a separate entrance – the ideal nest for the grandparents, an older teen, or an au pair travelling with larger families with youngsters.
Ice, ice, baby
Beat the heat when you visit the farm this summer and sip on a cup of iced coffee from the Coffee Roastery. Made with our own Babylonstoren farm blend and your choice of Jersey or almond milk, it is the most refreshing way to get your caffeine kick.
The bitterlekker hour
Here’s to a bitterlekker* start – cheers to the joys of summer! The bitterlekker hour is all about letting that lekker holiday feeling linger a little longer – whether it’s a game of chess or tennis to end the day or reading the evening edition before dinner. Come and join us on the farm in January for a complimentary glass of ice-cold bitterlekker in the garden during the bitterlekker hour from 16h00 onwards. Look out for our pop-up under the oaks in front of the Farm Shop.
* bitterlekker is a colloquial Afrikaans phrase meaning extremely delicious or pleasant. It’s also the name of our non-alcoholic aperitif with a slightly bitter flavour to stimulate the appetite.
January Farm Workshops
17 January – Discover the secret life of bees
24 January – Indoor gardening: Bringing succulents into your home
25 January – Pasta and almond pesto from scratch
31 January – Learn how to make sun prints
Discover more of our 2024 workshops.