What’s on in MayMay 16th, 2023
A determined chill has gripped the Boland air as the farm and garden brace for winter’s full force. In the month of May, autumn blows out its last mellow breath and we go umbrellas up.
In the vegetable garden, it’s time for hardy plants like kale, leeks and celeriac to thrive. If you’re a keen gardener wondering what to plant in the cooler months, opt for leafy greens and brassicas like cabbage, broccoli and romanesco. You can also join one of our garden walks this winter to learn how our gardeners make the most of the slower season.
Farmer Ian and his team are still harvesting olives for pressing and preserving in the cellar – our “golden season”. In the garden, too, fruity Frantoio olive trees create a foraging buffet for the birds. See if you can spot the amber-bellied olive thrush on your next visit. This shy bird does most of its foraging on the ground, flicking through leaf litter in search of grub.
Psst! You can join an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tour on your next visit if you’d like to see the process in action.
Next to the Moestuin, where a plum orchard once stood, we are preparing the soil to plant an orchard of new Alizza citrus trees – a hybrid first bred from juicy pomelos and sweet clementines by an Israeli grower named Aliza Vardi. We’re looking forward to enjoying this sweet succulent citrus a few winters from now.
For now, the Nules clementines and Faan Retief guavas are coming into season, offering a healthy dose of vitamin C before the big cold hits.
5 THINGS TO SEE
◗ See the giant chrysanthemums in full bloom in our glass conservatory, next to the Greenhouse Restaurant. They are a true delight with their vibrant colours and dinnerplate-size heads. Why not invite Mom or Gogo or your favourite aunty for a cup of tea while they’re in bloom! The Greenhouse Restaurant is open from 9h00 until 17h00 daily during winter.
◗ Learn how to combat garden pests – naturally. Book a workshop with our botanist, Ernst van Jaarsveld, and entomologist, Arné Stander, and learn how to plan a garden ecosystem that encourages predatory birds, insects, spiders and other garden animals to restore the balance in your garden. Only limited spaces are available.
◗ Bring your most cherished seeds to share at our seed-swopping garden workshop with master gardener Gundula Deutschländer. We’ll give you a deep dive into the marvellous mechanics of seeds and how best to cultivate them, and also discuss ripeness, sifting, sorting and storing. Book to avoid disappointment.
◗ Look up in our reception area to admire the ginger and turmeric rhizomes dangling from the ceiling! Fresh from the tunnels tended by specialist grower, Elzé Bresler, these warm winter spices are harvested from May to June. You can also buy your own to take home from the Farm Shop.
◗ Ox tongue, horse teeth and elephant’s foot … South Africa’s unusual collection of succulents are true die-hards. In fact, some are even called kanniedood (meaning “can’t die”). Swing by the Puff Adder walkway in May to see them.