Tag Archives: farm

Smelling the Roses at Chart Farm in Wynberg (2019-03-17) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 08 OCT 2019

Understandably, Chantelle was a little miffed that she still hadn’t been to visit the charming Chart Farm in Wynberg, despite my blog having already loudly exclaimed what a lovely place to visit it is. Obviously this then needed to be rectified, and seeing as we were off to traipse through the gardens of Kirstenbosch for the day anyway, I carved out a little piece of time for us to also stop and smell the roses. After all, happy wife, happy life.

As I mentioned last time around, Chart Farm (situated right across from the bustling Wynberg Park) is known for cultivating all manner of fresh produce across its 18 hectares of land, but is especially known for its robust rose growing operation.

Home also to the famous Ludwig’s Roses, Chart Farm grows an amazing array of rose varietals in their rose garden, all of which can be ready picked for special orders, or if you feel like using your own hands (and the secateurs and buckets supplied down at the farm stall out in front), snipped straight off any bush that is looking at you funny.

The farm stall itself stocks a dainty selection of preserves and other produce produced on the farm, and then there is The View @ Chart Farm, a charming coffee shop that serves a mix of delicious home-made cakes and light lunches while offering up a spectacular view over what is a very lush Cape Town greenbelt area.

Although this particular visit wasn’t ever going to show off Chart Farm in its best light (at the end of rose season, loadshedding affecting the kitchen), it nevertheless did more than enough to charm Chantelle, meaning a return trip is now definitely on the cards! And so, a fan is born…

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Hertzoggies and Fruit Cubes at Algerynskraal Farm Stall near Ladismith (2019-07-04) Farm Stalls | Photo Gallery 20 SEP 2019

The first half of our holiday over, the girls and I were driving from Barrydale to Mossel Bay via the Garcia Pass and through Riversdale, when about 15 kilometers outside of Ladismith (just before we needed to turn off the famed R62 and onto the R323) we spotted a giant metal coffee pot sculpture beckoning us to pull over. The marketing stunt worked and so we discovered Algerynskraal Farm Stall, a Klein Karoo farm stall in the middle of nearly nowhere.

Situated on the farm Algerynskraal, originally a farming outpost purchased by Phillip Lodewyk Le Grange in the mid 1860’s, the Algerynskraal Farm Stall lives in a classic, renovated old farm house, with each and every room brimming with all manner of vintage Klein Karoo curios, gifts, arts & crafts, and little bits of history scattered about.

There is a small restaurant onsite that produces a wide variety of light meals, home bakes and the odd traditional Sunday roast or two, and the front reception is stocked with all manner of delicious nibbles to pack in for the road ahead.

Ample space, farm animals, interesting bric-a-brac, the tranquility that comes from a farm in the Klein Karoo, and friendy staff – a lovely (and unexpected) little discovery indeed!

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Celebrating with Eisbein at Sweetwell in Stellenbosch (2018-11-07) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 15 FEB 2019

Chantelle and I celebrated last year’s wedding anniversary with a day spent out and about in Stellenbosch. For lunch we opted to duck into the excellent Sweetwell farm butchery and restaurant.

Situated on the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, Sweetwell itself is an absolute delight. Classic white farm walls, a great view of the surrounds, free roaming chickens and particularly good food that emerges from the kitchen. I had their truly excellent eisbein while Chantelle tucked into a decadent slice of pork belly.

In addition to the restaurant, the premises is also home to the deli, which is stocked with all manner of high quality home industry product, as well as all the meat and baked goods that emerge from the onsite butchery and bakery.

It’s a classic farm restaurant experience that sits comfortably on that level just below fine dining, and is certainly a very easy to recommend spot!

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Kids Gumboot Birthday Parties at Gan Eden Farm in Durbanville (2017-12-09) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 04 JUL 2018

I have got such a massive backlog of photo galleries to post, that there are items popping up now that should literally have gone up a year or two ago – case in point – the girls had such a lot of fun attending Lizzy’s birthday party in December last year.

Hosted by Gumboot Parties on Gan Eden Farm at the back of Durbanville, the children were treated to all the staples of a farmyard party: a pony ride, a tractor trailer drive, feeding the hogs, feeding the horses, collecting fresh eggs from the chicken coop – basically just loads of fun for all our suburban/city kids.

The large playground also meant lots of running around and play time in between all the snacking and cake munching. (Even if we had to wait an extraordinary long time for the latter because Mike couldn’t get the birthday girl’s candles all lit!)

If the weather is good then this is such a great venue for kids birthday parties – so worth keeping in mind if you live in the Northern Suburbs and don’t particularly feel like cleaning up all the mess following a birthday party held at home! ;)

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P.S. This was the very first time that Emily was brave enough to go into the chicken coop and collect her own egg. Jessica was super impressed by her little sister for a change!

Related Link: Gumboot Parties | Gan Eden Farm | Durbanville

Craft Beer and Play at Grass Roof in Port Elizabeth (2017-07-08) Farm Stalls | Photo Gallery 21 MAY 2018

If you are ever out in the Port Elizabeth area and find yourself in need of a good kid friendly restaurant option, be extra sure to pay the exceedingly cool Grass Roof farm stall and coffee shop a visit.

Situated on the Olive Tree Farm, just a few kilometers from Sardinia Bay, the Grass Roof is a coffee shop, kids playground, trendy cafe, and farm stall all rolled into one. Open Monday to Sunday, the eatery strives to promote a healthy, organic lifestyle, with a lot of its food menu and farm stall offering sourced directly from the gardens and fields of its host farm.

In addition to all the fresh produce and baked items (it is a proper smorgasbord of tasty stuff), the farm shop is stocked with all manner of deli surprises, authentic crafts and handmade items.

The rolling lawn in front of the restaurant provides the perfect play area, which is complete with a number of fun kids activities like old tractors, climbing frames, etc. (There is even a giant adult swing if you are keen on also joining in on the fun!)

Then we get to the restaurant/cafe itself. First off, the menu is amazing. Well presented, evocative descriptions, and a final product to back it all up, makes for an exceptional light meal experience. From pizzas to gourmet burgers, from craft beer to freshly brewed Mastersons Coffee – Grass Roof’s kitchen team has  you covered.

Also, the view from the deck is pretty damn decent too!

And yes, just as the name implies, all of this happens under a bright green, grass covered roof!

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It is no wonder then that this is easily one of Chantelle’s favourite spots on the list of places visited over the course of our 2017 roadtrip holiday. Definitely worthy of a family get together or two!

(Also, eagle-eyed readers might have spotted that the last two photos in the gallery aren’t exactly of the Grass Roof visit. As it so happened, we actually stayed with our good friends – and tour guides – the Grangers during the P.E. stint, and of course, Evan being Evan, time simply HAD to be made for a braai or two!) 

Related Link: Grass Roof Farm Stall | Port Elizabeth | #JuneHolidays2017

Kids Birthday Parties at Gan Eden Farm in Durbanville (2016-11-26) Photo Gallery 22 DEC 2016

By sheer chance, we discovered this great little kids party venue in Durbanville thanks to two of our friends independently deciding to host their child’s birthday there – meaning that in the space of a couple of weeks, Jess and Emily twice got to ride on a tractor trailer, feed the horses and grab an egg from a chicken!

First up was Logan’s dress-up party which the girls thoroughly enjoyed, followed a couple of weeks later by Lizzy’s birthday celebration.

Both Michelles (yes, both Logan and Lizzy’s moms are named Michelle) opted to have their kid’s party at Gumboot Parties which are based at Gan Eden farm in Durbanville (just past where the new Reddam school is being built).

They cater for the younger kids (that said, they do have an Amazing Race or Boeresport party offering for the older kids), with their farm party being held in a nice little closed off play area that has loads of jungle gym and play equipment scattered about, as well as a big tented area for the food/presents/adults.

The basic party package entitles the kids to a tractor ride (which they all love!), a chance to feed both the pigs and horses, as well as to collect a fresh hen’s egg from the chicken coop.

None of our kids grow up on a farm so of course this is great fun for them all, so needless to say, both parties were a big hit for both Jessica and Emily. (Although Emily wasn’t necessarily that comfortable around the big horses!)

Also, Logan’s party had a Piñata – and you can never go wrong with a Piñata.

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A handy map for when your kid gets invited to a party there:

(Also, seeing as you are in the area anyway, you might want to pop in to the new Xpresso takeaway coffee shop in Durbanville – their gimmick is that absolutely everything in the shop is priced at R10! Even more amazing is that even at that price point, the coffee and pastries are actually very good!)

Related Link: Gumboot Parties | Gan Eden Farm

Scones and Juice at Terra Madre in the Elgin Valley (2016-09-10) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 06 NOV 2016

The exuberant and bubbly chef, restaurateur, foodie and… property entrepreneur Nicole Precoudis certainly has more than just a little experience when it comes to the food business, having both owned and worked in plenty of restaurants over the course of her career.

Grabouw’s Elgin Valley region then most certainly lucked out when she decided to make it her home, and in 2013, following a stint as partner in and head chef of Oak Valley’s The Pool Room (which both Chantelle and I love), she thew open the doors of her and her family’s 18.5 hectare working apple and olive farm and launched the Terra Madre Market, which (open on only a few select occastions) specialized in “slow-cooked regional fare, farm fresh produce, sourdough bread, baked goods and more – all prepared on the farm”.

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Fast forward to September 2016, and Terra Madre, now producing an excellent champagne style apple cider (the Terra Madre Pomme Classique Dry Elgin Cider) as well as the most delicious fresh pressed, single varietal apple and pear juice that I have ever tasted, launched their Food Barn in order to complement their growing food delivery business.

Somehow, I managed to catch wind of this opening, and because I was looking for something to do over the weekend with my girls, I headed out to the Elgin Valley and turned off onto the Viljoenshoop Road, the first time that I’ve ever actually done that funnily enough.

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Although the signage is a bit poor, the GPS got me to the right gate, which confusingly was closed. However, nothing that a quick chat over the intercom couldn’t solve, so a quick farm road hop and the girls and I ended our drive up to the Terra Madre Barn – which was open for business… more or less.

Because I was coming in blind, I was kind of half expecting a little deli or something along those lines – however, the actual setting is a by far cooler one. In essence, you phone up ahead, book a lunch slot, and then get treated to a proper family luncheon out in the middle of the orchard  – and by the smell of and description of the food being prepared in the kitchen, those lucky people who had gotten this part right were definitely in for a major treat!

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Naturally, opening day, as it so often does, was not really going entirely to plan, with a lot of running around and things happening all over the place. However, the wonderfully affable Nicole and her family immediately made us feel welcome, and so we ordered some nice little scones off of the bake table and settled in to enjoy the surroundings.

Unfortunately for us though, in all the chaos of everyone getting ready for the actual lunch service, our order was kind of forgotten about – though that said, the girls didn’t seem to mind much. They were pretty much all over the place, making themselves at home, running around everywhere, sprinkled with bouts of Jessica randomly handing out hugs to anyone she could find!

Nicole brought some of the Terra Madre apple juice for us to try, and it is by far the best apple juice that I have ever tasted – a sentiment with which both the girls wholeheartedly appear to agree with. (Also, when our coffee and scones did eventually get served, well let’s just say that the scones were some of the best that I’ve ever had as well!)

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We thanked everyone for their hospitality, and made ourselves scarce before the real lunch time guests arrived, but not before we of course took a stroll around the grounds to admire the orchards and surroundings.

(That said, both Jessica and Emily were far to enthralled with the little puppy running about outside to care much about anything else that I was trying to show them!)

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So now that I know the setup (and apparently it has since been tweaked a little bit), I look forward to our next visit to Terra Madre where I can show off what looks to be an absolute gastronomic treat to Chantelle – making sure of course to take full credit for discovering this gem before she did.

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A map in case you want to explore this interesting addition to the Elgin Valley tourism scene:

Related Link: Terra Madre | Facebook

Review: Shaun the Sheep (2007) | Timmy Time (2009) My Reviews 12 DEC 2012

If you have young ones in your life and are looking for something to sit down and watch with them, something that both you and they might thoroughly enjoy, look no further than either Shaun the Sheep or Timmy Time – seriously, I can’t stress (or recommend) this highly enough! :)

Shaun the Sheep (2007)

Shaun the Sheep is a British stop-motion animated children’s television series created by Nick Park and produced by Aardman Animations, a spin-off from their famous and much loved Wallace and Gromit franchise, starring Shaun the Sheep from the “A Close Shave” episode as its main protagonist. It first aired in March 2007 and went on to spawn at least 80 odd 6 minute long episodes, never mind a whole lot of specials. The series has also inspired its own spin-off show, Timmy Time, which is aimed at younger viewers (which I mention a little later).

A premise of the series is that Shaun the sheep exhibits human intelligence, creativity, and behaviour in a farm setting, which usually provides a situational comedy conflict which Shaun must resolve before the end of each episode. Recurring themes include the characters evading the sheepdog Bitzer (though he is sometimes with the sheep in their escapades) and avoiding discovery by the Farmer.

Episodes are very much a combination of slapstick and classic silent comedy in Aardman’s recognizable animation style. There is no spoken dialogue, only simple grunts, bleats and sighs, all of which are used to generate the wonderfully enjoyable atmosphere that makes up Shaun the Sheep.

Episodes are fun, lighthearted, contain plenty of references to popular culture, and with its awesomely cute visual style (not to mention its particularly catchy theme tune), it is guaranteed to entertain both young and old!

Highly, highly recommended.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaun_the_Sheep

Timmy Time (2009)

Whilst Shaun the Sheep caters for young children, Timmy Time caters for even younger, pre-school children, taking Shaun the Sheep’s already successful and enjoyable formula, and lightening it up even further, in terms of both color palette and lessons taught.

Timmy Time is a stop-motion animated comedy series created by Jackie Cockle and produced by Aardman Animations. It started broadcasting in 2009 and is a spin off from the Shaun the Sheep animation, which itself is a spin off from the Aardman series Wallace & Gromit, and has spawned 70 odd 10 minute long episodes thus far.

In this series, Timmy and his friends have to learn to share, make friends and accept their mistakes. They are supervised by two teachers, Harriet the Heron and Osbourne the Owl.

As with Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time doesn’t feature any dialogue, but instead a variety of grunts and animal noises pass as the storytellers. There is a lot of slapstick comedy to be had, as well as loads of life lessons, all wrapped in a wonderfully cute and highly colorful stop-motion animation style.

Highly recommended if you have a very little one, like my little Jess for example! :)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timmy_Time

Photo Gallery: Hathersage Farm Market Outing (2012-01-29) My Life | Photo Gallery 29 JAN 2012

Busy scoping out possible markets for Chantelle to market her Cookies & Cakes venture at, we headed out to Hathersage Farm Market on what turned out to be the most perfect of days in terms of weather.

And of course on sunny days like these, what’s better than a grassy spot under a big shady tree!

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