Friday, May 4, 2012


The homestead from the hill

This is all new again and I do not know if this is just a female thing (I have only seen it in females), but you kind of stress when you move, your whole body reacts to it.  Maybe this is some sort of ancient instinctual thing about abandoning your nest of something?

Peas on Earth is an Organic farm, they obviously also strive towards self sustainability but it is not an eco community, it is a small Organic working farm and because you can add a lot of value to your product if you “process” it to the next step, (instead of just selling peaches, you make peach jam) there is a lot of making and baking going on as well. The whole commercial side is a new take on things for me.
There are also farm animals everywhere, chickens and ducks and pigs and horses, there was none of these at KD, just a few cow which belonged to Meduna. There are four beautiful horses here, I have been helping with their feeding and grooming. Two of the horses are here because Niki are taming them for somebody, it is a kind and gentle approach, not breaking their spirit, as in breaking them in. Instead of getting the animal to obey you through fear, you teach him with trust and love.

Some of the horses

The gardens are rather big and there is room for growth, the pigs are busy preparing a new section at the moment. You camp in a section where you would like to plant and you put some piggies in there, they will loosen the soil and remove (eat) a lot of the plant roots and cleaning the soil in the process and they fertilize a bit while they are at it.

 Soil before (with pig) and after the pig "worked" on it
The buildings are all old farm buildings, the main house is the typical 100 years ago farm house, a big squire with a veranda right around, over  time most of the veranda became additional rooms and this left the centre of most of these house with a few very dark rooms. Only solution for that is to knock out some walls. The light switches and plugs are sometimes situated in the strangest and most unexpected of places, because these were all added long after the house was built.  It is all and all a lovely spacious old farmhouse in various stages of renovation.

Peas on Earth overlooks a fast piece of wild landscape, just across the road and forever is a 30 000 Ha privately owned Game reserve. Then there is the view, you see all the way into the Old Transkei, which is still pretty much another country.

View from the stoep (porch)

I have been spending the last two days getting a feel for the routine and finding my way around. There are a lot of Perma culture techniques being applied, but because it is on a bit of a bigger scale it is not always possible. There is also more of a routine, animals have to be fed every morning, plants have certain set times to be watered etc.

There is a market on Sunday and Colin is dropping off at various places tomorrow, so there is a lot of picking and packing going on today and tomorrow. I also made some sprouts, to add to the collection.

We are still not sure exactly how we are going to create income, for now it is one day at a time, otherwise I will go mad.

Peas also make use of volunteers; that is pretty much what we are doing here at the moment, it is an exchange of labor for skills and as I said, this whole process of actually producing on a bigger scale, with the intent to sell the products is a whole new learning curve.

It is a rather challenging experience to be in your late 40’s and starting all from scratch, learning new skills and changing course, all that with very little capital, but there is no more turning back, I am eventually doing something I like doing and it is not a completely useless job, just for the sake of money. It is tough now, but I am sure it will be worth it very soon and for now I find peace and sanity in the gardens, that definitely helps.

Our internet connection is extremely slow, as I expected.

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