Development of the Guest Farm

 

The Farm was, in all honesty, a total disaster area when we first saw it. Over-grazed, burnt repeatedly and lacking in soil structure and organic matter. We could see no vestige of any animal life be it rodent or larger mammal.

Of the total 66hectares, some 60% had been arable land some years prior to our arrival.
We decided to reduce the amount of arable land and return it to as near original bush as possible. This involved the removal of alien vegetation and the planting of indigenous shrubs and trees to replace them.
This is an on-going task, and we are still in the process of reducing the infestations of these aliens. Birdlife on the farm is actively promoted, by the planting of bird attracting trees and other plants.
We have endeavoured to prevent the uncontrolled veldt fires that sweep through the area every winter. Not always successfully it must be admitted, but by cutting the long grass prior to the winter fire season, and by increasing the effectiveness of the fire breaks, we have greatly reduced the ravages of the fires. The grazing of the horses on the grassland has also reduced the biomass that could carry the severe fires that used to cross the farm.

This cutting of the grass and leaving some to mulch and add to the organic component of the grassland has increased the biodiversity radically.
We now have rodents and the concomitant predators - especially birds of prey. The soil structure is much improved and the organic content much greater. The grasses identified are now much more mature than the initial pioneers.

Re-vegetation of the old lands is also underway using trees and shrubs found in the area and if possible taken from plants actually on the property. We are now actively removing some of the small thorn trees and planting other indigenous trees that are not only local but bird friendly.

We are developing a number of walks around the property that take advantage of the various biomes that can be found. These include grassland, savannah, bush (Sourveld) and the rocky ridges.

 

 

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