We moved to Spaarkloof Farm in January 1998, and added the neighbouring Tierhoek farm in 2001 making a total of 1500ha. Situated in the Noree Valley , behind the Rooiberg Cellar we have a total of 35ha in production, with the remainder of the farm being wild mountain.
Tierhoek Valley is an ideal place to farm organically. The focus of the farm is to protect our natural heritage while also making a viable business from our orchards. Our team works hard to make everything at Tierhoek of the highest quality – from our fresh fruit, jams and dried fruit to our elegant guests cottags.
We see ourselves as an orchard farm – with a mixture of crops that can provide fruit and vegetables for our customers consistently throughout the season.
Apricots and plums as well as some varieties of peach are particularly good in this region so we have planned our orchards with different varieties to fill our harvest time from mid-November until end of March.
Mangoes were an experimental crop planted by Dr Baltus Erasmus, the previous owner of Spaarkloof. While the trees will never grow as large as their relations up country the climate does allow for a reasonable crop, which we harvest out of the usual mango season, making it worthwhile.
We also have a 45 year-old quince orchard and have planted new quince orchards over the past few years as the demand for this Victorian fruit has grown.
The Lemon orchard at the top of the farm produces fruit all year around – though its main crop is in June and July. From this we produce an exceptional Lemon Marmalade.
The vegetables we grow are seasonal and chosen to suit our soils and climate. This project began in the Tierhoek vegetable garden, where we grew produce for ourselves and our team. Tomatoes are successful in this area, as well as chard, basil, artichokes, coriander, chillies and butternut. The remainder of our vegetables are grown on a much smaller scale for personal use and for our guests who visit the cottages.
Part of our organic management plan is to be as sustainable and ecologically aware as possible in all that we do. We use an electric golf cart for transportation on the farm, we have solar heating in most of our houses and for the hot water in the production kitchen. All the dried fruit is packed in Good for the Ground biodegradable packaging made 100% from starch. We recycle all our rubbish through the municipal sites and any organic matter is fed to our pigs or chickens.
Bruce also collects old cooking oil from local restaurants and recycles it into Biodiesel. |This powers our tractors and farm vehicles and is an excellent way of re-cycling a potential pollutant in our town.
|Apricots||Sungold, Imperial, Bulida (Nov/Dec)|
|Peaches||Yellow cling varieties (Jan/Feb)|
|Plums||Southern Belle, Songold (Mar/Apr)|
|Mangoes||Variety including Tommy Atkins and Heidi (Jun/Jul)|
|Tomatoes||Kamatla – Italian Plum variety (Jan-Mar)|