Saturday, 31 May 2014

The flowers we harvest...

The winter is here... most of the leaves of the oak trees and grapevines are on the ground and  almost every day, if it is not raining, a thick blanket of mist covers the mountain only to lift later in the day and the most beautiful days are revealed. 
The gravel road to the farm is a slip and slide affair after the rain and this makes a trip into town quite and adventure.
We started to harvest the Proteas and fynbos for the market in Johannesburg. 
This first week of the harvest was a bit of a trail and error. Getting the cites license from Cape Nature has been a mission. We started off by getting all the samples of the flowers and fynbos we plan to send to the market.  Tinie van der Westhuizen from Cape Nature then kindly visited Rooshoek for the inspection. He had some trouble identifying some of the species and these Tinie took to their offices in Jonkershoek for identification because Cape Nature can't allow  us to harvest any species, in anyway endangered. 
On Tuesday we received the license. 

It was quite an effort to get the harvest organised. Jan and a team of pickers pick the flowers in the mountain and in the pack house another team trim the leaves and make bunches and pack in the cartons.
We then fly it into Johannesburg where it is delivered to the Multiflora market and  put on auction. 
The flowers are auctioned on a clock system and auctions take place every day of the week. During the auction trolleys filled with buckets of flowers are pulled through auction room where buyers can see the flowers. An auctioneer then puts a price on the clock and bidders then bid for the product and the quantities they need. The clock is  similar to the one shown below.
The following information is displayed:
1.       Number of containers still available from the same party
2.       Number of stems or bunches per container
3.       Grade of flowers being sold
4.       Price where on the buyer, displayed in 5, stopped the clock
5.       Number of the current buyer
6.       Trolley number

We are so blessed to live on a farm so abundant with natural gifts. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Gravel Travel

On Saturday the 10th of May the annual Wellington Gravel Travel, a mountain bike race, took place. Part of the race was done on Rooshoek.
Unfortunately it rained since the Thursday before and by Saturday the whole route was WET, MUDDY, SLIPPERY and just a general mess.
Pieter van Dyk, organised the event and 550 mountain bikers took part in the grueling race.
                                          Pieter, the organiser of the Gravel travel.

Mountain bikers could choose one of the circle routes 65km,  35km, and 15km respectively.
Rooshoek had some ditches that sadly had seen several participants eating mud. Apparently the also worked less than well with the cocks on the gears and quite a few of the bikers were looking for lubricant by the time they reached Rooshoek's water point.

In the end it was more a mudbath than a race. Luckily I believe mud is good for the complexion and the outdoors good for clearing the head, so all in all it must have been a good experience.

I want to thank Pieter and Ellane van Dyk for the info and TC Botha for the photos.
Next year we hope for a sunny and dry day!