Inspired by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms in Virginia, USA, on our farm outside Stellenbosch, South Africa, we apply biodynamic agricultural principles and practices in raising cattle, sheep, broiler chickens, laying hens, vegetables and vines.
The 54 hectares of irrigated pasture form the foundation on which our operation rests. We plant a diversity of perennial summer and winter legumes, herbs and grasses each of which brings different nutrition to the animals eating them as well as beneficial relationships with the soil microbes.
Our pasture management is based on the high density grazing methodology, espoused by Andre Voison, Allan Savory and Ian Mitchell-Innes. This simple principle of a lot of animals in a small space for a short period of time deposits enormous amounts of manure and urine on the land and leads to healthy, vigorous growth achieved without applying any fertilizer to the land. We move our cattle between four and six times per day, the broiler chickens once a day and the laying hens, accommodated in our “Eggmobiles”, every two days.
The vineyards are in the first official year of conversion to organic status. To be followed by conversion to biodynamic status with the ultimate goal being the production of biodynamic Spier Estate wines.
Our client base in almost entirely local restaurants although we have recently started a home delivery service within the wider Cape Town metropole that is growing slowly. Our produce is also available in a handful of retailers.
We have farm tours every Wednesday at 11am and would be very happy to show you around.
I look forward to your comments about this blog.
11 March 2012
Click here to see which restaurants and retailers use pasture reared food.