Farmer Angus

Cape Town’s water engineers are creating big problems.

Last week I had to offload half my cattle herd. This was because my irrigation water has been cut by 95%. My cattle only eat the grass that grows on our farm. In summer we need to irrigate to keep this grass growing. I am one of thousands of farmers getting water from the Theewaterskloof Dam. I am not the first farmer to have his water cut.

Cape Town’s water engineers specifically and the municipal management generally are responsible for this extra pressure they are putting on agriculture, the second largest employer in the Western Cape. Simply, these so-called engineers are not using Cape Town’s greatest asset which is the millions of litres of water pouring off the mountains that the city surrounds on a daily basis. The only achievement of these so-called engineers is to channel all that water into stormwater drains which lead to the sea. There was project called Reclaim Camissa which has been abandoned due to officials from the Mayor of Cape Town on down refusing to use this asset of spring water for the people of Cape Town. The municipal management of Cape Town is equally inept, incompetent and uncaring. Witness their complete inability to sort out and have a plan for the traffic in Cape Town.

Cape Town was settled by the Dutch because of the water that poured off the mountain. There were 36 springs recorded in the City Bowl alone.

Not only would using this water for the residents of Cape Town take one of the many pressures off farmers (Farmers have enough pressure as it is. An article I wrote on this subject in 2012 which is still relevant today, is here), Cape Town residents would be drinking the most wonderful healthy water. On every measure spring water is better to drink than the chemically treated water that comes out of the taps. The person who did the most work on understanding water was Viktor Schauberger who I can guarantee you no water engineer has ever even heard of. Try to read his books. If not then here and here are good places to start. Especially the second here.

Let me preempt some clever academic or activist who from behind their computer screen, not from any experience of the soil, will no doubt say that beef uses too much water and we should all become vegan. We use 46% of the recommended water used for pastures and 4.8% of the recommended water for vineyards. There is an intentional . between the 4 and the 8 in the previous sentence. We use so much less water because we practice regenerative agriculture that builds soil carbon and hence the water holding capacity of the soil. Our beef contains the right fats because the animals are raised on grass unlike the vegan kale which contains 17 types of pesticides. Healthy fats are the cornerstone of a proper diet (Read “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price if you dispute this). Furthermore our beef operation generates Carbon credits which no vegan farming operation anywhere in the world can do.

I finish on a positive note. Not all municipal officials are devoid of the ability to think ahead and to make life better for the residents of their municipality. Stellenbosch Municipality is going to charge farmers who practice regenerative agriculture less rates and taxes than conventional farmers who poison and pollute as they go about their business as usual.

Angus

20 March 2017

Ways to enjoy our produce as of 21 February 2017

Now that we have upgraded our product range we are updating how you can source our produce. The new products have no nitrates or nitrites added during production (Click here for more on this cancer free meat). If you don’t want to scroll through the photos from some of the work on the farm then please click here or go to BUY MEAT at the top of the blog.

06 JANUARIE 2017 NUUS RAPPORT Werkers by Spier deel die wins wat die plaas uit die verkoop van koolstofkrediete gemaak het. Die omgewingsvriendelike boerederypraktyke sluit in dat diere gereeld geskuif word en net elke ses weke na dieselfde stuk weiding terugkeer. Angus McIntosh is die boer aan stuur van sake. Foto: CONRAD BORNMAN/NUUS RAPPORT SUID Storie: Aldi Schoeman

Everybody loves a back rub. More on our outdoor egg operation here. Photo: Conrad Borman/RAPPORT

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Talent and Mzukisi proud of the bacon coming out of the smoker. They made the brine that the meat soaked in for 24 hours prior to being double smoked.

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We processed our first pigs from the farm last week, hence the different label (Farmer Angus’ Pork as opposed to Farmer Angus’ Meat where the pork comes from other free range farms). In picture is the pork rump which is on the menu at Spier’s Eight restaurant.

 

 

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The great regenerative farmer, Bertie Coetzee from Prieska, checking up on the organic maize he has planted for us. This is the second year that he is planting and so far the harvest looks a lot better than last year. Luckily he planted before he became a Dad. You can read about his organic maize exploits here.

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Thankfully Giles Edwards decided to leave London and come back to the sun. He blesses us with his food at La Tete. Above is a dish with our egg and our pig’s blood as well our pig’s head.

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28 day dry aged rump on bone. Expertly cut by Spencer. Available at Spier’s various restaurants, La Motte or at the PicknPay in Stellenbosch Square.

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Brined and then double smoked.

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Keeping a steady hand on all proceedings in our on farm butchery is our 72 year old Spencer Nicholls.

Please click here or go to BUY MEAT at the top of the blog page.

No added nitrates or nitrites frankfurters (made with my beef), bacon, salami etc etc.

As we have done with Carbon credits, (sold R204,994 worth of them last week. More on this story below.), outdoor broilers, on farm grass fed beef butchery and outdoor laying hens, we continue to try to emulate the regenerative farming pioneers in other countries.

In that spirit, we have now launched the only no added nitrate or nitrite processed meat products in the country. Frankfurters, Linzer, Bacon, Eisbein, Gammon and brined/smoked pork bones. There are another 8 products in the pipeline dependant on obtaining the right packaging equipment.

Nitrates and nitrites in processed meat are a big problem. A big 6 letter problem. Cancer. You can read about it wherever you choose. I tasted my first non nitrate processed meats, bacon and salami in this case, in the US in June of 2013. When we opened our butchery in December 2013, one of our goals was to make non nitrate processed meats. We have been making non nitrate fresh meats since the start with our pork banger being the only one in the country that is free of nitrates, gluten and water. All our fresh beef products, produced under the auspices of 72 year old Spencer Nicholls, are free of gluten, MSG, irradiated spices, water, lamb, pork and nitrates.

There are so many people who have enabled this for us. My father, who gave me the money to buy the equipment to make the goods. Mark Muncer who pushed me into butchery, the team from Zeerens who built our smoker/cooker and the guys from ALMI whose spices and techniques create these non nitrate products.

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Spencer and I were fortunate enough to attend a non nitrate workshop hosted by ALMI in Joburg in September. Spencer, on the left, is next to Carl who is the global product developer for ALMI. Matthias, 3rd from right, came down to us last week to help with the first products.

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The ALMI man in the Cape is Jerry the Giant. He and Spencer are discussing the various items we made. You can email Jerry here. The man who runs ALMI South Africa is Hubert Trondlin and you can email him here.

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For Spencer’s 72nd birthday, on the 28th of November, the smoker/cooker, named The Spencer arrived. Processed meats need this machine to be made in.

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The team from Zeerens, Dante and Andre, with Spencer and our first trial of Frankfurters. The machine is made in Joburg. Support local!!!

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A close up of our first batch of smoked and cooked frankfurters. They are best eaten out of the cooker whilst they are still hot.

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En route the chiller prior to packing.

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For now the frankfurters will be packed like this. Vacuum packed and a shelf life of 4 weeks in the fridge (there is something wrong with you if you keep them in the fridge for that long)

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The machine above is called a vacuum filler and we started using it in late January. This packs the sausages to the exact size required.

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Bring water to the boil. Remove the heat and then drop these sausages in for 5 minutes.

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We also make cheese frankfurters. They are the paler ones above. We use the organic Gouda from Foxenburg. We are still playing with the exact % cheese as everyone who has tasted so far has a different opinion.

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The Linzer is a smoked and cooked salami made from pork and beef. Whilst we wait for our pigs to grow big enough we are using free range pork and our beef. We sell it whole (480 grams) or sliced (160 grams).

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Bacon in the smoker, prior to being smoked, after being in the brine.

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After being double smoked.

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Talent and Mzukisi looking chuffed with their handiwork emerging from The Spencer. Then the bacon gets chilled and then sliced and then packaged in either 250 grams or 500 grams.

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For a list of where you can enjoy our produce click here.

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Our butchery team enjoying the bacon.

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We also make Eisbein

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Along with the gammons, bacon and Eisbein we smoked the brined heads and other bones. These are also available to you.

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A close up of the bones.

To enjoy any of the products above or anything else from the farm please go to BUY MEAT at the top of the page or click here.

Angus

12 December 2016.

Updated 5 February 2017.

P.S. As promised above more on the Carbon credits. To understand the story you will need to read this blog posting. Half of the money came to me (I bought more cattle with it) and half to my staff. No vegetarian or vegan farm can sequester Carbon whereas properly managed livestock can.

Our staff celebrating last week. Getting a bonus for doing what they do every day.

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