Pasture Reared Beef

My water has been cut by 95%

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 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 millions of litres go into stormwater drains and thence into the sea.

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. 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.


20 March 2017

Elaboration on selling illegal grass fed/pasture reared/free range beef.

Dear Reader.

A lot of butcheries are making claims that their beef is all of the above. The Agricultural Product Standards Act 1990 (click on the green, twice, to download the Act) states very simply that you cannot make any claim which directly or by implication creates or may create the impression that meat or a carcass is of a special or particular quality other than a characteristic referred to in these regulations, may not be marked on the container of meat or stamped on a carcass.

The relevant sections of the Act are 3 and 19.

Our global warming reversing beef does not fall foul of these regulations as we have trademarked our protocols with SAMIC, the Red Meat Industry policemen, and accordingly our beef is rollermarked as per the photo below. Our rollermark is SPIERPR for Spier Pasture Reared. Our protocols are on the SAMIC website.

(The ox above was  Limousin/Angus cross. A blog will follow soon on the benefits of the Limousin, primarily in terms of dressing out %. Also it’s double muscling or profit gene.)

Have you seen the rollermark on your so called free range/grass fed/pasture reared beef? Can you trace that beef to the farm where it was raised? If it is not rollermarked with a SAMIC registered mark then it could come from your friendly local feedlot.

I also have a second trademark registered. It is called Cape Veld Beef. More information on recent activity on this label is here.

We have our own butchery on the farm now. Details about available produce is here. You can also click on BUY MEAT at the top of the page.

Stay well



Update on our CLA in beef trial.

Dear Reader.

We are still in the first year of a trial that started two years ago. Let me explain.  When we started our CLA trial (details about it are here, click on this green writing) two years ago we expected to slaughter all the oxen within the first year of the trial. This proved true for the English breeds but we still have some Simmentaler and some Simbra oxen taking their time to get fat. ( We slaughtered one this week and were rewarded with a 342kg carcass.)

We have slaughtered almost all the Angus, Hereford and Sussex from the second year.

We have not submitted any of the samples to the Medical Research Council as we have to wait for all the animals to be slaughtered so that the samples can be properly compared.

What is clear is that the Simmentaler breed society claims about their CLA could be true but this is likely to be as a result of the age of the animal, not the breed.

Our beef is now being butchered on the farm and some of it is available for sale. Read here.

Whilst this trial is taking place our beef are sequestering Carbon every day. Read here.

I do think that by winter we should have the results.


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