4 price increases

We are increasing the prices on 4 items. Eggs, chickens, beef snapsticks and gammons.

As of the 24th of October 2017 our egg price will increase by 8.5%. This is due to two factors. 1. We increased our staff pay by 9% last month. 2. The protein source in our chicken feed is now the maggot meal from the geniuses at Agriprotein. It is more than 3 x the price of the previous protein sources.

More on our eggs here.

With immediate effect our gammon price is increasing to R76 per kg from R74.10 per kg. This is due to raw material costs going up. More on our pig operation here.

With immediate effect our broiler chicken price is going up to R66.50 per kg. This is due to 4 factors. 1. The protein source in our chicken feed is now the maggot meal from the geniuses at Agriprotein. It is more than 3 x the price of the previous protein sources. 2. We have doubled our production and so have to recover our capital costs. 3. Due to being bigger we have had to hire more staff. 4. Our slaughter costs have increased.

Our beef snapsticks are going up by 20% with immediate effect. They are simply too cheap. More about our beef operation here.

Thanks for your support for our regenerative agriculture project.


15 October 2017

30% of the egg laying hens in the Western Cape are dead – our avian flu crisis.

First some facts and then some musings on why this is happening.

30% of the egg laying hens in the Western Cape are dead. Almost all of them are laying eggs for sale as eating eggs. There is one broiler breeder farm (80,000 hens), which lays the eggs that become the broiler chicks.

There are a total of 15 commercial poultry operations countrywide that have had this attack of the H5N8 virus. Attack because if the disease does not kill all your birds, which is does in most cases, then the state veterinary rules mandate that all birds on the property must be culled.

In the Western Cape 4 laying hen operations (1 “free range” and 4 caged) have had all their hens culled. 1 broiler breeder and 1 duck farm.

We had a vet on the farm on Thursday and she culled a representative sample and fortunately we are clean. For now.

There is no proof anywhere in the world that this form of the virus affects human beings.

The outbreak started in June this year. This was upcountry. It has now spread countrywide.

It is windborne.

Our national Department of Agriculture (DAFF) announced on Friday that they will allow vaccination against this disease as it has now become an endemic disease like others such as Newcastle disease.

However it is going to be minimum of 3 months (considering the attitude of DAFF towards agriculture more like 6 months) before the vaccine gives any immunity to any birds. The vaccine needs to be approved, get to the hens, can only be given in the oil format and then takes 4 weeks before the hens are immune.

There is another way to immunise and that is on day 1 but then there are competitive exclusion issues with Marek’s disease

The biggest lie in agriculture, perpetrated by the national retailers and the poultry industry, is so called free range eggs and meat chickens. These birds are barn raised and since the outbreak have not been allowed outside their barns. It is impossible to claim that they are free range.

If our industry is to survive this avian flu drama then it is only a matter of time before a more severe disease outbreak will occur as the pressure on the poultry industry keeps increasing as this is the nature of extractive capitalism. Capitalism that results from economics having become a mathematical science instead of a historically grounded social science. When everything is reduced and compartmentalised (our education system) instead of being understood wholistically, we end up with cheap food at a high cost.

Because the egg industry is abused by the national retailers they put 96% of laying hens in cages, keep breeding them to produce more on less, ensure that their supposedly cheap diet contains the micronutrient chelator Glyphosate all of which results in weaker birds over time. If true cost accounting was practiced then we would not be in this downward spiral. True cost accounting is alien to our reductionist educational and economic system.

You have the power to change this destructive process by buying your food from regenerative farmers. We are all farmers by proxy.


17 September 2017

All our products are now available on the farm. No more office pick up.

The Stellenbosch Farm Kitchen opened on the Spier Wine Farm today. I am thrilled that they have given me so much space for all our produce. More about our produce is here and more about our farming here and here.

The short video taken this morning shows the werf, first I am pointing out the Hoghouse Bakery and Barbeque, then I point to where we make our organic estate wines with grapes that we look after, behind that I point to the Eight restaurant and further on into the farm. Then into the Kitchen. All the ingredients for the picnics as well as many retail items. Especially the book that inspired me to start farming “The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan


What this does mean is that we no longer allow pick ups from our farm office.


1 September 2017

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