Last week we had an appointment to meet Farmer Angus on his land outside Stellenbosch where he was to address the Bord Bia Irish Food Group on his biodynamic agricultural principles and practices in raising cattle, sheep, laying hens, vegetables and vines. Who better to talk about farming the way it should be done, than him.
We arrived as directed to ‘half way up the hill’, where we paused briefly wondering which direction Angus would arrive from. It wasn’t long before he came bounding over the hill on his mountain bike, super cool and full of smiles.
Farming on 54 hectares of irrigated pasture is the foundation on which his 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.”
The pasture management is based on moving the cattle between four and six times per day, and accommodating the laying hens in “Eggmobiles”. The vineyards are officially converted to organic status and in the process of attaining biodynamic status. The ultimate goal being the production of biodynamic Spier Estate wines.
From here we headed further up the hill towards the cattle who were happily grazing the land. He is currently experimenting with various types in order to find which will yield best. One of the places that Farmer Angus supplies to is Le Quartier Francais’ Margot Janse for her Common and Tasting Rooms.
One more stop was the dream Veggie Garden lovingly tended by the most glorious welcoming team of men.
This is a place of peace and sanctity, a place to linger and respect, a place to reconnect with the soil and be reminded of how in order to eat well, we truly do need a respectful relationship with the land.
Learn more about Farmer Angus and how he’s made the transition from stock broker to ethical farming, or better still, give him a call and ask if you can visit. Its beautiful up there. You might want to take you bike and join him for a cycle around the land where he is living his dream.
We were proud to show-case farming as farming should be.