Etshwaleni Protea Farm is on the beautiful Devon Valley Road, just outside Stellenbosch.
Well, normally beautiful! On that particular day in September, it was cold, windy and WET!
Only four (fool-) hardy members braved the elements to hear Marius van der Merwe explain all about the proteas on his farm and to give us a tour.
The farm is just 24 hectares in size but is twinned with other farms, some as far as BredasDorp to produce proteas and pincushions for the local and
export market. He employs 21 people on this particular farm - full time.
Picking, grading, sorting, preparation, wrapping and packing all takes place each morning, before transportation to either the airport or Cape Town harbour. Yes, some flowers are shipped too!
The flowers are exported all over the world - Japan, China, Australia, Europe and the US.
Particular leucospermum and proteas are selected to be grown in particular aspects that favour them - soil type, facing slope etc. Marius is even
growing their own new pincushion plant - a brand new colour - which he hopes will be a big hit on the market! Watch this space! :-)
A HUGE thanks to Marius for sparing us his time to explain about these fascinating plants - and his generosity!
A fantastic morning - despite the weather!
Marius can be contacted on 082 491 3728 or firstname.lastname@example.org