We have set up a Clearing and Biomass Control Programme for private properties on the Garden Route. This program is tied into local economic development and job creation initiatives. The availability of biomass to use as a resource is a significant part of our efforts at regenerative development along the GR. We are partnering with a number of local companies to deal with the conversion of biomass to wood for burning, energy, biochar, mulch, wooden products etc.
One of our latest clearing, biomass control and reforestation projects is at Libertas Dairy Farm, which part of Hoogekraal Farm in Hoekwil. Many of the rivers flowing through the area are invaded by a range of different non-indigenous species, specifically Australian Black Wattle and Blackwood. Efforts to regenerate the land and riverine areas by the owners, in collaboration with ourselves, is on the go.
Libertas Dairy and Guest Farm is part of Hoogekraal in Hoekwil and is owned and run by the Potgieter Family.
The farms of Skuinskraal, Libertas, Clover Hill and a section of Baboons Rest are also part of Hoogekraal Farm and the properties are managed as a unit. The dairy parlour is situated on Dankbaar and grazing pastures maintained on all the properties. There are beautiful self-catering guesthouses spread across the property – a 150-year old Libertas Farmhouse restored to its original glory, the Old Dairy on Skuinskraal which was converted into a guest house and 3 labourers’ cottages that were renovated into guest houses after the labourers living there moved to their own housing in Touwsranten.
In 2017 the Potgieter’s started to diversify into macadamia nut farming and the current main farming activities are dairy farming and macadamia nuts.
The farms are located close to the Garden Route National Parks areas and adjacent to the Dieprivier which feeds into Swartvlei through the Wolwerivier area.
The Potgieter Family consider the maintenance and responsible farming of this property in a serious light and are sensitive to conservation and resource management on the land. They are continuously learning and striving to do better at both farming and protecting the area while developing a solid business. The social aspects of skills development, building capacity and maintaining positive relationships with staff are also very important to them.
“We love the area we live in and consider ourselves fortunate to be living in such a beautiful area. We have hope for the future of agriculture in our country and we have expanded because we truly believe that this country has a bright future. Having guests on the farm is also a privilege and we love having guests who recognize and enjoy the natural beauty of our area ….. the art of farming successfully & responsibly, social development & support and the conservation of our natural heritage remains to be an ongoing challenge with a steep learning curve. It is a long-term process which we have invested in and we hope our children will also contribute to this vision one day.” – Linda Potgieter (2019)