When going on holiday along the Garden Route, the Redberry Farm is a family favourite, and it’s no wonder! Upon your arrival at the farm, located just outside George on the Yellowwood tree path, you are welcomed by the sweet aroma of rows and rows of strawberries. The best part is, you can pick strawberries yourself and take them home to enjoy.
The land that Redberry Farm is built upon has a rich history. It was established in 2001 by Dave Cruse and Mark Miller who purchased the land from a dairy farmer. An old mushroom pack house was purchased and converted to process strawberries. The Redberry farm stall was launched inside the original dairy building while the existing tea garden kitchen used to be the dairy itself. The area where the coffee bar is located used to be a holding pen for cows. The party lapa was the carving pen for the cows giving birth! The overnight cottage is over 120 years old and was built by C.J. Langenhoven’s family, who originally lived in it. Additions have been made to extend and modernise the building, but the original structure is still intact, with the thick walls and the Fisherman’s cottage shape. There used to be a wood oven built into the wall in the lounge area, where a white cupboard now stands. A number of the Langenhoven family graves have been preserved on the premises.
When they embarked with strawberry cultivation, Dave and Mark soon realised that one of their many challenges on the farm was the compact soil. Urgent decisions were made regarding the right variety of strawberry plants and fertilisers to be used, so as to be sustainable and to ensure good results. Redberry Farm have been long term supporters of the Atlantic Fertilisers’ products.
The farm uses the Bio Ocean fertiliser with an addition of Atlantic’s water-soluble fertiliser (commercial use only). It is extremely important to make sure the right nutrient combination is released for the plant as well as the microbes in the soil. These products help, especially with the microbial soil health. Mark believes that you should put back into your soil what you’ve taken out. Today you can stick your finger in the ground, the compaction is a thing of the past and the soil is teeming with life. Biological farming is not easy, but the results are worth it, and Mark stands by the decision he has made.
His son recently joined him, and with his knowledge of raspberries and blueberries, there are plans for further expansion. The first plantations were planted in 2013 and are showing excellent growth. They have also planted kiwi’s and the team are excited about the future of this fruit in South Africa.
The Garden Route’s favourite family farmstead is growing from strength to strength, and we are proud to be part of their journey.
Visit their website to learn more about the farm.