Agro-ecology

Our farming system is agro-ecological in practice. Below is a brief description. If you have questions while reading this or need clarification please do contact us: enalenifarm@gmail.com

Enaleni is an increasingly integrated mixed-farm with both a little cropping, bees, orchards, orchids and indigenous livestock-Kolbroek pigs, Nguni cattle, Zulu Sheep (Izimvu) and a variety of poultry breeds.

Nguni and sheep For the larger animals we opted for indigenous breeds because of their resilience, fertility, beauty and story and our climatic vulnerability. Enaleni is 886m above sealevel, in a rain shadow belt - we never have enough rainfall- and are in a transition zone between coastal and hinterland with roughly 10 nights of frost a year. It should be noted that we are in both a redwater and heartwater area which places additional burden on our livestock. We have opted for humane treatment of animals in their raising, growing and slaughter. Our animals are slaughtered with dignity and appreciation.

Cropping In summer we grow soya and traditional maize varieties that are certified GMO-free, i.e.they are not genetically modified. We also grow a variety of legumes, cucurbits and vegetables. We save our own seed. A pair of donkeys are used for animal traction along with hand implements for planting and land preparation. Animal manures, liquid manure, green manures, crop residues and rotations all form part of our cropping system. In winter we have been experimenting with ryegrass and black oats both as a fodder and soil cover/builder. We have 3 varieties of napiergrass that we irrigate with grey water bana is the varirty to use as part of a pull system to help manage stalk borer in our maize.

There are mature avacado and macadamia orchards. In 2011 we planted a grove of olives. We've had to clear most of the land of black wattle, lantana and bug weed and plant pasture. Pature establishment has been a challenge given our low rainfall.

Self-reliance and increasingly self-sufficient

We are increasingly self-sufficient food wise with on farm produce transformation ranging from bottling, chutneys, cordial, jams and preserves and several cheeses.

Challenges

Our biggest challenge that has constrained our cropping area are monkeys.

Surplus Produce

We sell our surplus produce via friends and an email list. If you would like to be added to our list please contact us: enalenifarm@gmail.com

Seeds

We are all aware that seeds are the backbone of agriculture. There is no food sovereignity without seed security. We keep much of our own seed and plant certified GMO free maize and white soya every year.

Visitors

We host visits like students, garden groups and have several open days a year. On the open days there are small farm tours, tea and cake on the veranda with half donations for tea given to Hospice. Contact us to find out the date of our next open day.