Agro-Ecology

Enaleni Farm is a 10ha agro-ecological farm, located between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, 7km from the N3. The farm is a working example of the celebration and diversity of heritage breeds – of which many are indigenous – including domesticated animals with interesting histories and stories in South Africa that are farmed with compassion and non-mutilation.

The mixed farming system of plants and animals present visitors with an opportunity to ponder the relationship between animals, plants and a non-industrialised approach to land usage and food production. The farm has a small guest house, “Indilinga” where visitors can stay and relax or participate in tasks on request like hand milking the buxom bovines Marigold and Delilah the two jersey cows, plant heirloom and landrace vegetables.

From time-to-time there is an innovative pop-up restaurant exploring the politics of food and taste and short courses related to bread and cheese making, on farm food processing, and food cultivation for home producers.

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

For the larger animals we opted for indigenous breeds because of their resilience, fertility, beauty and story, combined with our climatic vulnerability. Enaleni is 886m above sea level, 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 in terms of food production with on farm-produce transformation ranging from bottling, chutneys, cordial, jams and preserves, and several cheeses.


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 sovereignty 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.

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Enaleni Farm

The farm is a working example of the celebration and diversity of heritage breeds – of which many are indigenous – including domesticated animals with interesting histories and stories in South Africa.

Contact Details

enalenifarm@gmail.com
082 872 2049
Enaleni Farm: Ashburton, Kwa-Zulu Natal 3213, South Africa

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