Blue North Sustainability has teamed up with Heronbrook farm, a 7-hectare piece of land on the foothills of the majestic Simonsberg Mountain abutting the orchards of Boschendal with awe-inspiring mountain views, to co-create a profitable and uncompromisingly regenerative small scale farm.
Before Angela Price took ownership of the farm 6 years ago, it had been used as a blueberry farm, grown in plastic greenhouses with excessive use of chemicals and machinery, leaving the land degraded, compacted, and infertile. Since then, minor earthworks were undertaken to redirect water into two small ponds, and the land has been under holistic planned grazing with three retired horses and roamed freely by a small flock of eight chickens. Just this small change has seen a rebirth of biodiversity and life. The barren pastures have recovered yielding a bounty of indigenous weeds, and a plethora of insects, animals, and birds have become regular visitors.
Photograph above was taken in April 2020
Photograph below was taken in May 2021
Despite this transformation, the sandy soil still lacks fertility and is subjected to severe waterlogging during the winter months. Not everything that grows can be eaten by the horses, and their diet still needs supplementation. Angela’s aspiration for the farm, being quite simple, is to completely regenerate the soil. But what does this mean, and how does one go about doing it?
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