a visit to wild olive farm

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-05-16 12:21

Driving all the way to Stilbaai on a windswept, rainy morning that just happened to coincide with the first day of a long weekend was probably not the best idea with an infant on board, but there you go – parents of infants don’t always make ideal decisions (I am a good mother, I am a good mother).

But the stay on Wild Olive farm was well worth the over four hour drive. The farm lies just outside the little seaside village of Stilbaai, off the N2 between Mossel Bay and Riversdale, on the banks of the Goukou River.

Owners Hazel and Alan are recent advocates of permaculture and not only cook as much as possible with their organic home grown vegetables and salads from their Farm Kitchen, which produces some of the most scrumptious food imaginable and is a wonderful haven when it’s raining, but they also supply guests and Stilbaai with produce.

The farm offers a number of accommodation options... we chose Apple Tree Cottage for the two families (just as well we were closely related!) as we had three children between us. It was cozy. Actually, it worked very well. The cottage is beautifully rustic (not a euphemism for ‘basic’) with a kitchen, two bedrooms, bathroom and an upstairs loft reached via a ladder about which my 18-month old still speaks with awe – it provided wonderful opportunity to practise climbing! The outside shower was an added bonus, tucked under a huge Milkwood tree to the side of house, and early morning showers were usually to the accompaniment of bird song.

Did I mention the apple tree? According to Hazel, this gorgeous tree right outside the front door, hence the cottage’s name, stopped producing some of the most delicious apples known to man as we arrived for the weekend – something about the last apple having fallen just days earlier (?). If you’re lucky enough to arrive when it is in fruit, you’ll get an apple tart thrown into the deal!

Hazel is bursting with ideas and vitality. Her farm kitchen is filled to capacity over weekends as locals and holiday makers head out for a welcome home-cooked meal. There are the local farm animals, kept in an enclosed area close to the kitchen – kids love it here, and there’s plenty of lawn on which to run around overlooking the river.

The menu varies, depending on what’s in Hazel’s garden or what inspires her and she serves up breakfasts, lunches and teas to whoever ambles into her abode. She’s quick to point out all of the wonders of the farm and will give you a guided tour of her permaculture gardens at the drop of a hat – this is her passion. She spends part of the year in the UK doing a permaculture degree when she leaves husband Alan to capably take up where she left off.

Rumour has it that the couple are soon to start giving permaculture courses with accommodation and food included. Don’t know about you, but we’ll certainly be first in line!

Oh, and I almost forgot about the donkey and horse – both of which are rescued from the side of the road and love to come up to you and have their heads scratched.

urban sprout has a number of organic and eco accommodation options.