Farms and Farmers Market

Days have been peaceful and relaxing, with mostly gorgeous winter weather, which for here means sunny 75 degree days and 50 degree nights. Not too shabby!

Pix here

Yesterday we went to the local Pietermaritzburg farmers market, which is much smaller than the one at Shongweni. And it isn't the social gathering like the Shongweni one - sheesh, there isn't even a real coffee stand! But there were bacon and egg rolls. Lots of local veges though, and homemade jams and things. Also several organic stands and one farmer, Rob is a friend of Mick's so I hope we go to see his setup this week. It is right across the valley from here. The Town Crier was there too. He travels all over the world, to competitions and I guess it's a "Hear yee, hear yee," kind of thing with the bell ringing. He is well known around and goes to all the functions! What a trip.

Later on, Biff picked me up and we went to Karkloof where his son Graeme, my nephew and his wife live on an 80 acre small holding. It is gorgeous out there, rolling hills for miles. It was crystal clear so the Drakensberg was out. Julie's daughter Susan and her daughter Ava, who is two, came with us. Cute little, very talkative girl who loves her grandpa - he is the flavor of the moment.

Graeme's wife Liesl is a social worker but is doing horse therapy - there is a proper name for it but I forget. Kids and adults who have been traumatized connect with her horses. She has six of them. She also does workshops and training out there in her studio. She would fit right into Port Townsend.

We went with her to round upthe horses for a client who was arriving and Ava was allowed to ride! She looked so tiny up on the this enormous horse! But she loved it, hanging onto the mane while Biff steadied her. No fear at all and the horses are so well trained and gentle, I didn't feel nervous around them at all.

The farm suffered major fire damage a couple of years ago - lost their house and cottages so they are rebuilding slowly but it is so beautiful out there, you could probably live in a tent and be happy. They have dogs and cats, geese, guinea fowl, chickens, donkeys, sheep, chickens and of course horses.

We had a lovely lunch on the verandah then Biff and Graeme worked on a car - surprise! Ava had the time of her life, playing in the building sand piles and gravel and generally getting filthy, much to her mother's disgust! The young chocolate lab called Angelica was right with her. Later, when Liesl's clients left, we took all the horses back to their paddocks and had a long walk over the hill to bring another two who she is boarding for a friend, Lloyd Gillespie who is going to do a year-long ride around South Africa to raise awareness for African Horse Sickness.

While we were walking out there, we heard loud yelling and screaming from some old, rundown
African houses and Liesl started yelling at them to stop. She could see a man beating a woman with a knobkerrie, a heavy stick. The man and the woman were completely drunk out of their minds and Graeme went to talk to them - making no impact at all. Apparently they are squatters on the neighbors farm so he called the security people who came and picked the man up and put him in jail for the night. This is Africa!