We strive to live in harmony with our exquisite surroundings and the abundance of bees, frogs, birds and other wildlife is a testimony to the health and natural balance prevailing on our beautiful farm.
- We have disconnected from the Eskom power grid and our entire farm is now solar-powered.
- We harvest and filter rainwater for household and drinking use.
- The vegetable garden is irrigated using dam water.
- We refrain from using any chemical products in the households and gardens.
- All fresh produce grown on the farm originates from non-GMO, chemical free, organic seed and is grown according to permaculture principles.
- Chickens on the farm assist in preparation of beds and soil conditioning for the growing of fresh fruit and vegetables. They also provide fresh eggs daily and are always a great source of entertainment.
- Beehives were introduced to assist with the pollination of plants. We provide our bees with a secure, happy environment, including an abundance of flowers and fynbos for them to feast upon and in return we get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
- Animals have assisted us in many ways from providing manure for our compost making, bringing down areas of bush and opening up paths ways whilst keeping the grass low.
Although there is still some alien vegetation on the farm, we are continuously working to rehabilitate both our own land and the rest of Gouna (in partnership with the Gouna Conservancy) back to its original indigenous state. We strive to use the alien vegetation as a resource in the form of wood for building, chips for compost/mulching and of course for heating and cooking. 2015 was a big year on the farm clearing 70+ cubes of alien vegetation. This was required to clear space for the new cottage however it has also provided us with the opportunity to utilise large spaces of land which we didn’t have access to before. The clearing of aliens will be a constant requirement on the farm but everyday we get one step closer, opening up the exciting challenge of planting and introducing new indigenous species.
Review from Visit Knysna – May 2016
“We live in a region blessed with rather extraordinary illustrations of nature’s bounty: large areas of unsullied natural assets which draw thousands of visitors each year. Our tourism industry is one of our most valued economic sectors and we boast a multitude of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. Fortunately, there is also a rising trend to cater for the eco-conscious traveller.
Many discerning travellers today seek out accommodation establishments which strive to implement eco-friendly measures in their business practices, places that are cognizant about any possible impact they have on the environment within which they operate. There are so many ways in which accommodation establishments can make a difference – some big, some small – but all collectively important.
Many establishments in our area are extremely mindful of the fact that the integrity of our environment and the sustainability of our region’s iconic natural resources are of paramount importance.
If you are looking for places to stay that really do their bit to showcase the region’s incredible beauty, all the while taking laudable steps to tread lightly in order that our remarkable network of life found in the Garden Route may endure, visit www.lovetostay.co.za (a locally based company) which provides a comprehensive “Green Heart Guide to Eco-friendly Accommodation in South Africa”.
It takes a lot of passion, hard work and commitment to GO truly GREEN. There is a certain establishment in our area that we would take the opportunity to showcase. It is a place that is completely green and off the grid – certainly an inspiration to all!!
Visit Knysna -Tree Spirit Cottage
Nestled in the forest high above Knysna, Tree Spirit Cottage is situated on one of the farms originally inhabited by Italian settlers, as featured in Dalene Matthee’s well-known book, The Mulberry Forest.
The farm dates back to the late 1800’s and boasts ruins from the original house and well. This 8.5 hectare property combines the beauty of both fynbos and forest and hosts an abundance of birds and wildlife. Completely solar-powered, it provides the peace and solitude to be at one with nature and epitomises the off the grid ethos.
They have implemented the following environmentally friendly measures:
• The entire farm is solar-powered.
• They harvest and filter rainwater for household and drinking use.
• The vegetable garden is irrigated using dam water.
• They do not use any harmful chemical products in the households or gardens.
• All fresh produce which is grown on the farm originates from non-GMO, chemical free, organic seed and is grown according to permaculture principles.
• Chickens on the farm assist in the preparation of beds and soil conditioning for the growing of fresh fruit and vegetables. They also provide fresh eggs daily and are always a great source of entertainment.
• Beehives have been introduced to assist with the pollination of plants. They are provided with a secure, healthy environment, including an abundance of flowers and fynbos upon which they can feast.
For more information visit: www.treespiritcottages.com”