Pincushion and a farm with a view

The larger Stanford area is the South African hotspot of Fynbos and most of the Fynbos flowers are exported around the globe. Partly the flowers are harvested from cultivated plants and partly in a environmental responsible way in the open ‘veld’. This month and the few following ones some farmers and their staff are full time enganged in harvesting and packing.

 

Stanford Hills Estate, just outside the village, is one of those farms. Next to grapes (for their vintage Jackson Wines) the Fynbos is the main source of their income. Embedded at the foot of the Klein Rivier Mountains the farm provides visitors a wide range of stunning views of the surroundings.

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September flowers in our garden

One of the advantages of living in Stanford, South Africa is that we can achieve a yearround floral display in our garden. Here are some pictures shot during the past two weeks. Enjoy!

Veggie pate; every time a surprise

We don’t have scales or other equipment to measure quantities except spoons in different sizes. This makes cooking a challenge. Every now and then we make a veggie pate and depending on the used quantities of the  ingredients the result is always different. But with consciousness of your own taste buds during preparation the result is always a delicious surprise. Assuming of course that you have kitchen and cooking experience.

Main ingredients: Red and red lentils, spelt and two eggs.

In this case added to our own taste: onions, garlic, dried tomato, roasted sesame, olive oil, pepper, leek, bay leafs, thyme, mushrooms and sniffs of fresh borrie, curry and one cube herb bouillon. Off course you can leave ingredients out or add others that suit you better.

Greetings from Stanford, South Africa.

Flowers in our garden

 

Except for the Youtubes you find in the left collumn we made more of those. The latest one “Flowers in our Garden” is one we really like to promote. The Green Cathedral of South Africa is not a tourist attraction but we really want to share it all with you. All pictures in this YouTube are made with a Sony Snapshooter and edited as is (no photoshopping) with freeware. In the very near future we will work with a professional (video/photo) camera plus an Apple with Adobe CS6 Premium Production that includes amongst other Photoshop and PremierePro. It will take a a few months of playing and a few extra months sweat and tears but than …. well we’ll keep you informed.

The Power Cut

Every now and than people in South Africa experience power cuts. There are several reasons for it; the main one is that the national electicity supplier Eskom does not have enough capacity. They are working on it but that will take several years. Second in line is a backlog in maintenance of the different distribution stations and power lines. But let’s keep politics out of this.

Since we moved to Stanford we were hardly troubled by power cuts (in contrast with the Klaas Voogds area near Robertson, our previous adress, where we experienced -at the end of the line- virtually daily ‘fluctuations’ in the power supply). Yesterday Eskom made up for it: due to a fire at one of their stations Stanford and Gansbaai were disconnected for about 12 hours (we were nicely informed by the local municipality that it would take 8 hrs longer) so we took some precautions. Luckely we have a gas stove and hot water is generated by solar heating and the labtop at last had the chance to cool off a bit. For the lights we had candle light with dinner (how romantic!), parafine lights for the sphere and solar led lights for reading.

The solar led lights are an initiative of the Stanford Rotary and the local NGO Food for Thought. They were primarly designated for people in ‘local communities’ who don’t have access to electricity or who can’t keep up with the rising electricity rates. What surprises us that Africans from South Africa, living in the ‘location’ or ‘Scheme’ as people here named the ‘township’ don’t buy these lights but Africans from other countries do. We have the idea that this has to do with education and mindset. South African Africans think more short term: why pay 75 Rand for Solar LEDs if a candle stick only cost 10 Rand; forgetting that a candlestick only last for a few days and the solar LED jar (see pictures left and above) for at least several years. And in comparison with the electricity usage/costs of a bulb the pay back time is a few months… During the day you put the jar behind a window where it catches the light, stores the power is a small battery so it provides light for 6 hours.

Coming back to the national electricity supply: if Eskom would allow concious people to supply power to the grid we would be one of the first to install photovoltaic cells on the roof.