Stanford from a German point of view

Last week the German TV-channel SWR broadcasted a 30 minutes documentary about the move of Jurgen & Susanne Schneider from Schriesheim (nr. Heidelberg in SouthWest Germany) to Stanford, South Africa, with them introducing the first Michelin Star in Stanford and the rest of South Africa. Thus making our village to the Culinary Center of the country. Springfontein Eats (opening in October) is situated in the 500 hectare large wine estate Springfontein.

The first half of the documentary deals with their farewell in Germany and the second half is mostly at the ‘building site’ where the old homestead is transformed into a restaurant. Not everything goes the German/North European way; it’s Africa here and that means ‘Africa Time’ and that challenges ones ability to be patient. Oh, yes; we know all about it and after 13+ years in South Africa we still have to get used to it ourselves …..

Here a few pictures from the building site; the original limestone walls are over 200 years old and 80 cm wide.



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Even a rain shower on its way can be beautiful

Not so long ago we explained a tour operator from Connecticut (USA) that if it rains in Stanford it comes from Cape Town but if the sun shines in Cape Town the Capetonians can thanks us for that. It’s just a matter of geographics. Anyway we just got the ‘wet greetings’ from Cape Town…


The Green Innovator’s Dream House, his Workshop, his latest project and his dog

One does not expect much diversity in a small village like Stanford but even after over one-and-a-half year we are surprised with a new discovery every now and than. Just outside the village is The Blue Moon; a small community of people who think and do things different. One of these is Anton Boshoff and except for the ‘green’ dressing he is GREEN! In the past years Anton has been experimenting with all things ‘GREEN’; from food, cob building (and other eco-building methods), solar heating, etc. etc. Saving energy is high on his priority list nowadays and many of his innovations are already, on s small scale, applied in local communities (so called ‘townships’) in South Africa. His latest innovation is that of a warm water heater that only needs 3 kilogram of eucalyptus wood to heat 150 liter (boiler size) water. The heater is simply to make for a skilled metal worker and it will save the user a lot of expensive electricity. Anton will test the first prototype in his own house which is already ‘stuffed’ with other innovations (all made of recycled material) such as a bread steamer, pizza oven, hot air heater and so on.

Scattered around on his premises are hundreds of discarded items waiting to be re-used in another object. Nothing is wasted; sooner or later it will all have a new function. Anton shows us ceramic pots that are used for fermenting cabbage (‘sauerkraut’). Not every ceramic is suitable for this procedure he discovered with trial and error but the posts he has (see picture somewhere below) are but he is looking for more suitable ceramic for their seems to be a growing market for his ‘Sauerkraut’. Anyone from Germany who knows a manufactory of original “Kölner Pots”???

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