Written by Boschendal
Boschendal, with its backdrop of sweeping mountains, deep ravines and imposing peaks are renowned throughout the world for its beauty. The farm is situated in the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest yet richest plant kingdom on earth with an astounding biodiversity of plant and animal life.
Although over the centuries many of the larger animals have been hunted out or had their habitat destroyed by agriculture, Boschendal is still populated by an abundance of indigenous creatures such as duiker, klipspringer, porcupine, mongoose, caracal and even leopard. Striking indigenous trees including ironwood, yellowwood, stinkwood and wild olive are still to be found on the farm. Invasive alien species, such as acacias, hakeas and pines are the target of on-going asserted clearing projects to prevent them from choking the water supply and unsettling the natural ecosystem. The clearing of more than 500 hectares of alien vegetation has had a significant and positive impact on the birdlife, the free movement of wildlife and most noticeably on the flow of the small rivers that are fed by the mountains. ‘’Four big steams now flow all year round; before we cleared the alien vegetation they were dry for most of the summer months’’ says Andre Lambrechts who has been the driving force behind the successful clearing operations.
A substantial portion of the protein served at Boschendal is from free-range animals. Not only does this reduce the food miles, but contributes significantly to the productivity of the soil, reducing the need for traditional fertilizer programmes. Cover crops in the vineyards not only helps to enrich the soil, but also inhibit weed growth and help with the control of pests and manage soil erosion.
Water saving strategies includes the removing of alien trees and plants and thereby securing a natural, more constant water supply, investing in conservation efficient irrigation systems, and using cover crops which also preserve soil moisture.