Wednesday, 15 February 2017

SANDMINING THREATENS THE PAARDERG


Beautiful Joubertskloof

The visual impact of sand mining


The Eco Tourism of Fynbos Estate is next in line

Following the licencing this week of yet two more sand mines in the Paardeberg, we  are shocked and dismayed for the whole of the Paardeberg as well as for ourselves here at Fynbos Estate  - as we are the next in line. A sand mining application is in process for adjacent to us and  right at our entrance.

Fynbos Estate’s Dragonridge Winery is part of the Paardeberg’s wine tourism alongside Eben Sadie and others. Additionally with 280 hectares of contract nature reserve, the stillness and beauty of Fynbos Estate has allowed our sustainability as a retreat and workshop centre, as well as a rural getaway guest farm and celebration venue.  

The pavilion and pool areas look directly over the site

The sand proposed mine is highly visible from every single place on the farm and nature reserve, and the noise of big machinery  and trucks  will shatter the precious stillness sought after by visitors. Moreover instead of winding along quiet rural roads  to get to us, guests will have to run a gauntlet of  huge sand trucks which, when  full, weigh 60 tonnes, take up the entire width of the narrow roads and spew clouds of obscuring dust. 

If it were not enough that these roads carry farm vehicles and provide  pathways for horses, cattle and sheep ,  preschool and primary school children use these roads daily to and from the little farm school in the Kloof.  This is tragedy waiting to happen

An example of the huge machinery involved

An significant conservation issue: agriculture and nature.

But much more than about Fynbos, this is about the whole of the mountain, the wine and olive farms dotted around it, the  spoiling of arable land in its foothills  the numerous biodiversity areas and nature reserves hard won by land owners. It is a conservation issue of extreme  significance. In a world where there is a daily  loss of species of flora and fauna  and increasing shrinkage of agricultural land, to squander the gift of an exquisite mountain an hour from Cape Town with rural hectarage, nature reserves and biodiversity acclaimed areas,  is just unbelievable.  Does no one in office think about the planet and about what we leave to our children? All for the one off benefit to a few individual farmers and some sand transport operators.  Further any notion that a mined area can be rehabilitated to what it was before, is manifestly not true. The soil layer is crucial to mineral movement and drainage as well as to the endless colonies of insects, worms and the like that form part of agriculturally viable land and a healthy ecology all the way up to the birds that dwell here.  

Please join our campaign.  Tell all your conservation minded friends, post comments on our facebook page and if possible copy your comments to the  following link http://grape.co.za/2017/02/a-sad-day-for-swartland-wine/#comments

Please like and share this Facebook page

And then of course to link our post to theirs so ours gets onto their site too

If you prefer, write emails to us at info@fynbosestate.co.za. These we will collate and submit to the appropriate people.

Huge volumes of dust effect livestock and crops

The proposed site 

Narrow farm roads are unable to handle the increased traffic from large construction vehicles


Monday, 13 February 2017

Shambhala Art Retreat



We hosted another wonderful Shambhala retreat Рmaybe the 8th or so held here so far. This time it was an art retreat and as such had quite a different feel to the usual retreats. Mary Anne Botha, with assistance from Andras Hajdu, ran the retreat. The week-long program drew from the teachings on the creative process developed by Tibetan meditation teacher Ch̦gyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the founder of Shambhala Buddhism
This is how Mary Anne described the retreat.
To artist or non-artist, the creative process often seems mysterious and magical. As a training Shambhala Art explores making art from the viewpoint of a meditative discipline.
Working with this training as a group on retreat together, we discovered that if we were not too eager to prove something we could welcome the open space of not knowing, of playing.
And when inspiration arose out of that space, we dared to make a stroke, to make a sound, or position an object - with awareness and precision. 

And from Andrew Putter:
 "By giving us the opportunity to work in a wide variety of art forms – including acting, singing, writing, calligraphy and object arranging – and coupling perceptual and expressive exercises with meditation, study and contemplation – teachers Mary Anne Botha and Andras Hajdu skilfully introduced us to artistic expression as a potential path of awakening.
The trick is to use the artmaking process – no matter what you’re making – as a support to bring you back to the vividness and spaciousness of the present moment… in this way, it’s no different to meditation."


Those interested in Shambhala Buddhism the following may be of interest.

SHAMBHALA takes its name from a legendary kingdom famous for being an enlightened society. Today, the global Shambhala network brings together people of all ages and from all walks of life who are interested in exploring our own minds, transforming our experience, and awakening our potential for enlightened society.
Shambhala is based on trust in human dignity. We offer a path of meditation practice and contemplative arts oriented towards modern life. Our communities around the world cultivate kindness, bravery, and genuine dialogue.  Our vision is to inspire compassionate, sustainable, and just human societies.

And to find out about Shambhala South Africa can go to on shambhala.org , and by following the Cape Town group on capetown.shambhala.info

Feedback to Fynbos Estate

Thought I’d share some of the comments that came back from the Shambhala Meditation and Art Retreat evaluation sheet question 

“How suitable was the venue?” . You scored 46 out of a possible 50!
  • 5 out of 5! Perfect! Wonderful!
  • Wonderful venue and farm environment, super food and great hosts at Fynbos Mountain Estate
  • As venues go this is right up there!
  • Beautiful Place, wonderful hosts
  • Beautiful, generous, unpretentious
  • Very conducive, relaxing, connecting to nature, good food, pleasant sleeping arrangements created a good ambience
  • The venue is intimate, comfortable, beautiful, and restful and the food is delicious. And it is conveniently close to Cape Town.
  • glad we were not in the pavilion given the weather and the flies
  • improvements such as better ventilation and lighting can be made in some of the bedrooms


Monday, 30 January 2017

Die wyn manne van Malmesbury




Last harvest a group of Malmesbury men ditched their respectable clothes for the old and the stained in order to get down and dirty making their own wine. They arrived at Fynbos with picked grapes which were then crushed, de-stemmed and pressed in the Dragonridge cellar. The juice was then transported to one of their homes where it was put to tank and barrel. A year later, with numerous tastings and additions of this and that, the wine was ready to drink. Here they are from start to finish, and as you can see they so enjoyed themselves that they plan to repeat the process this harvest. 






Monday, 23 January 2017

Christmas and Boxing Day at De Perdestal



De Perdestal went into celebration mode with a Christmas Day lunch, a Funky Fynbos Boxing Day Feast, and various tastings and such. Much fun was had.










Thursday, 5 January 2017

Year- end parties for companies as 2016 draws to a close



Springbok Atlas Year end






Thank you so much for everything that you and your team did for us.
We had an amazing time!
Christelle
Springbok Atlas

Nursing staff Cape Town Government





Everyone was very happy
Anele Beja
Nursing Staff CT Government 

Motor Home Year End 





Thanks again for everything we really enjoyed it and the food was delicious. 
Nadine 

Motor Home 

Department of Health West Coast District Office



We at DOH West Coast District Office really enjoyed the event and the catering was of a high quality
Danie








Thursday, 29 December 2016

The eagle flies off the grid


  

Black Eagle, our latest house is up and running. Named for the Verreaux Eagle found on this part of the Paardeberg, this house is highest up the valley, has gorgeous views of Joubertskloof in both directions, and has internal spaces that soar skyward.  With 4 large en suite double rooms (some with an extra bed), Eagle is designed for getaways, small retreats and workshops.







Off the grid

A special feature of the house is its energy conservation. With double glazing and insulation of ceilings, floors and external walls, this house stays at a constant mild temperature all year round. And its 36 solar panels and two large solar geysers mean that it is entirely off the grid with energy to spare.