Monday, 10 June 2013


We have been very lucky to have had a constant supply of volunteers over the last months.  Not only have they been fun to have on the farm, but they have helped us enormously.


First came friends Madlein and Anna, straight from finishing high school in a German village.  They fed the animals, worked in the garden and helped with weddings and parties, interacting with guests in the most delightful way.  We loved their playfulness and warmth, and Fynbos certainly benefitted from their hard work.


Next came sister and brother, Maia and Danny from the US. They were able to stay only for a short time, but came just as we needed help with labelling wine, before the onslaught of summer weddings.  As they left, Michelle from the US, arrived bringing much enthusiasm and an enquiring mind. She spent most of her time revamping the vegetable garden.


Early in the year Terese and Dani, carpentry and cooking teachers at a German primary school, arrived for a 10 week stay. They gave us invaluable help with winemaking, weddings, woodwork and cooking. Their big DIY job was insulating the Pinotage hut (see earlier post). It was a real pleasure to have them here for such an extended time, and we were very sad to see them go.


Over the period of winemaking and weddings, we had no less than 8 volunteers. Joining Dani and Teresa for some weeks, were Annie from the US, Lara from Germany, Kevin from Canada, and Mo from Cape Town. In addition to winemaking and wedding work, Lara patiently sewed table cloths, Annie gardened, Kevin, with boundless good cheer, made an excellent barman and mean nachos, and Mo, together with Kevin, worked on a solar heaters for the workers houses.
Most of all they made a formidable winemaking team - not to mention the delicious meals they took turns to make.

Left: Annie sands wood. Middle: Annie, Terese, Lara, Danni. Right: Kevin and solar heater

Left: Kevin makes Nachos. Middle: Marna, Danni, Gerry & Terese. Right: Lara and Terese rest.

Left: Prep for a wedding. Middle: Mo, Terese, Lara, Danie, Annie, Kevin. Right: The team at the pool.


Sven and Gerry spent many months with us in 2012 (previous post) before travelling up Africa. They then came back to Fynbos for a further month, before returning finally to Switzerland.  As before they just eased into the life and work here, and helped us in countless ways. We wondered how we would manage without them, and they left concerned about how, after their year away, they would fit with Swiss culture.   For Johan and I, Loni and Lisa and all the animals, they feel part of our extended family, and we feel sure that one way or another they will return to Fynbos.


A letter from Anna and Madlein
We hate to think about saying goodbye and leaving this wonderful place on earth. We’ll never forget all these lovely hours sitting together with Johan and Diana, talking about psychology and eating self-made pavlova and other delicious food. We’ll never forget Johan’s humour and his relaxed way of cooking as well as Diana’s warmth. We’re so impressed of the way she deals with the mass of things that has to be done to keep the farm life going. 
This place has been become a second home for us, as we simply love to be here and love the different kinds of work. Making new experiences with garden work, learning how to waitress and how to make salad and dessert.  The lively weekends where we were able to meet so many new people on the functions were as amazing as the many hours hiking in the mountains and enjoying the beautiful nature. There are two single words that can describe the people who work here – `sharp sharp’ which we learnt from Jacob the grounds man.
Diana and Johan, thank you so much for this wonderful time on your farm. Thanks for your patience and your trust in us. Both of you have got such beautiful souls and we simply love you!
Hope to see you again some time. Stay as relaxed as you are.
Yours, Madlein and Anna

Diana and Johan (and everyone else) I cant thank you enough for such a beautiful experience. I am enamored by our lifestyle, land and you in general. I am I am rushing  because as usal I procrastinated, but all I can say is thank you. You are so lovely and I gained som much for thes eweeks
Lots of love
Your beetroot queen ( princess ?) 

Working at Fynbos Estate was my first experience volunteering as a WWOOFer. And it was amazing. Within the first ten minutes of arriving at the farm, Diana made me feel completely comfortable and at home in a faraway land for a novice traveler  The good experience didn't stop at the first impression though as Johan educated us about wine making, why things are done the way they are, and what “mad” people in the industry do to their wines. The accommodations are flat out too nice and at the beginning I remember feeling guilty but as most farms go there are plenty of opportunities to work the guilt away. What I enjoyed most about my time at Fynbos Estate is the opportunity to fully integrate into the farm and truly live differently rather than just in a different place. I am ever grateful to Diana and Johan for the experience I had at the farm and hope to return soon.KEVIN

We've been on fynbos estate as volunteers for months in 2013 (from end of January till end of March). Our work was all around making wine (pressing grapes, filling barrels and bottles - and tasting :)). We could prove our woodwork qualities by renovating a camping hut at the farm. During the time we spend at fynbos estate there were two weddings and one birthday party where we helped in the kitchen, set the tables and served guests. Beside this we did all the stuff that needs to be done on a farm: feeding animals, gardening and harvesting vegetabels, varnishing garden furniture and cooking for and with other volunteer and our hosts. Not only the wonderful enviroment here made us having a good time here in South Afrika especially the familiar and friendly living together with Diana, Johann and the other volunteers was a great experiance - not always easy but also still existing friendships developed.
Teresa and Dani

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