DE RUSTICA SPRING NEWSLETTER
MORE GOLD FOR DE RUSTICA!!
We are thrilled to share our continued commitment to crafting exceptional olive oil, as it has once again been acknowledged with a remarkable achievement: we have proudly received a total of 7 prestigious gold awards!
In the esteemed New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC):
De Rustica shines brightly with 2 gold awards for:
De Rustica Estate
De Rustica Estate Collection Frantoio
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!
In the South African Olive Competition, De Rustica has outdone, itself winning a gold award for all our 5 (FIVE!) entries. These golds were:
De Rustica Estate Collection Arbequina
De Rutica Estate Collection Frantoio
De Rustica Estate Collection Coratina (of course!)
De Rustica Estate Medium
De Rustica Estate Intense
ON THE FARM
De Rustica experienced a winter that could be described as textbook-perfect. It was notably cold and accompanied by welcome winter rains.
A cold winter is not only essential to induce dormancy in our olive trees but also contributes to a higher natural mortality rate among insects. This cold season ensures the olive trees bloom to their maximum potential, akin to awakening refreshed after a deep sleep.
Twee van ons damwalle het gebreek! Ons het seker gemaak dat die damwalle vinnig herstel is. Dit was ‘n duur proses as gevolg van die swaar toerusting wat benodig is en die hoë brandstofpryse, maar water bly ‘n prioriteit.
During the early days of farming in the Nels River area shallow furrows were used to move water out of the river following topographical contours and using gravity. Some of the furrows date back to the 18th century (1780+) and especially in the more challenging topography of the top farm are significant engineering achievements. These furrows were used for flood irrigation as well as to fill downstream dams with free-flowing water.
Although these furrows may appear picturesque, they are plagued by water leakage issues and forfeit the substantial benefit of the natural gravitational advantage De Rustica derives from the 330-meter descent from the farm’s highest point (approximately 750 meters above sea level) to the Oude Muragie orchards near the tar road to De Rust (approximately 420 meters).
Accordingly, over many years, the farm has embarked upon a project of replacing these furrows with a network of about 25 km of underground pipes with the objective of delivering over 80% of its irrigated water by natural gravity. This saves Eskom costs and facilitates water delivery independent of load-shedding constraints and challenges, while being more economically sustainable and reducing the farm’s carbon-footprint.
Ons het ‘n uitstekende olyfproduksie-seisoen beleef, met ‘n perfekte kombinasie van kwaliteit en kwantiteit. Ons het eers in die derde week van Augustus klaar geoes, as gevolg van ‘n oorvloedige reënval en nat toestande. De Rustica het besluit om hierdie suksesvolle seisoen af te sluit met ‘n gesellige byeenkoms op 1 September, waar ons hele De Rustica-span betrokke was!
Spring is a critical season in the life of an olive farmer, marked by anticipation and tension. The initial test revolves around the quality of flower blossoming. Olive trees undergo flowering over a span of 2 to 12 weeks, which varies depending on the cultivar. These flowers are primarily pollinated by the wind. A successful season hinges on the pollination of only about 6% of these tiny flowers, but the process is intricate due to factors like cross-pollination, self-pollination, and the challenges posed by excessive heat. The ensuing “fruit-set” process is of utmost importance to the success of the crop.
Kallie is busy pruning, fertilising, and spraying our olive trees, sometimes throughout the night, avoiding the wind. We spray the trees early in Spring with a leaf-foliage fertiliser boost to assist this flowering and fruit-set stage and then we pray for good spring weather.
Wish us luck!
The cold and rainy winter conditions have also played a role in causing higher-than-usual losses among our lambs. Our sheep farming operation operates on an intensive schedule, with lambing occurring every 2 two months, year-round. This approach enables us to have three lambing events every two years, managing six flocks of sheep. This is made possible due to our consistent feed supply throughout the year, thanks to the cultivation of both summer and winter crops at De Rustica.
This approach differs from the traditional method employed in extensive sheep farming, where lambing occurs once a year, contingent upon the success of a “good lambing season”, determined by the specific weather conditions and feed availability in the region. As for our losses, they indeed occurred, but as the saying goes, “boer maak ‘n plan” – farmers always find a way.
Speaking of our sheep, Rampie, our head of the sheep division, and his team participated in the George Agricultural Show, showcasing our sheep. Unfortunately, we didn’t secure a podium position, and Rampie was quite disheartened by this outcome. It took us some time to convey that the real value lies in the networking opportunities, and the chance to interact with fellow sheep farmers, stud breeders, veterinarians, agents, suppliers, and judges.
Rampie has set a goal of earning awards in the coming years and considering the strides we’re making in the sheep division, we believe he will reach his objective.
Kerneels, ons water- en voerbestuurder, is so veerkragtig soos ‘n rubberbal. Hy het reeds begin om die lusern te sny, te hark, en te baal. Dit is ‘n senutergende onderneming, veral omdat ons tans minstens sewe dae sonder reën of enige vogtigheid benodig om die gesnyde lusern te laat droog, baal, en van die lande af te verwyder om die gehalte te verseker. Die eerste sny is van uiterste belang vir die tempo van die res van die seisoen, waar ons 3-4 weke tussen snye benodig. Hoe vroeër ons begin, hoe meer kan ons sny!
Our in-house abattoir is in full operation. We engage in a controlled slaughtering process, enhancing value by creating half-lamb packages that are pre-cut, vacuum-sealed, and farm-to-fork. This approach has been positively embraced so far, differentiating us significantly in terms of bio-security and product quality.
Ons proelokaal, onder Precilla Steenkamp se bekwame bestuur, brei sy aanbiedings nou aansienlik uit. Dit sluit nou heerlike ontbyt, platters en daaglikse spesiale aanbiedings in.
ASHER STABLE STAY
Daar is ook n beoogde instelling van konferensie-fasiliteite by ons gesogte Asher Stables-gastehuis. Ons nuwe bestuurspan by Asher Stables bestaan uit Lucas en Amanda Steenkamp. Lucas is ‘n afgetrede sersant-majoor en Koos, ons tuinier, het beslis sy hande vol!
Onder unieke omstandighede is ons pragtige Manor House nou beskikbaar vir verhuring, en dit komplementeer die Asher-fasiliteite. Met sy 12 slaapkamers en unieke onthaalarea is dit perfek geskik vir spesiale geleenthede, byeenkomste van bergfiets-entoesiaste, motor toere, en korporatiewe wegbreekplekke.
We are excited to announce that we’re getting a new prestigious look. World-class olive oil deserves a world-class look. That’s not all! Keep a look out for our new website. Coming soon!
EVENTS IN AND AROUND DE RUST
Open Studio 23rd and 24th of September
We’re thrilled to announce that De Rustica will be open on September 23rd and 24th in celebration of Heritage Day. Join us for a special event featuring talented artists, showcasing their work in our showroom. To enhance your visit, we’re offering a delectable brunch experience that can be reserved in advance. But there’s more! We have an exciting opportunity for art enthusiasts. You can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a magnificent painting by Glendine Chisholm.
Stay connected with us on our Facebook page for further event details as the event approaches. Please note ticket sales will only be available from the 23rd of September 2023.
We’re eagerly looking forward to celebrating Heritage Day with you!
Meiringspoort Half Marathon – 13th October
De Rustica is thrilled to be part of the upcoming Meiringspoort Event!
We’re proud to announce that De Rustica is a proud sponsor of the 2023 Meiringspoort Event! Our entire team will be there on October 14th, manning a water station to provide much-needed hydration to the runners. De Rustica has even entered two runners, Anneke Terblanche and Rayn Stuurman, and we’re sending them our best wishes for a fantastic performance!
But that’s not all! We’ll also have a De Rustica stand on Friday and Saturday where attendees can savour and purchase our exquisite olive oils.
THE KLEIN KAROO FLOWERS
A bountiful rainfall this year has caused the Klein Karoo to erupt into a spring bloom of a magnitude reminiscent of the famous “NAMAQUA” display. This is arguably the most impressive display in the past two decades and is expected to endure for several months.
Oorals waar jy kyk, is daar kleur!
Selfs ons Klapperbos het vanjaar ‘n dieper kleur.
On that account, we send our regards from De Rustica.
We eagerly anticipate your arrival in paradise in the near future!