South Africa is the only country I know where spring starts on the 1 September, and not on the Equinox. And our spring started with a bang!
On a Friday morning early September, at about 2am, we were woken up by the smell of smoke. The farm was on fire! In no time we were out with the old bakkie and the fire-fighter. A few neighbours came to help, but fighting fire in the dark amongst rocks and dongas is not easy. We did what we could and waited for the sun to get up. By then the fire was on top of the koppie and we couldn’t reach it. By midday, the wind picked up and so did the fire.
Thank you to the many local farmers who came to the rescue, we only lost a third of the farm, and luckily no livestock or buildings. As I always say, the grass will grow again. And green grass makes for great cheese!
As soon as she was safe, she got up and walked away without even a thank you!
As all this was happening, one of our beef cows decided to have a stroll in the river but didn’t manage to get out. In between fighting fire, we pulled and pushed and tossed, to no avail. She was stuck, tired and cold. It took about eight hours, as many people with straps and ropes and a tractor to get her out.
Early October we had the visit of a local brand of clothing for a photo shoot. Our four-legged top models were not even interested in the visiting model and carried on as normal.
A year ago, the 7 a 8 French TV team spent a few days on the farm. The program was aired in January, and a young French cheese maker watched it. She contacted us wanting to spend time with us, here at Jackal’s Hill Farm, to learn and experience the South African way. With lockdown on and off both in France and South Africa, her trip was postponed a few times, but Elysa finally joined us on 21st October for 4 weeks. It was fantastic having a young cheese enthusiast on the farm, helping at all levels of production. Thank you Elysa for choosing us. We really hope that you enjoyed your time here and wish you much success with your new job.
Another exciting experience was the visit of South African forager Nikki Brighton. She taught us about edible wild herbs and weeds and this led to a new product, our Wild Herbs & Pecan Pesto, a delicious add-up to any cheese platter.
Spring has been very wet, and dams & rivers are full to the brim, with the first flood of the season happening a few days ago.
Summer holidays are nearly here, and this is the time for brunches and late supper. So why not try our French Toast, Mascarpone & Berry compote recipe?
As usual, please like and share our Facebook page – Jackal’s Hill Fromage and follow us on Instagram @val_ofs.
As the Festive seasons is upon us, we would like to wish all of you a fantastic time with friends and family and thank you for the ongoing support. May 2022 be the best year ever.
Till next time…
Valerie & the Team