A new calling and purpose has begun since we bought the farm from Peter Hatting and Louis DuPonte at the end of 2016


In April 2017 we moved here from Orange Grove, which is in the middle of the disturbed heartland of the Jhb. It seem everybody else knew what a hard exchange it would be, but us! So we landed endeavoring to make this our home… However, morphing from city life into full time farming has been a major paradigm shift, transforming the very people we are as we live day by day in the most beautiful mountain landscape that is progressively caught in a severe drought. We are experiencing the strength of the kloof as well as the backbreaking hardships people, animals and nature have to endure to survive here. We are indeed the new brooms, taking the farm in hand, bringing much needed care, attention, and thoughtfulness to change the course that brought it to the backward state and disrepair we found it in. With vigor and faith, very hard hard work, we are giving it our all and hoping that the upgrading, re-purposing, cleaning up and general overhauling of just about everything, will over time bring a jewel to life, a place of grace, beauty and Life
Becoming new custodians of Speekhout Farm is way bigger than just writing about it. We could have never imagined how a few words like that would have impacted the very fiber our very lives… Everything works differently here. As inkomers, we have been trusting God wholeheartedly for holistic restoration of the farm in its entirety. This is still called Perdekloof by those who have seen the seasons come and go, and have had the privilege to survive life here. As we meet the old hands and hear the history related to us from different kloofpeople, we hear of a dramatic, unforgiving and vicious past, godless and tragic, heart wrenching and bitter, plainly evident as we encounter the remains day by day ….
But God
This has given us an opportunity as unqualified, desperate yet eager city-runaways, to put our hands and hearts at the plough. Since we arrived here on Passover of April 2017, we have been cleaning up: picked up, sorted out, broke down, organized, cleaned, raked and dug out, built up, driven away, moved around, and repeated it all over again. In the beginning when we went for our daily walks to explore the land, we took a large plastic bag with us and filled it as we walked. Then slowly slowly the bag got smaller until we just filled our clothes pockets or left heaps next to the road to pick when we pass by. To establish a sense of order, logic, safety, human dignity, doing scientifically the right thing, recalculating kilometers of wasted black plastic piping crisscrossing the entire farm (let’s remember that is should we unlawful for 1 person to be allowed to buy so much pipe…) takes time and time and time. O and money, money and money. Then comes the fixing, replacing, redesigning, reengineering, blowing the budget so that we can make it functionally our own, purposefully establishing a new identity on old, darkened and broken ruins. Thank God for every new day and His vision over Speekhout!
Our vision: to find meaning and purpose, and be part of what God is doing in the earth right now
We are loving every act of reclaiming the indigenous flora by re-purposing of two dams, replanting of the once lost cedar trees, and remedying the land by means of re-introducing valuable indigenous fauna and flora. However the purpose has looked very different as we are slowly being introduced to the history and interacting communities in the kloof. Layers and years of relationships, pre post and past every political system, critical chains of events that inevitably leads to conflict, crises and relational issues, over and over again. The ancient tension and discrepancies between the “have and the have-not’s “
We have started to pull the land back by employing local community kloof-mense, who knew and walked this farm even in its former glory days until now, and are steadily working shoulder to shoulder with us to re-establish fallow pastures, physically reviving lost harvesting fields, replanting of vegetable and fruit fiels, all by hand! Then we started acquiring small live stock (kleinvee)…chickens, 5 ewes that had 8 lambs, 4 pigmy black potbelly piggies…- you should see us city folkies running after sheep and bouncing lambs when trying to get them back to their camp at night… And so the truth is that with partnerships with locals, we stand a chance to overcome previous dispensational mindsets and boer vooruit vir ‘n slag!
Being part of a working farm has exposed us to the hard realities of survival, of human prejudice that runs both ways, as well as the law of the land that has been established because of previous wrongs. The law can never fix bitterness, jealousy and unforgiveness, no matter from where it goes and where it aims at.
We now belong to the Bavaria Association that was established between the kloof farmers and Nature Conservation, with the view to work together to ensure long term sustainability for fauna and flora in the kloof that stretches about 65km from the Nuwe Kloof Pass to the entrance gate of Parks, and all its people – an interesting history indeed.
We are in a proses of renovating and upgrading all of Speekhout’s guest accommodation, aiming to create a quality and comfortable farm-stay for all our guests. We have especially installed new indoor fireplaces to make the stunning karoo-winter nights fire-warm and deeply satisfying, plus given thought to what relaxes and helps guest unwind, making it easy to just be here, making the farm and its trail, the real gift. We ask people to consider before booking, that we like the quietude so much here, that we want all of our guests to enjoy the peace and rest, therefore no loud music, partying and anything that disturbs the tranquilly here in any manner, are tolerated
And so we welcome you with a warm heart, offering you the best of our farm and its surrounds. We hope your stay is restful and deeply satisfying
In Him, Mark & Paulien Enrieu

 


 

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