Duma Love


I love impromptu weekends that aren’t planned months in advance, but are last minute affairs that turn out perfectly. Such was our Valentines weekend when my mom and sister decided they were missing Livia too much and just had to visit us on the farm. With a free pass from respective family duties, they convinced friends Eben and Francois to join in for the drive. After the first round of cold G&Ts were poured on Friday evening, we watched a huge storm build up that brought some much-needed rain. It was thunderous and dramatic and my farmer love was incredibly grateful for it. The rest of the weekend was spent playing with baba, planning the next lazy meal under the stars and deep afternoon slumbers. We had glorious Valentines sundowners on the mountain. The air was fresh and clear after the rain opening up vistas for miles.

On Sunday I decided to drive back with them to Joburg to go and fetch the latest addition to our family of pets, a new male Boerboel puppy. That was my only mission so I left Livia behind with her dad. I drove back again on Monday morning with the sweetest little companion in the car. He was so good and slept all the way. Livia gave him a rapturous welcome to Vastrap with hugs and kisses all over. We’ve decided to name him Duma, which means thunder in Sesotho. Hopefully he will be our good luck charm for rain and a very good protector for Livia and me on our farm adventures. The rest of the pack are a bit put out by this new imposter, but I’m sure they’ll chill out soon. What’s not to love?!

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From Feast to Famine


The past month has been unbearably hot and dry on the farm. It’s incredible how quickly things change. After waxing lyrical about all the beautiful rain we were getting in November and December, things suddenly turned to drought. Before we left for our holiday towards the end of January the farm was looking the best it has in years. All the crops were planted and growing beautifully and the grass was lush and green. By the time we got back 10 days later, things were starting to look very stressed and it’s just got worse since then with daily maximum temperatures soaring to 40 degrees and not a drop of rain! Thankfully it is cooler today, and there are some signs of rain around, but at this stage we need more than a few drops to revive the crops. In fact, it’s probably too late for most of our mealies. My husband is being a real trooper, trying not to let it get to him too much and focusing instead on the work he loves most with his cattle. It’s soul destroying though when our weather app predicts rain that never materialises.

Last week we had a little family photo shoot with our Boran cattle. I’m trying to get all our marketing material sorted for the year and we needed some updated photos which included Livia. Our very talented friend, Ziona Bothma, agreed to spend some time with us and I think she got some amazing shots! The cattle were so well behaved and posed quietly behind us for about an hour. Only afterwards did we see that they were standing in a perfectly colour coded group – from white to red. As always, it was very special to spend time with them up close, and needless to say, little Livia absolutely loved it!

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