About Me

My name is Marisa and I am a 42 year old farm wife from South Africa. I moved to our farm, Vastrap, near a small town called Ladybrand when I married my love on 27 November 2010. As a city girl from Johannesburg I never dreamt that I would one day marry a farmer. Needless to say, the twists and turns of life led me to a blind date with a friend of a friend who happened to be a farmer… having enjoyed and been exhausted by city life for 10 years I agreed to the date and opened myself up to the adventure that was to follow…

Four months after meeting we were engaged and married within seven. I moved to the farm after our wedding leaving my family and close friends back in the city.  Not only did I become a farm wife, but also step-mother to Quentin’s 10 year old daughter Ashley Naledi. She loves visiting us on the farm in her half terms and school holidays. Our baby girl Livia Lerato was born in December 2013 and our son, Myles Thabang in 21 months later in September 2015.

When I first moved to the farm I was fortunate to be able to continue working remotely as an economist analysing the South African and international economies, but I gradually phased this out as I became more involved in our cattle business. In  July 2013, I officially left my job in the city and started to work in our farming business as manager of marketing, IT and entertainment! My work always entailed a lot of international travel, which has given me a great appreciation for home. We have kept a base in the city, which allows us to enjoy the best of both worlds and to keep up with friends and family on a regular basis. Between our trips to Joburg, trips to cattle auctions and our holidays it is sometimes hard to keep up with our schedules… life on the farm is supposed to be quiet, but I promise it is not! I love cooking and hosting friends and clients in our home.

Our family includes three dogs (Patch, Coco and Duma) and two cats (Shadow & Skye). They are absolute characters and  are our constant companions on the farm, usually running behind the bakkie or exploring the veld on walks.

The farm is a mix of crop farming (wheat, maize and sunflower), sheep and cattle (Angus and Boran). Quentin’s first love is cattle and in 2010 he took the big step of becoming a stud breeder of Boran cattle, a breed that originates from Kenya (see Vastrap Boran and The Boran: God’s Gift to Cattlemen). Stud breeding has opened up a whole new world to us of which you will hear a lot more. I am slowly getting more clued up about farming, as I listen and observe.I am loving the experience of making a home and building a family in a place I never in a million years dreamt I would be!


Feeding “Hope” one of our Boran cows.

Quentin loves his Boran beauties!

A busy Autumn morning on the farm.

22 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi,

    My name is Boledi, I work in the city and my husband to be is venturing into Pig farming. He has asked me to move in with him on the farm which is several kilometers from my work place and the city itself. My job requires me to be office bound, so ultimately I might have to resign and be full time on the farm. I love this man a lot but I don’t know any other life but this city life.

    I would like to know how you came to enjoy farm life and what was the deciding factor for you to move to the farm besides your marriage to your husband.


    • Hi Boledi, thank you for visiting my site and getting in touch. I completely understand the hard decision you are facing since I was in exactly that position two years ago. It took me a while to get my head around leaving the city and my career, but I was ready for a change since I had been working very hard for a long time and was quite burned out. I also knew that I am quite an adaptable person and open to new challenges. I keep myself busy and don’t get bored easily. The transition to farm life was helped a lot by the fact that I didn’t have to give up my job completely and was able to negotiate a position that allowed me to work remotely with regular trips back to the city 400km away. Technology helps to keep one so much more connected and less isolated than in the past. I know of other women who also have similar arrangements, but obviously it’s not an option for everyone. I had the love and support of my husband who has been there for me every step of the way and encouraged me to keep working. In the meantime I have taken on many new hobbies and interests which have made my life so much richer and more fulfilling. Ladybrand also has a vibrant community of people and I have made many new friends. I really love this life now and feel less and less compelled to visit the city except visit my family and friends. In a nutshell, I would say it very much depends on your personality, the place, the people, possible job opportunities close to the farm and its proximity to the city. Try to spend some time there and assess its potential with as open a mind as possible. Good luck!


  2. Dear Marisa,

    Thank you for your encouraging response. I think you are making a lot of sense by saying I should spend more time there in order to see the place’s potential and what it has to offer.

    By God’s grace i might be writing to you this time next year sharing about my life on the farm.

    Thank you and stay bless.


    • Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I’ve been so excited to find a few fellow South Africans on WordPress this weekend. I look forward to reading about your life on the tip of Africa!


  3. Thank you so much for the follow Marisa, in turn it also lead me to your blog, I look forward to browsing through your blog. I have done the opposite, I was once a farm girl, now I live in Simon’s Town after 27 years in the Southern Suburbs. I still have land in Claremont where Ariston resides. I live in rural parts, yet farm in the city. Good look with all your ventures on the farm. I love your reclaimed freezer turned into a composting bin.


  4. Hey Marisa
    We were wondering if you would like to do a guest spot on campari&sofa? We want to run a series of “a life in the day of …” and feature different bloggers/friends/fab folk. Doesn’t have to be anything deep – just fun and … well … your day really. We would need a photo of you as well … and perhaps something you want to show? just how your day plays out and what you think about etc. For inspiration Check out http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/a_life_in_the_day/article1265595.ece, http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/a_life_in_the_day/article1183353.ece
    Thanks and let us know xxx


  5. Hi there Marisa
    I hope you’re well! I’d love to chat to you about a story I’m doing for our mag. You would be such an inspirational to our readers. Please can you contact me so we can chat further? Thanks so much! Taryn


  6. Hi there! My name is Hilary. I own a house in Cape Town, and am thinking about buying an AGA. I am writing to you to ask your opinion about it. Cape Town is not as cold as where you live, but still pretty miserable in the winter! It is an electric stove so the heat can be well controlled. It is a lot of money to spend on a stove, and I would welcome input!


    • Hi Hilary, great to hear from you. If it’s one of the new Aga’s that are electric then I’m not sure if it’s worth it… firstly, it will cost a lot to run and secondly, it won’t work when there’s load shedding! Ours is an old anthracite one so we can burn it 24/7 through winter to warm the house and as an added bonus we cook on it too. If you’re looking for something to warm the house I’d rather consider something like a Morso wood burning fire as it’s incredibly efficient and effective at generating heat without electricity. We have one of those in addition to the Aga and it’s great for cold winter days and nights especially when the power’s off! Hope this helps!


  7. How cool! Even though I may not have much in common with you, as I’ve never lived or worked on a farm, I immediately saw a kindred spirit when browsing in your blog. I blog about living in SA as an expat wife (Joburg Expat), and your life on a farm must have seemed just as alien to you initially:-)


  8. Hi Marisa
    Thanks for a really great website.
    Some advice please.

    I live in Nottingham Road which is not all that far from you, and regualrly gets into the minus temperatures in winter. (-5 a couple of days ago)

    I am undecided whether to go for an anthracite Aga or a wood stove like the Esse Ironheart which allows you to see the fire through the glass door.
    It will be situated in the kitchen / dining room.
    Its purpose is to warm the home, keep the food warm and cook on (although this is not our sole cooking appliance) and create a nice atmosphere for those family and friends visits.

    I dont know much about either, and would apprecaite your advice

    Many thanks


    • Hi Andy, great to hear from you. We have a wood burning Morso and the anthracite Aga. I love them both, but the wood burning one is definitely more flexible, atmospheric and easier to use. We only light the Aga when the winter cold sets in and then we have it going most of the time until the end of winter unless we are away. I very rarely light it up during summer when there’s a cold snap but we do light the Morso occasionally on an unexpected cold day. You can’t beat the atmosphere of watching flames! For cooking the Aga is nice, but I can’t control the temperature on mine very well so it can be hit and miss and also depends on the quality of the anthracite. So, not sure if I have answered your question very well! We purchased some Esse stoves for our staff a few years ago and they are very happy with them. Happy to help if I can!


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