Our farming and produce is shaped by our organic philosophy. We take special care over what we plant and where we plant it to imbue the essence of our natural and extreme environment. Our organic produce is available to our guests and through a number of select farm stalls and retail outlets, we also sell to trade.
We are always striving to sustain a truly organic environment at our farm and became fully certified organic in 2012. All our plants are root-fed with earthworm water from our own earthworm farm and we use compost and mulch. This is complemented by systemically applying compost teas and adding stinging nettles, comfrey, chamomile and yarrow to activate the compost.
Similarly, our vineyards are straw-mulched to retain moisture in the soil, resulting in a saving of up to 40% water usage as well as suppressing weeds in the vineyards. We do not use any chemical fertilisers or pesticides on The Drift Farm, rather preferring compost as a fertiliser.
We use lupins as cover crops to improve the soil and when necessary, for control of vine disease, our vineyards are sprayed with natural sprays, approved for organic and biodynamic productions. We also have an agreement with our neighbours that they do not use chemical sprays on the adjoining land.
Heirloom vegetables are varieties that were widely available centuries ago, but that have become rare in the age of modern large-scale agriculture and mass cultivation of only a handful of seed varieties. These old charmers are making a comeback, giving us a glimpse of life in earlier times and the genetic diversity that was available on the planet before mass production.
Heirlooms are always open-pollinated, meaning their seeds have been saved year after year to preserve certain characteristics. This makes it possible to grow the exact same type of tomatoes your grandparents grew in the garden when you were little.
Common modern vegetable varieties have their advantages as they are often more disease resistant and their fruits are more uniform. But they’re almost always far less tasty or interesting than most heirloom varieties, which come in wonderful shapes and colours.
Just think of the humble tomato. Supermarkets mainly sell salad or red cherry tomatoes, and sometimes if you’re lucky oval Rosa tomatoes. But heirlooms come in a variety of shapes and colours: big or small, smooth or grooved or striped, round or oval or pear shaped, or in red, orange, pink, purple, yellow, green and white, and they can vary in taste and hardiness.
We’re privileged to be able to bring you a variety of interesting heirloom vegetables. And watch this space, there is more to come!