farm

Best bread in the world – 1890

Bread was not always easy to find in the early hinterland. “However, South Africans soon learnt how to grind corn between stones, make their own yeast from veld plants and bake bread in pots, clay ovens or converted ant-heaps,” writes Leslie Faul in Bread. There is no doubt that this bread was good. In 1890, […]

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Dr Thomas Smartt, who built a dam

Thomas William Smartt had such a high profile as a politician that his medical background has almost been forgotten. He was born in Trinn, County Meath, Ireland, on February 22, 1858, and he obtained his degree from Trinity College, in Dublin. He came to the Cape, was registered as a medical doctor and, in 1880, […]

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Drought and floods: 1877-1879

The year 1877 was a traumatic one for the Molteno and Jackson families who farmed at Nelspoort, north of Beaufort West. In The Jacksons of Nelspoort, Dr A O Jackson records that a drought which started two years before had taken severe toll of the stock.  “He writes that two-thirds of the small stock and many […]

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Hospitality on remote Karoo farms: 1835

In the mid-1800s, farmers of the hinterland were said to be “hospitable to a fault.” They loved nothing more than endless talk over a pipe and mug of coffee, writes Eric Anderson Walker in The Great Trek. These farmers were related to the people of the Cape Town Peninsula by blood or marriage, but they […]

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Layers of history on Rietpoort Farm

Fancy a stay on a historic Karoo farm? Try Rietpoort, 30 km north of Victoria West on the road to Britstown.  This farm lies right alongside the N12 and its “modern history”, say owners Dirk and Naomi Ras, begins in the 1700’s, when nomadic European farmers moved into the hinterland and started settling down. They […]

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The Story Of Melton Wold Farm, Victoria west

Robert Torr came out to the Cape as a soldier during the Second British Occupation in 1806. While in this country he lost his heart to the lovely widow of his late commander, and married her.  They migrated to the Eastern Cape Karoo area where he traded and in time was granted a piece of […]

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