20 November 2011 by Julienne du Toit

Flowers, music and sustainability

I discovered Flower Valley Conservation Trust by accident. I’d paid a visit to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, between Hermanus and Gansbaai. As a kind of afterthought on leaving, owner Michael Lutzeyer mentioned Flower Valley. It wasn’t far, he said. Perhaps I could just pop in if I was interested?

So I did, and stumbled into one of the happiest working conditions I’d ever come across. In a large airy shed, men and women were singing as they took the stunning flowers of the surrounding fynbos and turned them into colourful bouquets. The wild flowers are harvested under strictly sustainable conditions, approved by CapeNature.

By chance I was just in time for the children’s spring concert. To Vivaldi’s music, the little sprites ran about, portraying the four seasons. They lived in nature, and their school regularly took them on outings to build up their understanding of their environment - the magnificent Cape Floral Kingdom.

It was a serendipitous first encounter. Since then, Flower Valley Conservation Trust bouquets (and fynbos flowers last ever so long!) have become fixtures in the flower section of local retailer Pick ‘n’ Pay. Overseas they are sold through Marks and Spencer.

The farm now happily hosts visitors, who are allowed to ramble unguided along beautiful fragrant paths.

And if you happen to be there in December, make sure you attend their lovely music festival (featuring local talent) and take a guided tractor trip into the mountains.

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