Flower Valley Conservation Trust
Did you know?
Per square metre, fynbos boasts a greater plant diversity than tropical rainforests.
In the vast flower shed on Flower Valley Conservation Trust farm, men and women are sitting at their workstations, creating spiral bouquets out of indigenous fynbos species like proteas, brunias, pincushions and ericas, all the while singing traditional songs.
Out on the 550-hectare farm, among the wild fynbos that exudes a heady fragrance of menthol and sun-warmed herbs, others are harvesting flowers and foliage. The picking is done with great care. Apart from improving conservation, at least 130 full time and part-time jobs depend on sustaining this botanical heritage.
Flowers are also harvested from 6 other supplying farms, giving the trust a ‘flower catchment' of 20 000 hectares. The harvesting standards on all properties are according to strict ethical standards set up by the government conservation body CapeNature and the Protea Producers' Association. The bouquets, ambassadors of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is a World Heritage Site, are sold in Pick n Pay stores locally, and Marks & Spencer abroad.
Flower Valley's farm is situated in the southern Cape, midway between the whale capital of South Africa, Hermanus, and the shark capital, Gansbaai. It is very close to one of South Africa's foremost privately-owned fynbos conservation intitiatives, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
From the flower shed, it's a short walk to the trust's early learning centre, which helps prepare employees' children for school. You'll see them darting about like elves in the fynbos, learning about the plants that provide a living for their parents, and the birds, insects and beasties that live alongside them.
Surrounding the school and the shed are the fragrant fynbos-covered mountains - with the farm offering unguided, rambling trails and expansive views of the area from the hilltops.
Once a year, in December, the farm hosts a music festival, where the best local talent perform in Flower Valley's natural amphitheatre. Festival-goers can also choose to explore the fynbos on horseback, on guided trails, or even on tractor trips up into the mountains.
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Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0) 28 388 0713