Willow Feather Farm – “Passionate growers of indigenous trees”

22nd Nov 2017 at 5:03 pm

Farmyard Fun

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Bill went away on business over the weekend – a farmer from the Free State wanted to pick his brain on our excellent farming standards. So I was left to tend to our little herd. Every now and then the calves like to venture outside of our pastures and I have to come up with exciting things to do. I relied on Destination Irene (yet again) to ensure we had some fun…

We headed for Willlow Feather Farm.

Just a hop, skip and a jump over the R21 Highway (well the rabbits tell me it’s that easy!), we wondered into a serene setting. Gorgeous gardens with hidden wooden jungle gyms around just about every corner, I was able to relax under the trees whilst the calves entertained themselves.

I ordered a much deserved cappuccino and scones, freshly baked. The calves enjoyed Slowjo smoothies which I secretly taste tested and I have to admit, they were super yummy. Then, whilst they explored the gardens and farmyard animals, I enjoyed reading the history behind this unique spot…

A family farm since 1979, it was the perfect haven for Janet and Steven Geyer to raise their three children. Farm life was good (as Bill and I can attest to) and soon one of the children, Barry, began his own company producing amazing fresh chickens. Then one day, after picking up some seeds from an old tree, planting them and seeing how quickly they grew, Barry changed his business focus and Willow Feather Farm was born.

In just a few short years, indigenous trees have become their forte with over 500 000 trees on the farm all planted from seeds or seedlings. They are so passionate about being environmentally conscious that there is a small conservation fee when entering the tea garden.

Lucky for us, the family thought that recreating their experiences as children of farm life would be great. The public are able to visit, interact with farm animals and enjoy a safe place for the calves to run and play.

Once you’ve visited, it’s not hard to see that this family is all about greening the environment, one tree at a time…

After a blissful hour of reading, enjoying the beautiful weather and sipping on my cappuccino, I think I dosed off for a while!

But it wasn’t long before my calves were tugging at my hooves, wanting to feed the farmyard animals with me. Our friendly waitress supplied us with feed for the chickens, goats, pigs, sheep, rabbits and geese. We then spent the next hour laughing and taking pictures of photo bombing geese and alpacas!

By the time we returned to our own barn I was feeling relaxed and the calves were in bed early, thank goodness. My day out was made a whole lot easier thanks to Willow Feather Farm. They will definitely be seeing us again…

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

Off to the market!

15th Nov 2017 at 7:31 am

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Whilst I love the warmer weather, I don’t always appreciate the very early mornings it brings! My barn is abuzz with happy calves at what feels like sunrise – leaving Bill and I not quite ready for a full day ahead! However, we do appreciate the serenity farm life affords us – birds chirping at the crack of dawn, herds grazing in the lush green fields and the buzz of activity as our renovations are quickly taking shape. Not to mention the many places to visit and things to do that living in Destination Irene offers us…

Just last Saturday morning we decided to herd off to the Irene Village Market at the Big Red Barn for our dose of creative inspiration and some good ‘street food’ of course!

On arrival (which was fairly early as the calves had been up for hours already!) the market was already bustling with visitors from near and far. First stop for Bill and I was the coffee vendor – with a hot cappuccino in hand, we were ready to explore the original wares that this arts and crafts market has to offer.

Trading since 1989, I wasn’t disappointed with the variety, originality and high quality goods for sale. From beautifully made clothing to exquisite jewellery and handbags, Irene Village Market is a must for the ladies. Wooden toys, wire cars and swings meant that the calves were intrigued too – not to mention all the extras that were added to their Christmas wish lists once we returned to the barn.

For Bill, whose most often the hardest to please, the wood cutting gadgets, fabulous paintings and craft beer kits were enough to keep him happily wondering around.

As I find at most markets, the vendor folks were all very friendly. Chatting away about their products, greeting regular visitors and helping each other out at their stalls, it’s a welcoming atmosphere adding to the enjoyment of the visit. Being a dog friendly market, it was wonderful to see four-legged friends being a part of the morning with one stall even offering a doggie drinking station!

Once done browsing, we herded over to the food section which too did not disappoint. From a selection of various culinary offerings, not only did we thoroughly enjoy our brunch but we happily sat around on the wooden benches and listed to the local musicians playing their favourite tunes.

All-in-all, our family morning out was well enjoyed and one we plan to do again soon. (Well, I’ll have to head back next week to do some Christmas shopping for the kids!).

Chatting to Bill on the way home, we both agreed that having such a fabulous market on our doorstep is something many of us locals under-appreciate. Much like living at the sea and never really going down to the beach, we don’t visit this local icon often enough.

I’ve liked their Facebook page and will certainly diarise their 2018 dates once available – making it a new year’s resolution to enjoy a visit to Irene Village Market more regularly…

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow.

Magic mani’s and perfect pedi’s at Camdeboo Day Spa

9th Nov 2017 at 7:42 am

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Warmer weather resonates with flip flops, open toed high heels and when visiting African Pride Irene Country Lodge, kicking off your shoes to walk in their lush green grass by the lake!

As most ladies do, I love having well-groomed hooves and hands so when summer rolls around, I waste no time ensuring my Camdeboo Day Spa date is set.

Time spent at Camdeboo Day Spa should always be a treat worth sharing and when I decided to book my monthly pamper for the warmer weather, I decided to ask Mooira to join me. Of course, she was only too pleased to come along and together we arrived for what would be a fabulous besties catch up.

Greeted by the friendly staff, we enjoyed a home-made iced tea whilst our therapist presented us with an array of colours to choose from for our mani and pedi bookings. Deciding that the more neutral and dark colours are better suited to the winter months, Mooira opted for a lovely pastel purple whilst I went for my favourite – turquoise.

After being taken through to a double treatment room, we then spent the next two hours catching up on the most recent events in our lives. All the while our lovely therapists scrubbed, rubbed, pampered and prettied our hooves and hands. Afterwards, with our beautiful new nails, we headed over to the garden to enjoy lunch under the trees.

Presented with delicious lunch options such as open sandwiches and scrumptious salads, Mooira and I enjoyed a cocktail before tucking into our beautifully presented meals.

Even though we had chatted all the way through our treatments, the chin wagging continued well into the afternoon as we exchanged stories of our calves and bulls. Mooira commented on how relaxing the setting was and how she would definitely be returning.

Thank goodness, we had arranged for the calves to be taken care of for the afternoon as our day spent enjoying the peace and serenity Camdeboo Day Spa exudes meant that we were completely unaware of the time.

A few cappuccinos and lots of laughter later, this was one of my most favourite get-togethers with my bestie yet!

I made sure my next mani and pedi appointment was booked before leaving, and Mooira did the same. I’m looking forward to showing off my well treated nails as the weather continues to warms up and I’ll be sure to pick an even brighter colour in preparation for our annual beach holiday.

Not only did I get prettied up on my visit to Camdeboo Day Spa but I got to spend it catching up with my bestie, Mooira – now that’s priceless!

Be sure to book your little R & R for our hooves and hands at Camdeboo Day Spa whether it’s on your own or with a friend – because everyone’s nails should be enjoying summer as much as ours are!

Till Next Week,
The Dairy Cow

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