N&M: Can you tell something about the region where your farm is located?
Eddie: Paarl, is the largest wine region in Africa. Paarl’s history has been woven by an intricate set of circumstances and started with the nomadic tribes that used to frequently visit the valley, in the search of finding grazing land for their cattle and sheep. Paarl’s eleven-kilometer long main street was the old wagon route to the north. Paarl made headlines when President Nelson Mandela was released from the Victor Verster Prison (today Drakenstein Prison) to freedom and the beginning of a new South Africa. Afrikaans, one of South Africa’s official languages has its origin in Paarl. The Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl represents the roots and growth of Afrikaans.
N&M: What products do you grow and what’s special about your products?
Eddie: We grow delicious green, red and black organic table grapes. We also produce bio-compost under the name Reliance Compost.
N&M: What do you see as the benefits of organic farming now?
Eddie: By growing organic, there is more carbon in the soil and the soil is more fertile. There is less soil erosion and the water is conserved better. We are also using resources more efficiently.
N&M: Is there something that every consumer should know about you or your farm?
Eddie: For me organic agriculture is farming with Nature, where we grow products for human development without having a negative impact on the environment. Furthermore, I believe that organic production cannot exclude the people involved with it. The whole workforce should share in the benefits of the farming cooperation. Sustainable agriculture should also result in a sustainable enterprise. Such an enterprise is never built around one individual but always around the collective group.