The Blue Crane farm is located in the Sundays River Valley. We are close to the Greater Addo National Park, an elephant reserve comprising of 1.2 million acres of land set aside for animals to roam freely. Apart from elephants, other large animals can be found here such as the black rhinoceros, buffalo’s, antelopes and lions. The Sundays River receives water from one of the largest rivers in South Africa, the Orange River. Apart from citrus cultivation, sailing and fishing are the main activities.
The name Blue Crane stems from the national bird of South Africa. The feathers of this Blue Crane bird were traditionally used by the Xhosa people who put these in their hair when preparing for battle. The men with the Blue Crane feathers were called Ugaba (trouble) – it was believed that when there was trouble, these men would reinstate peace and order.
Organic farming started here many years ago when I noticed that the warm air of the valley was no longer laden with the scent of oranges, due to intensive use of chemicals. More and more growers went out of business, because of the deregulation of the citrus industry. Many parts of the valley were neglected. After doing some research, I decided that organic farming was the answer to both these problems. Now the orchards are strong and healthy again!
Blue Crane Farm has developed it’s own way of producing and selling organic crops. We hope to attract more growers to change to organic farming in the future!