Easton Marsch

Lushof

Hi, my name is Easton Marsch and I grow organic grapes and blueberries for Nature & More in western South-Africa, near the town of Saron. Our farm is called Lushof and I'm the farm manager.

I live here together with my wife and my two children. As a little boy I already dreamt of being a farmer, but in the days of apartheid that was unthinkable for someone with my skin colour. My father was a truck driver at Lushof then and my mother helped packing tomatoes. As a toddler I used to play with the children of the white owner, that was normal. But when we got older, the apartheid system separated us. Because farming wasn't allowed, I went to study commerce, and developed myself. Only when my father died, did I meet my former playmate again. We had a good conversation and I told him agriculture had always been my passion. He then decided to give me a chance and appointed me as a farm manager at Lushof. So I came to follow my vocation. I love working with the soil and hope everyone will enjoy our healthy and tasty fruits. I think soil is just a blessing for us. We must treat it with compassion and look after the earth. Because if we look after the earth, she will look after us. She has been doing so for generations!"

Video of the previous farm manager:

 

Interview

N&M: How was the experience of being a non-white farm manager in the area?  
"Farming had always been my passion, but it was closed to non-white managers, so I studied my second interest: commerce. When I was offered to manage Lushof, I knew nothing about commercial farming. So I had to ask a 40-year uneducated worker working on the vines “why are you doing that?” and “why do you put the dripper line there?”  He was amazed that I did not know. My biggest challenge was not the white farm managers and white owners around me. It was actually my own people. The traditional farm workers in South Africa have a low level of education. Given this prejudice, they assumed that I was not capable as a farm manager." 

N&M:  How has the relationship evolved over time? 
"I soon realized that they knew pretty well what to do, but could not explain to me why. I kept asking and eventually found out and understood the reasons. They had to have faith in me.  Now after 6 years, they can come to me and I can teach them not only what to do, but also why to do something in a particular manner." 

N&M:  Has this experience changed your management style?  
"Yes, in previous times, workers were just told to “do this”.  I make it a point to explain what we are going to do and especially why it has to be done that way, so that people can learn the reasons behind each task and understand the bigger picture. My challenge today is to educate, educate, educate.  Ultimately, this helps our people to develop and do a better quality job." 

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What am I growing?

Geolocation is -33.178791, 19.003719000000046

Sustainability flower

Tabs

Where to find?

Map

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