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2020 was not a great tea yielding year for us, but the tea we did harvest was of very good quality. Over the last few years, we have expanded our tea planting radius into new areas adjacent to Citrusdal but have found that these fields do not yield more than 3 crops per field, which is disappointing but the norm for that area. We have, however, managed to cut 1 ton of top tea per ha as opposed to previous bests of between 250-550 kg per ha.
We have put a lot of effort into our tea nursery this year with soil analysis and preparation to ensure the correct lime dosage and soil Ph are achieved. This has yielded a host of seedlings with beautiful healthy colour but due to rains just before planting, we had to fight our way through an onslaught of weeds… successfully, with very little damage!
Projected new plantings for the current 2021 year is very low but a whopping 300 ha is planned for next year. Currently, weed control is taking place in the existing tea field while new fields are being prepped for planting.
It has been a season of struggling with low tea prices, but we are always grateful for the grace to pull through in tough times.
Carmien Tea and Bergendal Rooibos (our own processing facility) also had their annual Organic and UTZ certification audits recently. We are proud of being able to produce tea that is Socially Just, environmentally safe and client-focused.
Here is to always looking and planning ahead to ensure a great yield and many cups of tea for our consumers for years to come!