News From The Farm: Harvest Season
We are not unfamiliar with high temperatures during the harvesting season but somehow this year seems to have had one heatwave after the other, all the more reason why our workers start harvesting as early as 5 am already. Of course, the rooibos plant is very hardy, with a deep taproot, but we all have our limits as to how much we can handle!
During November-December last year, we were still concerned about our tea crop but we were blessed with some late rains which caused a growth spurt and very good looking tea crops for which we are always grateful.
We are about halfway in our harvesting and the yield is good, even on old tea fields that are now being harvested for the last time. Old fields are no longer judged by the ton but by kilogram yield as, obviously, the yield diminishes as the plants get older and the time comes to take them out and let that field lie fallow. Oats are sown on these fields to restore the soil biome for the next year’s tea planting.
Young fields that were only topped for green tea last year and are now being harvested for the first time, are also looking particularly good in quality and colour. As always good rains also create good conditions for invader plants too, so we have more than enough work to keep us very busy at the moment.
Below is a clip of the ease and skill with which our harvesters handle the sickle. Makes one appreciate the back-breaking work that goes into getting that one cup of tea on our table that provides us with such pleasure!