Winter is a time when we go into hiding, away from the cold weather, but for the rooibos plant, this is almost like a ‘coming out’ ball. Lots of little seedlings are being planted in anticipation of their big show a year later when they will be ready for their first topping.
In many ways, it is a time of anticipation that precedes the main event. We wait for the rains to come so that the soil is in perfect condition to receive the seedlings, we wait for the weeds to show their unwelcome heads after the first rains so they can be removed from the fields pre-planting, and we wait for nature to repeat its cyclical ways as pests attacking the rooibos also start showing up. In short, it is a busy season.
At the moment the tea fields are being prepared for planting. We have had some good early rains but are hopeful of more good rains just before we start planting for the new season. Oats were sown in these fallow-lying fields to restore the soil biomass. The dead stalks are not removed, only flattened and left on the fields as protection against wind damage, ensuring the young plants are given the best opportunity to grow strong.
How true are these words by Craig D. Lounsbrough, “ If there were no beginnings and if there were no endings, we would have the absence of inertia and the presence of stagnation”.