As our harvesting season is drawing to a close, older tea fields are in the process of being cleared so that oats can be planted to restore the soil biome. Our estimated rooibos yield per ton will be in the region of 2,5 ton per hectare.
The good rains and cool weather conditions we experienced during November-December caused good growth but at the same time ripening (which requires hot sunny conditions) was delayed by the cooler, wet conditions. We have estimated receiving around 500 tons of rooibos at our processing plant Bergendal this year but, despite excellent quality, this excess moisture has caused only about 48% realisation from wet to dry tea during processing.
While the last tea fields are now being harvested, rooibos seeds have also been sown at our tea nursery. Apart from our own nursery we also supply seed to approved seed growers who then supply us with seedlings when they are ready. All our new tea fields are planted with seedlings, not seeds. Seeds are collected by sifting the soil around the base of the tea bushes and sent away to undergo a rubbing process called scarification to soften the hard outer shell that prohibits germination. Seeds are then returned to us for propagation at the various nurseries.
We are reminded of the Word that says, “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night”.