This morning I woke up to the deep tolls of church bells echoing through the valley and later the chorus of hymns drifting in from the distance. It made me feel content as I fed the cat and lit the stove and it brought back childhood memories of my Ouma’s NG Kerk songs.

Time is different here. It’s slower, predictable and mingled with voices and animal calls carried across the valley. During the week it’s just about silent, save for the birdsong. Weekends are abuzz. Time is set back here. Cellphone and wifi signals are found only in small pockets and in the place of the cold muteness of technological preoccupation, there are the bursts of children’s laughter and shrieks of excitement, dogs barking flowing down the street like a mexican wave and melodic whistles and echoing shouts to the other side of the valley, “die vuuuuur braaaaaaand! Bring daai tomaaaatie tjipppeeees!”

Every weekday morning and every afternoon the school bus trundles up and down the road with it’s precious and chattering passengers. They are blessed to have a wonderful school food garden that is run by the very knowledgeable and hard working Oom Johannes. He came to visit yesterday and we sat on the stoep and enjoyed some orange juice and grapes while he told me about his family and the traditional, non-mechanical farming methods that are still practiced here today.

Oom Jan explained that he has some horses and when the time comes to plant the Tuinland, the horses are used to plough the shallow rows for planting. “Diesel is duur, jy weet en nie vir my groente nie! Ek will nie Diesel fumes eet nie!”

We spoke about what grows well here in the valley and exchanged some tips and tricks for keeping our veggies thriving. I love that there is no reliance on chemical pesticides here. Time is different here.

I decided to spend the morning in the veggie garden today to see what’s growing on.  I also planted some Baby and Bright Light Spinach, Beetroot, Lettuce, Rocket, Soup Celery and Spring Onions. I am looking forward to sharing and swapping some seeds with Oom Jan and visiting the school garden this week and I will definitely remember to take some photos to share!


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