In 1988 the land was purchased by Ebrahim Kariel and named Valota Farm, after the village in India from which his father hailed.
The land was conventionally farmed prior to purchase and up to March 2020. 2ha of the 13ha of land was cultivated.
In April 2020, all chemical sprays and pesticides were stopped in the growing processes and biologicals were introduced.
Also in April 2020, just like the rest of South Africa we were facing lockdown and lost clients. With help from a friend’s Facebook post that went viral, we gained much exposure and made many new market connections. We also launched our online store and sold veg boxes delivered to the door.
May 2020, we stopped the use of chemical fertilisers and embraced organic growing principles. We introduced into our farming methods processes such as planting cover crops, composting and low tilling.
In September 2020, we opened up another 0,5ha of land for cultivation, making the total cultivated land 2,5ha. We also introduced more biodiversity and pollinator havens.
January 2021- Current
In January, beehives were introduced on the farm to increase the presence of pollinators. We also plan to introduce more indigenous plants as wind breakers and to introduce biodiversity. Introduction of free-range chickens onto the farm is also in the plans. We are in the process of opening another 2ha of land for cultivation. We will also be leasing a new pack house on the property shortly.
In the past year of learning as we grow, we experienced many learning curves and challenges. We lost crops to a hailstorm, all our brassicas were attacked and destroyed by diamond back moth, we experienced issues with water supply where we were operating with only 50% of the required water and many other setbacks. All of this has only made us stronger! This is just the beginning.
We are now proud to announce that Valota Farming is PGS SA Organic Certified. PGS SA adopts SAOSO Standards.