FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT
Changing the way we think about restaurants, eating — and farming too
On the surface it’s all picture-perfect. We arrive on a late summer Sunday, the air still moist from the rain that fell the day before. Brightside, a farm on the outskirts of Joburg, seems like something out of a pastoral idyll.
Owner Janet Diack welcomes us open-armed. Whippet-slim, bronzed and eyes bright with zeal, she says: “This is a dream come true.”
We start our visit as she leads us down winding garden paths, like a pied piper with good intentions. We meander past a wildly enthusiastic assortment of animals. Wiggle-bottomed piglets frolic in glorious mud along with chestnutmunching boars. There are several adolescent pigs dozing in the shade of a van; an ostrich follows us half-heartedly through the poultry yard, where chickens of all ages, ducks and turkeys are having the day off, dozing in the sun or taking a stroll. No enclosures in sight.
But as Janet starts to chat on this picturesque amble, it immediately becomes clear that the family’s journey to where they are today has been one of hard graft.
She and her husband Eric bought the property 26 years ago and have worked to create a sustainable, organic farm. It’s a labour of love which, despite all appearances to the contrary, was neither quick nor easy.
Brightside is not simply a project to turn what was a traditional old Transvaal plot of land into an organic showpiece for the 21st century; it exists to provide the best-quality seasonal farm-to-table produce — meat, fruit and vegetables — for the