n 1890 Hugh Lanion Hall defied his critics and started a commercial farming operation in the inhospitable lands outside of Nelspruit. Over a century later, H L Hall & Sons is a diversified company with interest in property, healthcare and technology. I was a guest of Hall & Sons at the recent Springbok-Wales game and in the morning before the game they guided us on a tour of their farmlands, packsheds and commercial property in the area. I’m always fascinated by business success and farming is tough game. The tour around the orchards got me thinking about what Hall & Sons, and you and I, depend on for our success. Aside from all the human intervention and the value that skilful farm management, marketing and global trade brings, I couldn’t help but think of how farming relies on the incredibly efficient transformation of green energy (sunlight) into food energy and how the human process is a small part of this.