THE LIFE OF A WOMAN FARMER
I only recently read your Spring 2015 issue, in which Piet Croucamp wrote: “The allocation or reallocation of rural land is therefore largely a moral question, and in the final analysis, there is no proof that a need for farmland will result in political conflict.”
As a woman farmer, I often walk on the farm and wonder whether Piet still stands by those words of three years ago. I live alone most of the time, in a beautiful area near Mbombela, Mpumalanga. Since the first edition, Platteland has helped me raise my chickens, and assisted me in harvesting water and managing pestilence in my garden. If Platteland doesn’t know the answer, I turn to the older farmers around me who willingly and gently guide this girl in the bush.
I sleep lightly, with big dogs dotted around my room and protection measures in place. Yet we go forward. Erect better fencing, learn which foreign plants to eradicate and how to grow better vegetables, Platteland in hand. I am careful but happy. Weary but staying. If only Piet really could predict the future… Maryke Hastie, KAAPMUIDEN