THE LIFE OF A WOMAN FARMER

go! Platteland - - LETTERS -

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

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