We bought Rosedale Farm in 1996, and farmed it conventionally for a few years. We were frustrated by many problems associated with conventional citrus production, and in 2000 we decided to start converting it to organic production. The conversion process took three years, and in 2004 we started supplying the UK, EU and the local market with certified organic navel and Valencia oranges, lemons and clementines. Our production is certified by Control Union according to EU standards.
The adoption of an organic approach to farming has led to a dramatic increase in soil fertility, and a drop in the occurrence of most pests and diseases.
Soils have changed from hard and unyielding to soft and pliable, teeming with earthworms. Our trees are healthier, and most pests are under natural control. Many species of birds such as Guinea Fowl have dramatically increased in numbers, leading to a more complex and diverse environment.
Our farming practices cause large amounts of carbon to be sequestered every year. We ’fix’ a lot more carbon every year than we use in the form of diesel and electricity. When you stay with us you know you are minimising your impact of travelling on the environment.
Keith & Miso Finnemore
About the farm
Rosedale Organic Farm produces citrus fruit and supplies the UK, EU, and the local market with certified organic navel and Valencia oranges, lemons and clementines. The farm is situated in Addo in the Eastern Cape, and uses renewable energy to run its accommodation facilities. We helped pioneer organic citrus farming in South Africa and are able to farm and live sustainably without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilisers.
We combine age-old farming methods with modern scientific techniques to grow food that is healthy, nutritious and pesticide free. Water, although a renewable resource, is a scarce resource, particularly in a dry country like ours. The organic methods we use increase the amount of humus in the soil. This holds water much more efficiently, and cover crops reduce evaporation. As a result, we use 20% less water than conventional orchards. Our clean and complex environment has rewarded us with a great increase in the number of birds that make our farm their home.
Our attitude towards our farming and guests is very straightforward – keep it simple and keep it natural. We believe that healthy soil leads to healthy plants which lead to healthy people. We provide as much organic food for our guests as possible, and when we have to buy outside, we make sure that it is from a farmer we trust. If you want to learn more about our farming methods, a 1-hour walking tour is available.
We are part of Soga Organic – a citrus juicing operation that supplies organic citrus juices to the EU and South Africa. We have cattle that are fed the waste peels from the juicing, so this operation is zero waste. The manure is turned into compost and given back to the soil.
Common Fiscal – insect predator