An opportunity not to be missed!

Landmeterskop-Stanford-HarvestONLY THREE MORE DAYS TO WIN, WIN, WIN!!!!!!! Entries close on 13 April at 22h00. If you have not yet entered your name, liked and shared both our pages, you better hurry up now! The winner of this wonderful 2-night midweek stay for 2 people on landmeterskop.com, plus a free lunch at Stanford Harvest Farm Kitchen, plus a free bottle of our local wines, will be announced on THURSDAY 16 APRIL 2015. All you have to do is like and share our page as well as that of Stanford Harvest and write “liked and shared” in the comments under this post on each page. Just click on the respective names in this post which will take you to our pages! For more information about Stanford Harvest Farm Kitchen, please visit their blog: https://stanfordharvest.wordpress.com/

Country weekend – Landmeterskop Farm by Megan Smith

Megan Smith who with her family spent a weekend at Landmeterskop at the beginning of December wrote about us on her blog:
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After a friend told us about the peaceful weekend they spent at Landmeterskop Farm in the Cape Overberg near Stanford, I knew that it was the perfect place for a family weekend at the end of a busy year. I made a booking and last weekend we packed the car and headed off to this sheep farm in the country. Owners Valerie and Theuns Steenkamp go out of their way to make your stay special and relaxing. The unique touches throughout our self-catering cottage and endless roaming space for our boys made Landmeterskop thoroughly memorable.
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Although we don’t live in the city, our busy lifestyle keeps us running most of the time. A country weekend complete with farm animals and swims in the dam is the perfect antidote to the active way of life most of us lead. How can you not relax when you’ve got nothing to do and all day to do it? I even got a chance to do a little painting. Bliss.
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Continue reading on my blog Dressed by Style and I’ll take you on a tour of our Merino Cottage and then on to some farmyard fun…

Mr & Mrs Kolbroek now also roam Landmeterskop Farm!

Landmeterskop Farm now also boasts two Kolbroek pigs, a bore and a sow. Kolbroek is South Africa’s best known indigenous pig. The name Kolbroek originated from the name of the ship called Coalbrook which was wrecked on the Eastern Cape coast in 1778. Another theory is that this breed was introduced to South Africa by the earliest traders from the far east. It is smaller than most other ‘modern’ breeds. It has sturdy legs, strong feet, is extremely hardy and survives under harsh conditions. It is also a good forager and efficient converter of high-roughage rations. All of these features make the Kolbroek ideally suited for free-range or smallholder systems.

 

Don Carlos not lonely anymore! Meet Angelo, Lily and little Rowena – our three new Alpacas!

Meet Angelo, Lily and little Rowena!

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Last week we bought three more Alpacas – Angelo (the guy with the very hairy legs and long fringe) and Lily are Suris, and little Rowena, who is still on the bottle, is a Huacaya, like Don Carlos. Three-and-a-half-month-old Rowena’s mother died and she was adopted by Lily. When she is all grown-up, we hope that she and Don Carlos would fall in love and start their own family! This new family are all settling in nicely on Landmeterskop, getting used to their new environment and meeting some of the other inhabitants of the farm. This weekend before all our guests arrived, Valerie still had to trim their fringes so that they could at least look our guests in the eye! To learn more about Alpacas and the difference between the Huacaya and Suri Alpacas, read here: https://landmeterskop.com/2013/10/07/meet-don-carlos-a-chilean-noble-now-guarding-sheep-in-the-overberg/

 

Naked sheep and a clean-shaven Don!

Last week the sheep shearers visited Landmeterskop. Now our herd of pregnant ladies are running around somewhat naked! Even Don Carlos had to pay a visit to the barber, and lost a lot of fleece, but none of his dignity! And, no, if you have wondered, we have not converted to a nudist-farm!

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Yes, we are expecting! Lambs… singles, twins and multiples!

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We recently scanned our ewes for pregnancies, and 412 of them are bearing!

Look at them! Those with the red mark on their faces are bearing either twin or multiple foetuses; those without a mark are bearing singles, and the dry ewes are marked with green.

Pregnancy scanning is a great management tool to improve profits for meat and wool enterprises, particularly those running higher stocking rates and when paddock feed is in short supply. The rams had been sent in with the ewes on the 15th November last year, and were taken out on 31 January this year.

The commercial availability of ultrasound scanning for pregnancy in ewes has been a major development for the sheep industry. It enables farmers to know the pregnancy status of their ewes about two months before they are expected to start lambing. Information on the pregnancy status of ewes enables farmers to:

• Identify and manage ewes separately according to pregnancy status

• Identify and potentially cull dry ewes from flock

• Identify early and late conceived single bearing ewes

• Calculate lamb losses between scanning and marking

We expect our new babies to be born from the middle of April 2014!

Our amazing first holiday season!

We’ve done it! We have our first holiday season behind us. And what an amazing season! We were fully booked, and had the most wonderful guests staying in our cottages and The Homestead, and enjoying our farm! Can it be only four months since we opened our doors?! The Homestead, although only partially renovated when we started letting it in December, has proven a big hit for larger groups and families. And on request we are now busy renovating the last two rooms and bathroom, and would soon be able to accommodate 4 more people in The Homestead! We are so happy that our guests are taking full advantage of everything we have to offer and for the short time that they are here become a part of our daily farming activities. But read for yourself what our guests have to say and enjoy these photos of the views and children having fun!

And this is what some of our guests had to say:

If you are seeking peace and solitude, these delightful, tastefully decorated cottages deliver in every respect. Private and offering a true sense of remoteness on a beautiful farm, the owners could not have done more to make us feel truly welcome! Thank you for a perfect stay. (Amanda Francis-Pope, visited December 2013)

What a beautiful place and what fantastic lodging! We couldn’t have chosen a lovelier place for our big family holiday. We spread ourselves between the homestead and one of the enchanting cottages (both gorgeous, immaculately clean, charming and comfortable way above average). The set-up catered for all the varying ages, the kids loved the farm vibe, milking the goats, feeding the lambs and collecting the chicken eggs in the morning (with the delicious bonus of eating them), the teenagers enjoyed the wonderful dam swimming and paddle on the rowing boat. In the evening we all had fun playing board games around the outside porch braai area. The lovely owners were incredibly generous with their time and knowledge too. Highly recommend this place for big families in the homestead or romantic getaways in the cottages. (A Treppo, visited December 2013)

I do not give this little gem in the Overberg a 5-star rating without any thought. Everything on this beautiful farm, from the warm and inviting hostess (and her lovely husband), to the well-cared for sheep, the cheeky goats to the charming cottages, shouts, “5 stars!”. Everything has been thought of; hot water bottles, lavender bath salts, fresh flowers in the bathrooms and kitchen. It is so clear that Valerie has put her heart and soul into making sure that her guests have a wonderful stay. And we did! Valerie was generous with her time, and her enthusiasm for their farm is contagious. I had a chance to meet their Alpaca (who thinks he’s a sheep – get the full story from Valerie herself), check out the new born sheep, meet the ducks (not just any ducks… chocolate brown ducks, caramel ducks, and they are bringing in even more interesting breeds too), and of course milk the goats. (Well I didn’t milk her per say, but I drank fresh goat’s milk the whole weekend!). We went in winter, and when we weren’t lazily exploring the green expanse that is their farm, we cuddled with blankets by the crackling fireplace. I cannot wait to go in summer, and swim in one of their fabulous (and clean) dams. I could continue to rave on and on, especially about how tastefully the cottages are decorated, or how relaxed we were when we got home. Bottom line, book now. I’m already organizing our next visit. (Talya Kahan, visited September 2013)

I almost don’t want to tell anyone how amazing this cottage is, because we want to be able to return again and again, and when word gets out, I think there will be a long waiting list! Such a beautiful farm with exquisite attention to detail in the cottages. Waking up to the bleating of little lambs as they cavort and play all around the cottage. Coffee and rusks in the sun strewn dining room. A cozy and romantic fireplace to cuddle up to at night. A challenging run up the mountain on Sunday morning. Brilliant sunset and outdoor braai. Very comfy double bed (my personal grading criteria!). A short weekend away that felt like a two week holiday – such awesome restoring of the soul! (Linda Els, visited October 2013)

What a lovely few days we had. Our family really needed a break and we were so pleased with our choice. If you are looking for the beauty of nature and a very clean and well equipped cottage with very friendly and helpful hosts then this is the one. It was a wonderful farm experience. We can not wait for our next visit. (Jackie Richardson, visited September 2013)

The stay was amazing and then I got physically ill! Even then, Valerie (our host) literally nursed me whilst I was in bed trying to recover and kept an eye on the kids too. The view outside our cottage was idyllic and exactly what we needed to recoup. I will definitely recommend and visit Landmeterskop again and again. (Faatin Bux, visited October 2013)

I had an incredible time. The accommodation was exceptional and the farm itself is beautiful and peaceful. Furthermore, the hosts were extremely welcoming and I will most certainly return for another vacation. (Branden de Jager, visited August 2013)

A wonderful place to forget all you’re problems in the real world. The scenery is stunning and the hosts cater to your every need. Look forward to visiting many times in the future. (George Oberholzer, visited August 2013)

I wish we could give more than 5 stars for this gorgeous farm! Valerie has thought of absolutely everything, the amenities of a 5 star guest house with 2 star prices. I cannot praise this farmstay highly enough. The ‘Homestead” is beautifully furnished down to a cupboard full of brand new board-games (unlike the tatty collection you normally find). The dam with its tractor tyres, diving jetty and all the animals, what more could we want. (Micki Evans, visited January 2014)

We stayed at the Landmeterskop homestead with friends for four days over Christmas. We had a wonderful time. The homestead is beautifully decorated in a traditional farm style, and it is immaculately clean. The setting is absolute tranquility on a working sheep farm. I had forgotten how delicious a fresh free range egg and fresh goat’s milk can be. The owners were away whilst we were there, but the lady who had been left to take care of us, Tsala, was brilliant, her hospitality was 5-star, she is a beautiful lady and a credit to Landmeterskop, in fact all of the staff we met were great, they all made us feel at home. The farm is easily accessible from Cape Town, not far from Stanford, it is ideal for a weekend getaway. (Martin Connolly, visited December 2013)

Absolutely loved it! Our kids milked goats and drank the milk, hand-fed lambs and collected free-range eggs for breakfast. We had such a relaxed experience. The house is big and the perfect farmhouse, even a Miele fridge in the kichen so luxurious! It was quite hot but there are fans in all the bedrooms so we slept well. The staff were incredible, very friendly and went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. We will definitely be back. (Linda Kemp, visited January 2014)

This place is fantastic! We took two families and 4 children from 2-7 yrs old and they all loved it. There are lots to do on the farm, feeding the animals and collecting the eggs was a daily highlight. The homestead is beautifully decorated and has everything you need, it’s so spacious and there is plenty of room for the kids to run around. The hosts are so friendly and you won’t want for anything. This is going to fast become a favourite and we can’t wait to go back. (Justine Huizinga, visited December 2013)

The day of the ducklings…

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A fortnight ago more waterfowl joined our flock at Landmeterskop. Ten Call Ducklings from friends, Basil and Bea Whittaker of Stanford, and also Chinese Geese and Indian Runner Ducks which we bought from John Faure of Vergenoegd Wine Estate. John is a waterfowl keeper with a difference: his show birds double up as a working flock at the vineyard. More about John and his ducks later…

We had to help catch the ten Call Ducklings or “Kwakertjies” (with their mother in the photo above), and this turned out quite a performance!!! Picture four grownups, three women between the ages of 55 and 65, of varying sizes from very slim to comfortably round, and one guy, also in his sixties, running after or “lying in ambush” behind shrubs and pots to catch the ducklings who were trying their ultimate best not to be caught,  all the while quacking as if they were being murdered. Then, to that picture, add four Bassets of varying ages barking, and another dog of mixed breed trying to help with herding the ducklings, and one of the Bassets (the only one temporarily tethered to a tree) getting hold of one of the ducklings and humans shouting commands on what to do now, how to do this, where to stand, and you might get the picture!  Valerie swiftly rescued the poor thing from the Basset’s clasp and at last, after almost an hour and some excellent tackling work from Valerie which I might say, would put some of our rugby players to shame, all ten ducklings were caught and put into cardboad boxes and transported to their new home at Landmeterskop. They quickly adapted to the freer lifestyle – look at them swimming in the dam below…

More about John Faure as promised:

http://www.vergenoegd.co.za/Do.aspx?DOID=454&CLIENTID=3483&Title=Attractions

http://www.runnerduck.net/south_africa/

“John Faure of Vergenoegd’s family has lived in South Africa for over two centuries. The house dates back to 1773, and wine making has been a family business since 1820. Vergenoegd hosts its visitors at the winery’s restaurant, and the Runners have become a starattraction, especially when the ducks are herded onto the lawn after the day’s work foraging for snails. This duck parade, and the swim on the ‘dam’ (lake), has become a real photo opportunity, and must advertise the Indian Runner as ‘the duck to have’ in SA. John is a keen breeder, exhibitor and judge, winning Showman of the Year for 2009. His birds are top quality stock, some of them having originated in the USA. He has good quality dark-phase Mallard Runners as well as Buffs, Black, White, Blue and even Trout and Apricot Trout. As you can see from John’s photos, the birds are a super type. They were photographed in December – not the best time for the southern hemisphere of course.

John has joined the increasing number of waterfowl breeders becoming globe-trotters. In the summer of 2009 the family, which has ties in the Isle of Man, visited the UK and also did a round tour of breeders Chris & Mike Ashton, Graham Barnard, Graham Hicks, Denise Moss and Anne Terrell. He’s a member of the Indian Runner Duck Association, and interested in the colour genetics of the birds.

On his return to South Africa, the incubators were full, and the first lot of hatchlings growing to be ready, by October, to join the other working ducks in the vineyards. Whilst John experienced a lot of rain here in the wet summer of 2009, they also had an exceptionally wet winter in South Africa. The snails did thrive, and presented a much bigger problem, in the foliage and bunches of grapes, than usual. So the working ducks, tall enough to reach up well into the vines, were in big demand to help produce the wine which, of course, has their image on the label.