While browsing around the stalls at the Patensie Citrus Festival on Saturday I heard the announcer say something about tractor trips to one of the citrus farms and I immediately went to enquire. Five minutes later the family was sitting in a trailer behind farmer Danie Malan’s tractor in anticipation for the tour to his farm to start.
Along the way Danie stopped to tell us about the young citrus trees that we saw and how the sun can easily burn their trunks hence the trunks getting wrapped. The second stop was at the lemon orchard where I got to hop off and pick a couple of lemons that went into dessert on Father’s Day (the next day), lemon meringue. After another short ride we got to the naartjie orchard, our main destination.
Everybody on board got a bag and could get off the trailer and pic their own naartjies. Pipless and guaranteed sweet. This is the type of thing that city folk love to do as most of them have never had the opportunity to walk between the trees and pick their own fruit. This has great tourism potential for an area with city slickers going there for a weekend to experience the farm atmosphere. The Gamtoos Valley has a lot of very good farm based accommodation establishments, so perhaps all they need to do is to offer the farm experience along with it and they would be able to attract even more people to the beautiful part of the province. But I digress.
The farm tour was by far the Kidz’ favorite part of the day. Especially Drama Princess loved picking the fruit and I’m sure she will enjoy living on a farm so much more than in the city. The In-Laws joined us at the festival a little later on and also went on the tour with the Kidz tagging along again. Like the farmer said, “They’re my best customers.”