Standing in the veld grasses, tucked away at the bottom of Random Harvest, it is hard to believe that this was once a dense stand of alien invader trees, Black and Silver Wattle.
All around one the sounds of nature buzz and hum, and on close inspection the diversity of herbaceous Highveld indigenous plants is staggering.
Carol Knoll, former editor of Footprint magazine has captured this diversity beautifully in her article “Restoration of an Indigenous Grassland at Random Harvest Nursery”
The following is an excerpt from her writing: “Random Harvest is best known for its indigenous plant nursery which grows and sources a wide selection of South African indigenous ornamental plants for both the wholesale and retail trades... , but it is still a working farm with a dairy herd, poultry, vegetable garden and beehives."
There are guest cottages available so that the farming experience, unknown to so many city dwellers, can be enjoyed; along with walking and bird watching, as the 21ha property has a bird list of 146 species.
Nursery-woman Linda De Luca has become a great ‘grassland enthusiast’ over the years and now her love for grasslands knows no bounds.
About 25 years ago, she and her mother (who is the farmer) decided to remove a dense invasion of Black and Silver Wattle (Acacia mearnsii and A. dealbata) from an area of disturbed grassland on the farm.
They were determined to rid the area of this forest of invasive wattles and encourage the grass to re-establish itself, initially for grazing purposes.
About 12 years ago her interest in grassland deepened and she became intent on restoring the site, which had never been ploughed, to as close to climax status as possible... with minimal intervention.
Carol Knoll, editor of Footprint Limited, has been watching and photographing this gradual restoration process over many years, and the past summer season with its good rains seemed like the right time to photograph the area thoroughly, with its escalating herbaceous species population... and discuss the procedures used to attain this restoration with Linda and her right-hand man, Jeffery Mapila.”
Read more about this in the attached pdf document. Indigenous Grassland Rehabilitation at Random Harvest
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