Oudeberg
Permaculture Farm

Oudeberg Permaculture Farm is located in the Ouberg Mountains 20 km outside Montagu in the Klien Karoo. The farm is located in a Montaine Fynbos Biome and has a Mediterranean Climate, with dry hot summers and cool wet winters. The temperatures are relatively moderate and thankfully the area does not experience heavy frost in winter, allowing a wider diversity of plants to be grown. The Farm encompasses the entire watershed above it and has been organic for the last 8 years so no toxins flow into the farm from above. The average annual rainfall is in the region of 450mm which combined with the keypoint location of the farm has resulted in good water sources. There are 4 springs on the farm and 7 strong boreholes with a perennial stream flowing off the mountain flowing through production areas of the farm. A government road runs through the farm ensuring easy access.

Vision and Holistic Context

The farm is a 600-hectare ex-livestock operation that is undergoing transformation into a full 5 Zone Commercial Permaculture Farm since September 2014.

Kent Tahir Cooper and Larissa Green have been making fast progress in implementing the mainframe design pattern which is integrated into the primary valleys that run off the main ridge of the Ouberg. There are 7 hectares of valley terraces that have been swaled and contour ripped to set the framework for an agroecological regenerative approach to transforming the existing lucerne production into a diverse tree-based production system focusing on main crops such as Nuts, Olives, Medicinal Plants, Super Foods, Bio-oils, Lucerne, Pasture, etc… 

We are a commercial scale regenerative farming operation using permaculture design and Holistic Management, along with many other appropriate holistic tools towards our aims and objectives. We have a developing integrated livestock program that constitutes Nguni Cattle, Awassi and Dorper Sheep, a variety of poultry and miniature pigs. These animals are integrated into a diversity of plant-based production systems ranging from Zone 1 vegetable production, Zone 2 main cropping and Food Forests, Agroforestry systems in Zone 3 of swale based trees belts of fruit, nuts, fodder, bio-oils, medicinal, and shelterbelt trees, with Lucerne-based pasture in the alleys between the swales. These alleys in future will host mixed pasture, medicinal plants, food and fodder perennials and more.

We have a training center that focuses on Permaculture Design Courses, and soon to come Unschooling weekends, Regenerative Living Events, a range of shorter courses focused on Regenerative farming and a Regenerative Farming Design Course. 

Our volunternship program is running and we accept people from all over the world into our day to day management processes, fitting them in where their skills and experience warrants. In 2019 we begin our Regenerative Farming and Permaculture Design Internship Program that will run in Partnership with the Klien Karoo Sustainable Drylands Permaculture Project in Ladismith, where we hold a well-developed Permaculture site to host interns.

We sell stud Nguni cattle, dried Apricots, Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive products, a range of organic and healthy fruit and vegetable-based products as we process all our harvest on the farm and have a policy of not marketing raw materials. Value streams we are developing are Awassi Sheep milk products, Lamb, plant extracts and bio-oils from a press and small still, seed and plant genetic materials, site processed superfoods, natural health remedies and a whole lot more as our production systems mature and diversify. We use most of our fresh vegetables on site to feed students, staff, volunteers and interns, which value adds, and in the long run we see ourselves opening a roadside tea shop for cyclists.

Oudeberg Zone 1 Kitchen garden going into its 3rd month… The house retrofit with compost toilet were the first focus…

Always start at your doorstep…

Excavating the Region’s first Swales

Regenerative Land Use Patterning for Tree-based Production using Keyline Pattern of Cultivation combined with Swales

Regenerative Water Harvesting Earthworks in place on Lucerne Fields which will now be transformed into an Agroecological Production System based on Nuts, Fruits, Fodder, Medicinal Plants, Bio-oils, Timber Trees along Swales.

Food Forest under development containing Apple, Plum, Peach, Lemon, Orange, Quince, Pomegranate with an understory of Lucerne, Fennel, Clover, Plantain, Nastertium and more…

Herding Sheep by Mountain Bike…

Our Nguni Herd

Baling Lucerne which we store as winter feed for our livestock, use as mulch and for compost. We do not sell lucerne but prefer to convert it into livestock which bring in much higher returns.

Keep Updated With Permaculture News

Old eroded fields have been restored using swales and contour ripping and there is ongoing renovation of buildings to retrofit them into a regenerative pattern, that harvests rainwater, solar energy for electricity and heating water, with all grey water recycled. Compost toilets have replaced flush toilets and septic tanks and Zone 1 & 2 production systems are the current focus.
Oudeberg Homestead and the site for Zone 1 and 2 Implementation

The Zone 1 vege garden on a lower terrace system in Zone 1.

The dry hot summers are ideal for growing vegetables as the gardens are east facing with trees and a big ridge protecting the plants from the hot western sun in the afternoon.

We have a bumper harvest of apricots, most of which are been dried with the kitchen so busy as Larissa makes yummy chutneys and preserves to tide us through the year…We have plums, almonds, apples, pear, quince and olives on the horizon. Abundance…

The dry hot summers are ideal for growing vegetables as the gardens are east facing with trees and a big ridge protecting the plants from the hot western sun in the afternoon.

We have reintroduced Nguni Cattle now that the infrastructure is better suited to their management as well as pot-bellied pigs with chicken in electric netting rotation camps to manage the fruit trees in the systems and Awassi Milk Sheep, a hardy milk producing sheep from Iran, in pasture in mobile electric camps. Find out more about our animals on our Animals in the System Page. There is ongoing progress in converting conventional orchards into diverse food forest systems and the hundreds of Olive Trees need TLC to get them more productive. Tree Lucerne has been planted on many of the large swales on the farm with a nursery planned to propagate many of the plant requirements of the establishment of the systems.

Courses

Currently, we run 2 Permaculture Design Courses (PDC’s) a year on the farm, in April and October. In 2019 we will begin an extended Permaculture Internship Program linked to our PDC’s which will enable students to gain valuable hands-on experience in designing and running a regenerative farming operation. This will culminate in a 13 day Regenerative Farming Design Course which will also be open to anyone with a Permaculture Design Course Certificate from a reputable Design Course. Contact us for more information. 

We have established and are futher developing a small training center on the farm from which we run Permaculture Design Courses and a Permaculture Internship Program, Permaculture and Regenerative Lifestyle Retreats, a Regenerative Farming Design Course  in the near future. We are running our volunteer program whereby people exchange their energy and skills for a place to stay and an educational experience in living and working on a permaculture farm.

Learn to love
Green permaculture

Interested in our next Oudeberg Farm Permaculture Course?

Pin It on Pinterest