Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa has successfully started organic food production at Platbank, its newly acquired farm bordering the Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo province). In line with Mhondoro’s food philosophy of ‘fresh, simple and organic’, its chefs take pride in offering a ‘healthy food’ concept, incorporating international culinary trends presented with local flair. Establishing its own fresh produce farm right outside the reserve has enabled Mhondoro to bring to the table the freshest possible organic ingredients, as well as unique guest experiences such as the opportunity for guests to select their own free-range eggs for breakfast.
The farming of free-range chickens has been a great success and its brood of Koekoek and Australorp chickens are well established and thriving, producing eggs in abundance. Within the 70ha farm, a 300m² greenhouse is planted with a wide variety of vegetables that include spinach, beetroot, pumpkins, carrots, tomatoes, peppers and onions, as well as herbs and salad greens. Future plans for the farm include planting crops once an animal-friendly fence has been erected to keep out warthogs, porcupines and other curious animals who may be tempted by the delicious fresh produce.
With the lodge currently closed under COVID-19 lockdown regulations, all vegetables and free-range eggs are being donated to the local community, including to the Bushveld Mission Children’s Home outside Vaalwater. It is home to sixty orphaned, abandoned, abused and starving children between the ages of newborn to 18 years old and is staffed by 15 volunteers who have a mission to ‘love the children back to life’.
Mhondoro lodge manager Ronel Breytenbach says: ‘Charity starts at home and we are pleased to be able to supply food parcels to the local community where our 20 staff members come from. Many of our people have family members who have lost their jobs in the wake of the pandemic crisis, whilst other employees are sole breadwinners for families of up to nine people. The need is great – and we are grateful to be able to lend a helping hand in these difficult times.’