Written by Stephen Smuts (Branch Chair, Southern Overberg), Photos by Heather D’Alton (LoveGreen Communications).

On Madiba Day this Thursday a group of mainly committee members of the Southern Overberg branch drove out to Flower Valley Farm, owned by the Flower Valley Trust to volunteer their 67 minutes for Madiba.  The committee was joined in the alien clearing action by a group of youth from overseas who are volunteering for the White Shark Project but also wanted to find out more about Flower Valley and volunteer their 67 minutes.

Despite rain in Cape Town, the day was not disrupted, in fact the sky cleared. Before going out to the veld, the Flower Valley management were keen to share their enthusiasm for all the activities Flower Valley Trust undertakes to promote and protect Fynbos. It spreads a love for Fynbos from young children in their early learning initiative through to providing education and facilitating Fynbos livelihoods for the many adult pickers who are involved in picking throughout the Southern Overberg. Further it has developed protocols to ensure that the picking of wildflowers is sustainable so that it can continue to provide long term jobs. Lastly, it is very involved in supporting alien clearing initiatives across this southern tip of Africa.

With 67 minutes complete, we were shown the attractions of Flower Valley which has visitor accommodation and several wonderful trails through pristine fynbos, courtesy of an ongoing alien clearing program. It also happens to protect in its kloof and forest leopards which are known to occur here. The farm also has its own species of a tiny fish unique to only the Flower Valley farm.

Both Flower Valley and the Southern Overberg branch are keen to establish a working relationship and the visit on Madiba Day was evidence of the promise this has for the two organisations. I’m sure Mandela would have approved.

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