At long last, we will be establishing and relocating to a model and training farm. The property is 3 hectares (8 acres) in the lovely Assagay valley just west of the city of Durban. Most of the property is on a gentle slope, with the back quarter on a steep, rocky slope. The gentle slope is ideal, as we’ll be able to demonstrate and teach how to farm well on a slope – how to slow down runoff, arrest erosion, and even build the soil profile and its fertility over time.
We signed an offer to purchase last week, and it has just been accepted!
The steep slope at the very back has a switchback walking trail with incredible views of the valley. We hope to plant aloes, proteas, and other indigenous plants along the path, and maybe put in a bench or two! The location is great, offering excellent accessibility for visitors and trainees, as well as quick access via main corridors to the north coast, south coast, midlands, airport – wherever we need to get to.
We are truly excited – and a little daunted. The excitement comes in that, after nearly 3 years of praying, planning and preparing, this ‘new’ chapter is nearly here. We say ‘new,’ because the strategy of “building capacity in people who become leaders committed to becoming God’s transformational agents in our world” isn’t new – it hasn’t changed. What is changing is that a critical missing piece – a place to demonstrate the power of Farming God’s Way and other tools for transformational development – is about to be established, as is the need to have our own ‘on site’ training space.
It feels a bit daunting, because there is SO MUCH to do – now (getting ready for the move), and after we move in. The good news is that the property has all the potential we need for what we want to do. The challenge is that there is a house, and a garage – that’s it. Other infrastructure, we will need to build – training space with bathrooms, accommodation space for interns and groups, simple kitchen and eating area, etc. BUT – instead of converting existing buildings to suit our needs, we will have the opportunity to build to suit – including solar heating and electrics, rainwater harvesting, etc.
The house was built 35 years ago, and is very solid and extremely well maintained. With the exception of some bathroom upgrades we will be able to move in as is. We will be adding fencing around the garden areas to keep livestock and animals away from our crops!
It’s going to be full speed ahead to get an area ready for planting by mid spring (November) – something we’ve been aiming for all along. We’ll be establishing a compost making area, and laying out planting areas pretty much as soon as we move in – or maybe even before!
Many of you have been on a journey with us in prayer for many months now as we’ve been looking for a property. We would like to express our sincerest thanks for praying with us, and would like to ask you to continue to pray while we pack up the house we’ve been in for nearly 10 years, and prepare for this our new chapter. Do consider paying us a visit once we’re settled!