In the 1980’s Andries Fourie, then owner of our local citrus farm Maswiri, was often quoted saying ‘I’ll do it myself’. His sheer determination to further both his own education and the success of the farm brought his attention to a greenhouse that has recently been brought back to life!
Now under the care of our corporate sponsors, Jupiter Group, Fourie’s expansion plans for the farms in 1977 required investment in both time and money that simply wasn’t available. Taking his coined phrase ‘I’ll do it myself’ quite literally, he decided to graft and grow his own lemon trees for the orchards of Hayoma from a small greenhouse on the farm.
An award winning standard
With only postal order books to help him, Fourie used the root system of the more hardy rough skinned lemon tree as a base and grafted on the various cultivars he desired to create his very own young trees.
Skilfully nurturing the trees with a handpicked support network of women to cut and graft the young plants, Fourie went on to cultivate thousands of trees that are still to this day producing fruit on farm. The project proved so successful he won a national prize for the country’s Best Private Citrus Nursery by the then “Sitrus Beurs”, now known as the Citrus Growers Association.
The greenhouse resurrection
21 students agriculture students at Jupiter Group’s Maswiri farm brought the greenhouse back to life during their 18 month practical placements.
Alongside their roles in the Jupiter Group packhouse, the seven male and 14 female strong team reinstated the greenhouse and are growing their own vegetables to feed farm workers.
They have a vision of continuing the greenhouse as a legacy project so that all farming students can have equivalent practical experience by the time they complete their 18 months practical experience with Jupiter.
We at the Nancy Tweddle Foundation are so proud of our team of students and what they have done on the farm, we are excited to support their future in farming.