At the foot of the Swartberg Mountains, Cerasus Farm – a relatively young business – was established in 2006. Nestled in the shadows of some of the highest mountain peaks in the Western Cape, it quenches its thirst from the melting snow of these mountains. Owner Johan Furstenberg and fellow directors PG van der Merwe and Hannes Toua, are responsible for the management of this unit. They are supported by operational managers in production, administration and packing, who together ensure that the handling of the produce is closely supervised from orchard to market.
Cerasus season starts in November with Apricots and ends off in May with the last Pomegranates. To further prolong the season, they skillfully use their different soil types and slopes to manage the timing of the harvest. There are more than 20 hectares still available for planting, and the development thereof is planned for the near future.
The packhouse currently handles close to 200 000 cartons and is equipped with a brand new cooling facility that is a great improvement in terms of energy efficiency and shelf life of the produce.
Cerasus Farms constantly works towards more sustainable farming methods, and started to produce their own compost four years ago. All pruned wood are also used for mulching, and together this increases micro organism activity.
The farm forms part of the Hoeko irrigation scheme, and water from the melting snow is collected in storage dams during winter. No bore holes are used for irrigation. 80% of the irrigation is done by means of natural gravitation, resulting in a dramatic decrease in electricity usage.