Ceres Cascade Farms
Ceres Cascade Farms is composed of two unique farms, each with its own distinct character.
The original farm, Montana, was inherited by Pietie Wolfaardt from his father who previously used it as a stock farm from 1961. The land is a mountainous terrain with a very harsh and dry climate. Water for this farm is transported kilometres from its source by various pipelines and canals as little to no fresh water can be found on site. Due to these unique conditions of the farm, it was previously used as a dry yard where it was common to see a sea of fruit packed out to dry in the harsh African sun. Now Montana is a thriving hub of activity with the packhouse and cooling facilities for both farms.
The second farm, Cascade, was purchased in 1984 by Pietie and his wife, Shannon, and now houses the administration functions of the business. Named after the waterfalls found in the Skurweberg mountain, this farm has a more moderate climate with high rainfall and various soil types. This abundance of water can often create a challenging farming environment as the two rivers crossing the farm are prone to flooding in the wet winter months. These challenges are evident in the farm’s history as it was previously a guest farm and a dairy before converting to its current production of pome fruit, stone fruit, and beef cows.
The combined 1 317 hectares of the two sites include a breathtaking mountain wilderness area. In conjunction with Cape Nature and the Waboomsberg Conservancy, portions of the Montana Farm have been set aside to form part of a nature reserve as it is one of the few known habitats of the endangered geometric tortoise. An injured wildlife release program also takes place further up the mountain to maintain the balance of the ecosystem.
Ceres Cascade Farms invests strongly in their staff, as they recognize that they are one of their most valuable resources. From training to facilities, they provide support within and outside of the workplace. The farms’ staff are intimately involved in the community and are regularly volunteering with local events such as Parkrun and local sports clubs. Prince Alfred’s Hamlet’s school and rugby club have been supported with the reestablishment of their playing fields and Ceres Cascade Farms is proud of the fact that a disadvantaged community is now able to practice and play on fields that are safe for use and illuminated at night. Ceres Cascade Farms staff also serve their community by serving on the following committees and boards:
- committee member of Witzenberg municipality
- Warmbokveld and Witzenberg farmers association
- Cape Winelands Fire Association
- various school committees
- church and spiritual orders
Ceres Cascade Farms is a multi-generational business that strives to continue producing fruit of the highest quality and identifying exciting varieties to plant from the best breeders worldwide. With an eye on the future, they are making the most of the technology available to them by implementing advancements every year. They plan to continue growing and expanding the business while maintaining their quality-driven heritage.