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The Afrikara Cooperative
Afrikara, situated at Hoekiesdam Farm, is a socio-agricultural community that actively upholds and promotes soil fertility, animal health and sustainable interrelationships between human beings and nature.
Through youth-focused education and the practice of biodynamic permaculture, which enlivens the soil and stimulates life forces, we produce the highest quality of food to nourish body, mind and spirit without depleting natural resources.
We are a working, bio-diverse farm and established cooperative, producing organic dairy products, lamb, wool, eggs, vegetables, herbs, sprouts, medicinal plants, fruits, olives and honey.
We host Waldorf-themed youth camps that encourage learning through participation in authentic farm activities, as well as art and movement workshops.
Our ultimate aim is to build a land-based community of people who are committed to ethical, natural and sustainable agro-ecology.
Hoekiesdam rests in the arms of the Witzenberg Mountains in the Western Cape.
Often snow-capped in winter, 'Magic Mountain', the mountain most visible from Hoekiesdam, is never the same, its mood ever-changing, from gentle majesty, to pink-robed splendour, to stormy grumbling, and everything in between.
Here waterblommetjies, a seasonal delicacy that traditionally forms part of a local South African bredie (mutton stew), grow in abundance.
"Conserving nature must become the very essence of who we are"
I did not know what to expect but during my two week stay at Hoekiesdam, the home of Afrikara Co-op, I learnt how much fun it can be healing the earth through a big balance of hard work, patience and surrendering to the presence of God.
I wanted to learn about bio-dynamic farming, but what I gained was far more holistic than just practical knowledge. I also found the devotion of the community to changing agricultural practices both inspirational and soul-enriching.
At Afrikara I found great ways of making a difference. I am passionate about cheese making and had the time of my life in making labneh, a soft probiotic joghurt cheese! Just could not stop eating this tasty product from Afrikara.
Photographs tell their own stories and this gallery helps to keep alive our memories of projects and special events at Hoekiesdam. They are also an important pictorial record of what we and others have experienced, enjoyed and achieved here.
Please feel free to add photographs of your own Afrikara experiences to our gallery.