Tours

WORMS TO HARVEST :
Your contribution to the environment.

WEEKEND PACKAGE : PRICE: R850 per person     
 (Friday and Saturday night accommodation with all meals and workshops inclusive).                                                                                  

Please refer to Tours Tab for relevant dates. A full programme and details available on request.

DAY WORKSHOP : By prior arrangement only for small groups of 4 to 10 people.
PRICE :  R500.00  for minimum 4 people - includes meals and items provided in the workshop. 
                 R50 per person extra, above the minimum.
                                       

Our “Worms to Harvest Workshops” are not meant as in-depth studies but as an inspiration and support for healthy living. They are informative, practical and overall a fun and easy way to learn and make informed choices. The workshops include these basic principles and will examine the topics to see how you can put them to use in your circumstances.

 

 

“Going Organic”: an explanation and walk through of the entire system.
                                   
Vermicompost:     A system that is versatile at whatever scale you require. The compost is inexpensive and best of all it works and the system can be adapted to suit your needs.  ( Expensive bins and equipment not necessary!)
                                   
Integrated Pest Management: Walk through the gardens under the guidance of David to understand the interaction of the water-wise and bird attractive nature of the garden, within our set-up.               
                                               
Herbal Remedies : Learning how to preserve herb and vegetable products allows you to store nature's bounty longer and is an inexpensive alternative to pricey products found in the market today.
Topics vary throughout the year, but the standard procedure includes - basic principles, demonstrations and practical participation.

Walk-about:           A walk around the farm, traversing the different habitats to look at aspects of the environment.  This includes geological information about the area and the on-going rehabilitation of the land on Aloe Ridge farm.
 
All meals includes sampling of home-made preserves and home-grown organic vegetables, herbs, chicken and eggs.

ABOUT THE WORKSHOPS :
There is a definite link between herb growing and organic gardening. Both make our world a better, healthier place. Obviously, we can't have every herb growing in our own garden, though most of us with a balcony or bit of ground can give it a try.

Unfortunately, most of us tend to think of herbs as plants for the windowsill or back garden but the truth is herbs are very versatile plants that can be harvested at will for their culinary and medicinal benefits.
Any plant material that focuses on boosting overall health can be called a herb, for example, garlic/onions (bulbs); tomatoes/ chilli peppers (fruit); turmeric/ cinnamon (natural food seasoning) or rosemary / basil / parsley (leaves)  etc.

Many herbs have healing properties and combined they can produce a wonderful natural first aid box.
 
But, why go to the trouble of making home remedies when the chemist is a block away? 

This question has only been around for a long time but, before current traditional medicine, herbs and their extracts were used, many of which are time-proven treatment options and they WORKED . We now have proof that herbs are viable treatments for many ailments, because when technology advanced enough to synthesize the compounds in these plants modern pharmacology was born

The steps involved in making both enjoyable products and medicinal lotions or potions are quite simple but more importantly it is advisable to  KNOW what herb you have before making homemade remedies out of it, or you will do more harm than good. 

The workshops will help with basic identification and the herbs needed for different purposes. The recipes for herbal remedies include step by step directions as well as how to use all-natural ingredients that soothe and protect.

All recipes and ideas we use are simple variations with familiar herbs. They include recipes that help a person who is uncomfortable feel better or make great gifts for so many special occasions… birthdays, the Christmas stocking, baby showers etc….. or just for that special person in your life.

GOING ORGANIC: we provide activities on the farm FOR YOU to learn more about how to put your bountiful organic produce to work!!

As we understand it “Going Organic” describes a whole eco system – a dynamic system of forces that work in balance with each other and in harmony with nature’s cycles.  “Going Organic” is not just a question of changing a brand of fertilizer or giving them up altogether--- it means a change of attitude: getting away from the idea that every small creature is a pest, every plant out of place is a weed, and that the solution to every problem is a spray.

Our system is simple - working with nature to do its best, only intervening when absolutely necessary and can be applied by everyone.

 Definitions can be misleading or confusing; terms used may not always be used sincerely and some people object to the term organic as being no longer meaningful, because it has been co-opted by those who want to make the label commercially available.

Whatever your opinion:

  • It is clear that sustainable practices for building healthy soil and growing healthy food are beneficial.
  • Our bodies benefit from chemical free food/herbs.
  • Research is proving that agricultural chemicals are adding enormous health risks to people’s lives.
  • Organic agriculture avoids substances that contribute to air, water, & soil pollution.

With chemical substances that have been found to be harmful in food and skin care products, commodities that do not contain such ingredients are becoming popular. More health-oriented customers are demanding products based on natural ingredients. In some countries, ingredients that are not allowed in certified organic foods are allowed in certified organic personal care and cosmetic products.
Some components may even be harmful. This represents a lack of continuity and consistency in labelling standards.

VERMICOMPOSTING: Vermicomposting alleviates the burden of waste disposal.
Once we discovered Vermicomposting our lives changed radically and we enthusiastically embraced what worms could do for us. No more time consuming heap management and hooray for the ease of worm production. Worm pooh is good! 

                  Worm pooh? 
By that we refer to worm castings
that are known as Vermicompost.
Earthworms – in particular the ‘Red Wriggler’ worms convert plant and other organic material into vermicompost that is beneficial to the soil. This increases the fertility of the soil as the earthworm castings contain increased nutrients which are all required by plants. These increased nutrients are more readily available to the plants than pure chemical fertilisers.

  • Vermicompost carries beneficial micro-organisms & fungi that help to replace harmful pathogens and reduce the chance of soil borne plant diseases.
  • The castings improve the soil structure and enable the plants to put down healthy roots that lead to healthy, pest free crops.
  • Apart from these direct benefits to your plants and soil, all organic ‘kitchen waste’ that would be thrown away by most families, can be converted into this highly beneficial vermicompost very simply at your own backdoor. This benefits the entire environment and reduces refuse and landfill.

We can help you set up your own vermicomposting system. A system that is versatile at whatever scale you require, the compost is inexpensive and best of all - it works!              

See the results to appreciate the benefits and take home some worms to get started right away.

Since many of the fragrant compounds and herbal properties are readily absorbed through the skin, speeding up any healing process, using herbal products topically is a particularly pleasant way to take medicine.

SKIN ANALYSING MACHINE

Your appearance informs people about you within minutes of meeting and sends out vital non-verbal clues indicating what you are.

Oily or dry is only half the story!  The “cleanse, tone, moisturise” ritual has been practiced for years by women the world over. Now other factors – as important as a person’s skin type, make it necessary to take another look at skin health.

The Skin Magnifier identifies various skin conditions. The results are fantastic. This scientific analysis process can really show you foolproof evidence, not visible to the naked eye, of your skin-health and what skin conditions you have. What’s more – you can actively observe your skin health in the magnifying mirror.                       

Seeing is believing!

External or internal factors can upset the balance in your body and your system becomes weakened. If you are aware of the factors that affect your skin you can minimise what causes an imbalance. Skin, hair and nails are sensitive to changes within the body so become ‘good indicators’ of when it is ‘out of balance’.
The cells that make your skin, hair and nails work hard -- they divide often so they need nutrients to function effectively. Vital nutrients are directed to the essential internal organs first so if there is an imbalance skin, hair and nails become malnourished and their condition suffers.

There is no need for a vast clutter of potions and lotions.

Using this analysis process will help you decide on the correct product choices for your skin-health. The Skin Magnifier will show if your products are assaulting or being kind to your skin.

Regular cosmetic care can help protect your system and retain a supple skin free of problems. Skin-care products can’t help on their own, but … which of your products are effective?  Part of the magic is that the process is not ‘product specific’ - it merely allows you to identify the different conditions and puts you in control of the products you choose.

 

The sooner you begin to use the correct product for your unique skin conditions … the sooner you will reap the benefits.

 

 At Aloe Ridge we care about your well-being and the environment.    

All our herbs, fruit and vegetables      are grown with NO chemical products: pesticides, artificial fertilisers, sprays, growth stimulants, or poisonous insecticides.
NO artificial additives, MSG, colourants or flavourants are added to the preserves. Where ever possible we source other ingredients needed that are eco-friendly, (e.g. spices that are non-irradiated) if they can be found in our marketplace.

   

Herbs are the most extraordinary diverse and useful plants. They come in all shapes, sizes, textures and perfumes, and they can be incorporated into any lifestyle for either their medicinal, culinary or aromatic benefits. Each herb has its own unique nutritional benefits, flavour and aroma, that complement certain foods and combine well with other herbs. Most of our preserves are herb based.  

Many herbs are best used fresh, but can be preserved by holding them in vinegar until needed. Steeping the herbs in vinegar activates the herb’s unique tonic and nourishing properties.

Vinegar is technically an acid liquid made from wine, cider or beer by a process of fermentation. It is believed that it is this slow fermentation process that gives Apple Cider vinegar its healing capabilities and the dramatic increase of nutrients. Herbal infusions using Apple Cider vinegar combine the aromatic and health-giving properties of fresh, organic green herbs with the wonderful healing and nutritious properties of the vinegar.

Herbal infusions therefore, are a good way of adding vitamins and minerals directly from the plants to the diet and they make anything that can be prepared with vinegar taste better without adding fat, salt, or a significant number of calories.

Another good reason to enjoy the benefits of our products is the Lycopene found in tomatoes.

Tomatoes contain vitamins and other antioxidants butLycopene (a carotene that gives red colour to fruits) is considered one of the more effective antioxidants because it is not converted to vitamin A after it is eaten. Conversion to vitamin A weakens the antioxidant properties of carotenoids like beta carotene.
Unlike other fruits and vegetables, where nutritional content such as vitamin C is diminished upon cooking, processing of tomatoes into tomato juice, sauce, paste, or puree, increases the bioavailable concentration of lycopeneby increasing the surface that is available for digestion.
A cupboard full of herbal products and herbal vinegars is a constant source of nourishment.

Herbs have been used cosmetically for thousands of years.  There are many therapeutic reasons for using herbal preparations in a daily beauty routine and their wonderful herbal aroma will promote a sense of well being. The effectiveness of herbal preparations is based on gradual action over a period of time to restore the natural balance of bodily functions that constitutes health.

There is no miracle ingredient for the skin.  The quality of the skin is a function of feeding the body and skin with quality nutrients over time and keeping the toxin levels of the body as low as possible.

It is an old adage that “you are what you eat” but consider this fact -- the skin absorbs 60% of what you put on it.  So it is not only what you eat, but what you absorb through the body’s largest organ, the skin, that contributes to the overall well-being of the body.

The health of the skin depends on the health of the body!  Maintaining healthy skin involves more than a daily beauty routine – it includes your whole lifestyle.

 


Skin is one of the most complicated organs to deal with.  It is the largest organ in the body and its function is critical to your overall well being.  Every internal system -- digestive, nervous etc. contributes to its condition. It is an amazing indicator of your general health. Skin imbalances can also be the result of other underlying problems within the entire system. 

Whilst it is true that personal and skin care products help protect your skin what we are not always told is that most cosmetic creams found on the market contain ingredients that cannot be utilized by human cells because they are foreign to our body. That kind of cream can form an occlusive barrier protecting the body from cold or heat but it does not nourish the cells. Some components may even be harmful.

In some countries, ingredients that are not allowed in certified organic foods ARE allowed in certified organic personal care and cosmetic products. This represents a lack of continuity or consistency in labeling standards. As with others in the general public, we don’t always understand chemical names, and what we actually see on the label is so confusing. We question why it is necessary to put all this stuff into the cream and use it on our bodies. 

 If it harms lab animals it may harm us!

More health-oriented customers are demanding personal care products based exclusively on natural ingredients. With chemical substances found to be harmful in food and skin care products, products that do not contain such ingredients are becoming popular.

Our personal-care products are natural – a blend of various herbal infusions and natural ingredients, combined to create products that are generally uplifting for the good health of the skin in general.

The herbs in the creams or lotions are added fresh or are from our own diluted infusions. We choose to infuse our herbs in Apple Cider vinegar because it too has excellent properties to benefit skin. Vinegars are much better for the skin than most commercial toners because the latter contains drying alcohol. Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural astringent that tones and revitalizes skin. It is excellent when used as a facial or hair rinse or neat as a hair setting lotion. It can be applied to spots and pimples to speed up the healing process.

Floral herbs such as lavender or rose geranium  are used in our vinegars infusions, because their fragrant, velvety perfumes make a wonderful addition to the creams, but many of the more traditional culinary herbs are also good for skin.

We also add Essential Oils  which are excellent for natural skin care products, along with vegetable oils (such as olive, avocado, sunflower, grape seed, and almond oils), that can rejuvenate the skin by speeding up formation of new cells, help heal scars and diminish wrinkles. Because their molecules are very small, they can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.

No lanolin, additional chemicals, scents or colourants are added to our products.

N.B. Consult a doctor before using any herbal preparations.

Tell your physician about any herbs you plan on using, especially if  
- you are pregnant or nursing;
- you have a long-term illness or a chronic medical condition and are taking any medication,

We encourage our clients and guests who are unusually sensitive and may experience side effects such as rashes or itchiness, even at these low doses to be aware of reactions. Everyone reacts to herbs differently.

 

Copyright © Aloe Ridge Guest Farm 2012