Bramleigh Manor was featured by Green Route , a blog featuring eco-activists who share their favourite green spaces and places. An awesome initiative to create a greater awareness of these eco-efforts.
by Melanie 21 January 2018
Andre and Kaitlyn Kauerauf, from Bramleigh Manor in the Natal Midlands, share their Green Route.
‘Our green route starts at home on Bramleigh Manor, a family-owned property offering eco-conscious retreat style accommodation, encouraging guests to relax, restore and reconnect. We make/bake/grow as much as we possibly can, including bread, eggs, yoghurt, veg and natural cleaning products to electricity from our solar system. We run workshops with an emphasis on sustainability, homesteading, and living in symbiosis with nature.
We grow most of our produce between raised beds, and a market garden, using natural methods of growing and regenerating the soil. Our flock of chickens is instrumental in this – their dollhouse-style coop is moved around the garden every couple days where they have new, juicy forage, but simultaneously fertilise and soften the ground for planting.
The garden is our favourite place, surrounded by our dogs, cat, chickens and geese. Second to this is a trail through 50 hectares of indigenous forest, home to over 200 species of bird, giant Yellowwood trees that have seen the passing of many decades (some say centuries!), and a stream providing cool, crystal clear water. Highlights are the Samango monkey and Knysna Turaco (very rarely seen so far north). The trail leads out onto grassland, with a dramatic scenery change – from damp, dark forest to hot, dry grassland and views stretching across the Drakensberg.
The second stop on our green route, that makes much of what we do at Bramleigh Manor possible, is a high speed internet connection supplied by Bundu NetworX. Their towers are all solar powered and enable us to have consistent communications (since we have no cellphone signal!), the ability to research and learn online at high speed.
The Veg Box supplies anything we don’t grow ourselves. Proudly local, supporting our farmers by buying naturally grown vegetables that can be ordered and delivered weekly.
Living half an hour away from the nearest village means that any trips we make have to be worthwhile. While the views across farmland, mountains and countryside definitely make us grateful, the quaint Cafe Bloom provides good coffee and delectable homemade goodness. A neat and abundant vegetable garden, with country decor from recycled objects gives a feel of home.
Our absolute best is the Farmers Daughter – the name implies plates spilling over with generous portions of farm fresh deliciousness, set in a modern country style restaurant overlooking the exquisite Karkloof valley. An experience beyond words, a journey of tastes, prepared with love and passion.’