Environment

100% GREEN - RECYCLING - WORM FARM - DIK DELTA

100% GREEN

Solms-Delta has recently joined the 110% GREEN Campaign. This campaign is in support of the Western Cape Government’s intent to position itself as the Green Economic Hub of South Africa. The 110% GREEN campaign was launched on June 5, 2012 (World Environment Day). The Premier of the Western Cape has asked organisations to lead by example and commit to flagship projects that support the growth of the green economy.

We have committed to set-up a functional recycling waste collection / sorting site on the farm. A full-time “sorter” has been employed to sort the waste into recyclable / non-recyclable waste, weigh the recyclable waste, make sure it is ready for collection and ensure the recycling site is kept neat and tidy.

The waste is collected daily by our internal farm team from the following sites on the farm: restaurant, cellar, offices, two workers villages and four stand alone residences; and from the following sites off the farm: the neighbouring Deltacrest housing estate and the Groot Drakenstein Games Club. The residents and workers on the farm have been educated on why we need to recycle and what is recyclable. This means that the initial sorting takes place at the point of origin. The organic waste from the restaurant kitchen, for example, is kept separate and sent to either our worm farm or composting area.

All recyclable material is collected from our central recycling site by a private company “Solutions for Waste” on a regular basis. They work closely with our team, assisting us with staff training and community education, and report back to us on the amount of recyclable waste that we generate.

RECYCLING

It is with great excitement that we welcome Lorenzo Vlotman to Solms-Delta. Lorenzo is our new Waste Disposal Clerk, and is responsible for our newly established recycling site. He is receiving training from Solutions for Waste in order to learn how to separate our waste into the different waste streams; glass, cardboard, cans, cardboard and plastic. This sorted waste will then be weighed, documented and removed to a central recycling plant.

Nico Jansen, the Estate Manager, will assist Lorenzo by educating the Solms-Delta employees and residents on waste recycling. His team will collect all the waste generated on the farm and deliver it to Lorenzo for a final sorting.

As a flagship project for the Western Cape’s 110% Green campaign, Solms-Delta has made a commitment to start recycling, reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill, create jobs and educate our employees and residents about caring for our environment and preserving our natural resources.

Four good reasons to recycle:
- The Western Cape does not have enough landfill sites.
- A major contributor to greenhouse gases is Methane gas. Methane gas is mostly released from landfill sites. By recycling you can help prevent global warming.
- The materials that you recycle will go back into the production streams and it will save huge amounts of energy and raw materials.
- If you care about the environment, it is the right thing to do!

WORM FARM

In December 2011 we collected a bakkie load of earthworms. You could say this is a lot of worms, and you would be right.
These worms joined our increasing array of livestock in the Dik Delta garden, but unlike our fat-tailed sheep, Sanga cattle and donkey, Ben, we have been working them a lot harder, as they have a very important job to do.

Our sandy, depleted soils in Dik Delta were in serious need of attention so that they would be able to produce healthy and vigorous plants, in quantities large enough to supply our Fyndraai restaurant. Worm composting is a process where earthworms are used to process waste materials into valuable fertiliser.

The worm castings have tremendous benefits for soil. They contain beneficial microbes, minerals, amino acids, bacteria and other nutrients which enhance and improve soil. If you give it some thought, it’s pretty obvious that earthworms and plants have evolved together over millions of years. They have a symbiotic relationship; the one enhances the other.

We have built a box-like structure on legs, a flow-through system, which means that food is added to the top and the worm castings, a high quality fertiliser, falls through the grid and is raked up at the bottom. Organic waste from the Fyndraai kitchen, shredded paper from the offices and grass cuttings from the estate will provide the food for these hungry worms. And this worm-made fertilizer will be transferred directly back into the Dik Delta culinary garden.

DIK DELTA

An unused portion of farmland on Solms-Delta has been developed into an indigenous culinary garden and fynbos/ renosterveld park, called Dik Delta. Over the last 320 years this neglected piece of land has seen various uses, initially as grazing land, then as a citrus orchard, and finally as a veritable dumping site. Precious little of the original fynbos and renosterveld therefore remained.

Measuring approximately 15 ha, this land is being restored, in phases. The initial focus is a 2 Ha Fynbos culinary garden, representing the traditional pantry of the Khoekhoen who lived on the farm approximately 1000 years ago. The lives of the Khoe, Cape’s first settlers, revolved around some 400 plant species that nourished them and cured their ailments. Most are now under threat of extinction. Under the guidance of Renata Coetzee, a researcher of note, who has spent her retirement years studying and documenting the Khoe food culture, a range of edible flora has been sourced and planted.

The remainder of the land is gradually being developed into an attractive fynbos/ renosterveld park, which will celebrate the many indigenous trees, shrubs and plant species that were utilised by the Khoe and San for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Fat-tailed sheep and Sanga cattle, herded by the Khoe, have already been housed here and plans are underway to incorporate an information centre, tea garden and shop as well as other pre-colonial features, such as matjieshuise, making it an educational experience for both adults and children alike.

Integral in the garden’s design and maintenance is a resident team of Solms-Delta gardeners, lead by Johan O’Rayn. Our chef Shaun Schoeman now has an increasing variety of unusual ingredients to add to his already adventurous menu at Fyndraai restaurant, the culinary side of our heritage being a priority on the farm.

Solms-Delta Wine Estate
+27.218743937