Sunday, 22 November: End of year get-together and fundraiser
This was held in the clubhouse at Zevenwacht on 29 November 2015. As he had done in previous years, Leon Patterson produced a perfectly cooked lamb spit braai for us. As usual, Slow members excelled themselves providing a superb selection of salads and desserts to accompany and round off the meal.
The meal was followed by a raffle, proceeds of which went to the Peninsula School Feeding Association. There was a magnificent array of raffle prizes generously donated by Slow supporters. And as a result, the sum of R10 000.00 was raised for this worthy cause.
Saturday 29 February, 2016: Visit to Haute Espoir Wine Estate and Three Streams Trout Farm
Haute Espoir is a boutique estate in Franschhoek, run according to biodynamic principles by the mother-and-son Armstrong team. This is a 23 hectare farm, of which 8 hectares are planted with shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc. The remainder of the land is dedicated to fynbos restoration, a riverine ecosystem, olive groves and an organic vegetable garden.
Three Streams Trout Farm, situated next door, is run by the Stubbs family, who have a long history in the fishing industry, dating back to the early 1900s. Gregory Stubbs, the CEO, recognised the need to remove pressure from the ocean's dwindling resources and believed that aquaculture would be the only solution to meet the future seafood demand. He began trout farming in 1986 on the family farm, with aquaculture practices based on the need for responsible and sustainable fish farming. The company is also active in transfer of skills and poverty alleviation in rural areas.
After meeting at Haute Espoir and an introductory wine-tasting, the company was taken to the trout farm, and initiated into the principles of sustainable trout production. Then it was back to the Haute Espoir wine cellar and an excellent lunch prepared by Chris Erasmus of the Franschhoek restaurant Foliage. This consisted of a starter of smoked, cured and tartare trout paired with Haut Espoir wines, followed by a main course of trout wrapped in vine leaves braaied over shiraz vineyard twigs, paired with craft beer. For dessert there were cheese platters with berries, and truffles.
Saturday, 16 April 2016: Visit to Rio Largo olive estate
Rio Largo, Portuguese for ‘Wide River', is situated on the banks of the Breede River, between Worcester and Robertson. Owned by Nick and Brenda Wilkinson, it comprises olive orchards, vines, an olive-specific nursery, and a state of the art OLIOMIO olive processing and bottling plant. They have adopted biological farming methods for sustainable agriculture by “putting more back then you take out", and are concerned with protecting the environment for future generations.
On arrival, we were warmly greeted by Brenda, offered coffee, and initiated into the benefits of extra-virgin olive oil, and how to tell the real thing from the adulterated version (see Brenda's notes below). We then moved to the orchards, where we were given the opportunity to pick olives, before being taken by Nick through the extraction plant and the cold-pressing and filtering process.
Various cultivars are grown on the farm: frantoio, leccino, FS-17 and coratina. All cultivars originate from Italy and are known to complement each other in making up a well-balanced extra virgin olive oil.
Lunch, prepared by Philippa of the Oldfield Kitchen, was served buffet style at long tables in the olive grove. We could help ourselves to a superb selection: Coronation chicken salad; a platter of gammon, Emmental cheese, rocket and homemade sweet mustard; Sicilian caponata; Mediterranean cous-cous; a salad of chargrilled zucchini, halloumi and oven dried tomatoes with basil oil; and another of long stemmed broccoli with green beans and petit pois with citrus and toasted almonds. There was also a selection of freshly baked bread from The Woodstock Bakery. For dessert there was lemon and lime cheesecake with fresh berries. All this was accompanied by wines from the neighbouring Aan De Doorns winery.
After lunch there was the opportunity to buy olive oil, including the beautiful, freshly-pressed, unfiltered oil we had tasted earlier in the processing plant, as well as the wines served with lunch.
Wednesday 18 May 2016: AGM
This took place, as usual, at the Silwood Kitchen. Before the formal business, there was a short talk by Kate Schrire, former committee member of our Slow convivium, and founder of the Mother City convivium. She has since founded, and is director of, The Creamery Ice Cream Company. She gave a fascinating overview of the history of the company and the product development and treated us to tastings of some of the current exciting flavours being produced by The Creamery. These included celery, Mexican chocolate, black sesame, and raspberry with chocolate chip.
The current committee members all agreed to stand for re-election, and were unanimously elected. The committee for the coming year is therefore as follows: Stephen Flesch (Leader and Treasurer), Lorna van Besouw (Secretary), Pat Rademeyer, Cecily van Gend (Newsletter Editor), Anja Sandeman, Erika Reynolds and Janet Steer. This concluded the business for the evening.
Members then enjoyed a supper of Silwood Kitchen curries and sambals, with the latest Slow wine from Remhoogte.