I’ve started buying myself flowers. Beautiful, sweet scented roses to brighten up my space. It’s an indulgence and a luxury, I know, but at R6 to R10 a bunch, certainly one I can now afford (and enjoy).
(And, greenies, fear not: these roses are eco-friendly, too).
Until now I’d never been much of a flower-buyer, except on special occasions, and then almost always was getting them for someone else. The thought of buying flowers for myself hadn’t really occurred to me.
This was, I admit, at first purely financially motivated (it really does seem far too self-indulgent to spend so much money on something so fleeting), but has more recently become a choice based on my distaste for the damage done by the mass-production of flowers, using pesticides, genetic modification and whatever else they can find to create ‘perfect’, unblemished flowers at great expense to the environment.
Added to which, instead of being sold locally, thousands of blooms are then flown half-way around the world (global warming, here we come) and wrapped up in all kinds of unbelievably wasteful packaging that goes straight into the bin.
Commercial flowers tend to be a bit freaky, too – lasting for weeks longer than seems natural – and they very often don’t even smell like flowers. Too picture perfect, they seem to me, and entirely without the array of scents that should accompany even the humblest of blooms. Give me blemishes any day – at least they’re real.
But, these flowers are different. They’re grown on the grounds of a small-holding in Tokai, and sold out of old buckets at the front of a crumbling old building on the property. No eco-unfriendly shipping, no wasteful packaging, and the money goes to supporting the community.
It’s a bit like Camphill Village, in Atlantis (which I visited last year), but on a smaller scale – a community-run farm, funded by the profits raised by the sale of goods produced on the land.
Along with flowers, they also sell fantastic compost (R6 a bag), potting soil (R10 a bag), wood chips and a bunch of other things I haven’t yet explored. Far better value than your local nursery (almost half-price), because you’re going to the source.
I don’t know what the farm is called. There’s no big sign proclaiming what it is – just a board outside the entrance, announcing: ‘FRESH CUT FLOWERS DAILY’. It’s on Spaanschemacht Rd, not far from The Range, going in the direction of Muizenberg (directions below).
Look for a sign for the Tokai Lions Rotary Club, as their clubhouse is also on the premises (and the flower board isn’t always up).
You drive in, past the vast heaps of compost, to some run-down buildings, and someone will come up to you, and find what you want. If it’s flowers, you choose from what’s available that day (they often sell out). If it’s compost, sand, potting soil, etc – they load up your car for you. You pay cash, and off you go.
I love my flowers. Their heady scent has a weird way of making me deliriously happy, and their beauty makes me smile. Thank goodness the farm is in my ‘hood, because I’m certainly going to become a regular visitor.
Directions: from the M3, towards Muizenberg, take the Ladies Mile turn-off. Turn left into Ladies Mile and then left again into Spaanschemacht Rd. Pass Peddlars on the Bend, Waldorf School and continue past Constantia Uitsig River Cafe and The Range. Approximately half-way along the straight stretch after The Range, there’s an entrance on the left with low white walls.
There’s usually a board on the side of the road advertising “FRESH CUT FLOWERS DAILY”, but, if not, look out for the ‘Tokai Lions Rotary Club’, as their clubhouse is on the premises. Drive along the driveway until you reach the buildings, and wait for someone to come to you.