Green thumbs up for vegetable gardens
Breshnef Diergaardt is the manager of Gondwana’s Self-Sufficency Centre in Stampriet. It is a farming operation with its own on-site butchery and smokehouse as well as hothouses.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn
The tiny, fragile shoot of the newly germinated seed pushes its way through weighty red Kalahari sand grains, determined to make it to the light. At the same time its small roots grip into the soil that it now calls home. Against all odds, the little seedling finds enough of what it needs to thrive – water supply, abundant sunlight as well as the right soil temperature and nutrients. Welcome to Gondwana’s Self-Sufficiency Centre (SSC) in the Kalahari, one of Namibia’s two deserts.
Located at Kalahari Farmhouse close to Stampriet, the flagship vegetable garden is an oasis in the desert that supplies several of our lodges with fresh produce. Owing to the multi-layered aquifer system on site, Stampriet is the perfect location for the SSC.
Although establishing a large-scale garden like this one is not possible at all lodges, every property tries to establish its own self-sufficiency garden, the size and design depending on the individual lodge. At Damara Mopane Lodge, each guest room has its own vegetable garden, which together supply 80% of the lodge’s required produce. Namib Desert Lodge and Canyon Lodge have netted tunnels where herbs, tomatoes, lettuce and cabbage are grown. Zambezi Mubala Lodge has an aquaponics tank that supplies guests with herbs and lettuce.
Aside from offering guests crunchy fresh foods at buffets that are fit for a king, we simultaneously reduce our carbon footprint that comes with the packaging and transport of store-bought vegetables.
Garden tours are available at the Kalahari Farmhouse.
Vegetables range from peppers to tomatoes, butternut and lettuce to all kinds of others delights.