Monday, 15 August 2011

Local suppliers

Our priorities with our plot were the development of the house and garden, but our last visit was different.  I told RMan that I wanted to explore the area a little, so that's just what we did :)

I had heard of Eureka Mills, but had not had the time to seek them out. 

I had been told that they were somewhere between Buffeljags and Heidelberg - but where?  That's a stretch of roughly 40 odd kms...

So RMan and I took a drive.  Thanks to the directions given by some guys on the side of the road, we finally ended up at Eureka Mills - where they stone grind wheat into flour, which contains no additives, preservatives nor chemicals.
At Eureka Mills they are very proud of the fact that they use wheat which has been grown according to a no-till system.  The soil it is grown in is used as a biological system in order to produce healthy crops which contain high density nutrients which are essential for man and livestock.  Healthy crops also reduce the spraying of pesticides, herbicide and fungicides.

To quote Eureka Mills, "In the Southern Cape, farmers include legume pastures in their rotation of wheat, canola, oats and barley.  These pastures contribute to higher organic matter which is the energy source for the micro-fauna in the soil.  Complementary to the pastures, good tillage practices like no-tilling complies with the healthy nutrition of people".
Stone ground flour grinding wheels
Damnation - the mills were closed - we visited on a Monday, and the Tuesday was a public holiday - guess the millers wanted a long weekend.  Never mind, at least I know where they are now, and on our next trip to the farm, I am definitely going to pay them a (probably expensive LOL) visit.  I can't wait to make bread with their wheat and rye flour.


Monday was obviously our day for discovering new useful contacts.  As we were leaving the sand road to find Eureka Mills, I noticed that a building which had stood empty for ages, seemed to be a bustle of activity.  Intrigued (a.k.a. being nosy LOL), I asked RMan if we could stop there on our way back from Eureka Mills.
What did we find?  A saw mill / lumber yard had sprung up in our midst.


This is a yard where the owners purchase local trees (pine, bluegum and black wattle mainly) which they cut up into various lengths and thicknesses to order.  They even make roof trusses on the premises - they were busy making some for a new barn which is being erected down the road.  And they supply the off-cuts as fire wood - and a second supplier is always a good thing to have...:)


I'm not sure that I would purchase roof trusses from them, as their timber is still very wet.  But, with that said, I held a piece of newly sawn wood and, in place of splinters, I felt this wonderfully, malleable  silky substance.  Obviously the splinters occur as the wood dries - but, boy, I cannot describe what the virgin wood felt like - too amazing for words.


I said to RMan that I would like to make a headboard for our bed with thin strips of the wood - for it is so malleable that it could easily be woven into a stunning headboard - strengthening and stiffening as the wood dries.


But, I will purchase their wood for plant stakes, and wood shavings and sawdust...!  Now that I can use :)  (When I add the sawdust / shavings to the soil or compost I will add bone meal to replace the nitrogen which the wood shavings / sawdust will draw out of the soil.)


And, I will also be able to make mulch pathways - there are so many possibilities - I am so excited :)


I could even use their wood to make raised veggie beds - I can be 100% confident that their wood is chemical free :)  And, finally, I am sure that they will be able to supply me with the poles I am going to require to make my shade cloth enclosure for my veggie patch.
This is my small shade cloth veggie patch in town,
the farm one will be much, much bigger... LOL
I have even sourced a farm close by which will supply me with manure - and compost - until my compost heap is up and running...


How fortuitous - to find local suppliers who have just what you need...!

11 comments:

  1. Good for you, Dani. Can't wait to see the headboard and thanks for the picture of the shadecloth over your garden. We plan on doing something similar to protect our bell peppers next year as they as always sun scald.

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  2. I work with a lady here in Hoedspruit who stone grinds her own flours and grains to make premixes for muffins and bread. (www.ancientgrain.co.za) She gets some of her grains from Eurika mill so it has been super to find out more about it.
    I am also soon getting a shade cloth veggie patch - cant wait to see how yours turns out.

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  3. Wow it sounds like it was a very productive trip. What great resources to have nearby.

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  4. I buy local when ever I can as you are supporting your own community. I love exploring an area new to me...enjoy!

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  5. Wow Dani! What a great day you had. Those are all very good local resources for you and RMan. So nice to find them in your farm community. Big Smile! Emily

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  6. tami - The shade cloth worked well in our town veggie patch last summer, so I'm anticipating a good result on the farm :)

    slowvelder - How wonderful that Eureka Mills is as far north as the Lowveld. We have to have shade for our veggie in summer don't we? It's just too hot.

    Jane - I'm very thrilled to have found them...LOL

    frann - If one can't support your community, then how can you expect anything from it. Give and take - makes the world go round LOL

    emilysincerely - I'm excited too LOL

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  7. Nice to have a place like that around. Sure wish we had one around here!

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  8. tffn - LOL - mebbe you need to grow something other than dwarf trees... :)

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  9. Dani, that's true and I think most of the US lumber goes to a floating Chinese lumber mill out in international waters and then is sold back to the US after processing it. Least wise that's what I've heard. Might me good if we had a local earthbag or adobe brick factory around here instead. ;)

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  10. I have bought locally ground flour, but unlike you, we still haven't seen the mill. Wonderful that your wheat farmers practice no-till! Got a link to the Eureka mill for us? Is there a website?

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  11. Elphant's Eye - They do supply some Spar shops - perhaps check in your town?

    Their webpage is at: www.eurekamills.co.za

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