A friend (Jo-anne Vosloo) and myself (Sally Giebelmann)
are both small self-sufficient, free range, organic farmers in the
North West Province of South Africa near the small town of Brits.
We farm with egg laying & broiler chickens, ducks, geese, fish,
rabbits, pigeons, pigs, meat & milk goats, vegetables,
earthworms, herbs and horses. Sally produces eggs, milk & meat,
for sale above home consumption, and processes excess goat milk
into yoghurt and cheese. Jo-anne produces meat on a minimal bought
Between the two of us we practice communal farming even though
we both have our own farms, and they are about 30km apart
(approx 18 and a half miles). We do this by, amongst other
things, sharing all information we have access to and knowledge
gained from many years of farming. We are continually experimenting
with indigenous animals. With some animals we cross breed the
indigenous with an animal designed for an intensive system. The
result is a hardier, better end product for the consumer.
We barter animals, feed, equipment and labor. Goods which have
no use on one farm, that can be utilized on the other, are exchanged.
Just about anything is bartered between our two operations, including
notice of any special bargains to be had elsewhere as in stock
or feed etc. A running record is kept, as to what moves between us
and a cash value is allocated to each entry, although no money
actually changes hands.
>From using this communal system for the past two years, we have
been able to increase productivity, reduce the operating costs,
diversify the farming activities, thereby reduce risks involved
and have a far broader base of knowledge concerning feeding
animals, animal health, improved use of land and other natural
We efficiently use a variety of waste materials from various
sectors, business and farming to our advantage. We are now able
to enjoy a large variety of fresh food which is nutritious, and
yet cheaper than store bought. Roast duck or goat are commonly
enjoyed meals on our tables, we either would not be able to
afford these luxuries, or simply would not find them over the
average shop counter.
Jo-anne has written a book about animal husbandry which Sally is
in the process of illustrating, it is shortly to be published.
The subjects discussed concern raising animals in intensive
systems and the "free range" method. Other chapters detail feed
animal health, and topics relating to animal production and
In the future we will be publishing a magazine three
times a year concerning these particular subjects, animals,
vegetables and the processing and use of the products.
Sally opens her farm for school children to visit. The children
experience and learn about the wonders of farm animals.
We operate a small office for our own convenience, gathering
information by telephone, fax and computer, while communicating
with small and large farmers worldwide, also other professional
or practicing people and organizations at all levels. Where ever
possible, we are also willing to exchange information.
Jo-anne and I have submitted a proposal to our local government
in the hopes of receiving some funding towards a project of ours.
As yet we have not registered a non profit business / trust,
as this can only be done once funding is available.
We have named our project:
SHE Community Systems.
Self-sufficient Healthy and Educational Communal Farming.
The proposal is for the development and training of our people
living in disadvantaged communities in the North West Province.
Jo-anne and myself would like to offer our services as consultants,
and train the communities to become as self-sufficient
and sustainable as possible within their individual needs, values,
traditional cultures and skills. We would also encourage community
farming, and be available as an information service to our area,
once the communities are self-reliant.
With the implementation of this scheme, we will not only be
teaching the people to feed themselves, but will be encouraging
those with initiative to become more innovative and creative
in their attitude and approach to ecological self-suffiency and
later on possibly develop a more commercial farming operation
while still retaining the ecologically sound background we promote.
This change will not occur overnight, but after laying a stable
foundation, an improvement will be seen at various levels
over a period of time.
Jo-anne and I believe that in this manner we will be addressing
the need to feed our people, keep them healthier, create
more job opportunities and stimulate the communities economy and
spirit, interaction, education and dialog.
We would like to stay in contact with all of you on the EAF list,
as i'm sure you could offer us very valuable advise, and possibly
some exchange. Could any one put us into contact with other
like minded practical people or organizations in South Africa or
Africa in particular, that would be beneficial to both parties?
If you have the same interests, please feel free to
contact us, no matter which country you live in.
Has any one out there an idea of possible funding, sponsorship /
donations and / or equipment we could get from elsewhere, once
SHE Community Systems has been registered?
Thankyou in advance for taking up your time, and any
knowledge you are able to pass on to us.
Kind Regards Sally and Jo-anne.
Postal Address: Zenzele Farm Or Jo-Jo's Place
P.O. Box 2117 P.O. Box 2798
South Africa. South Africa.
Telephone: +27 1211 502 899 +27 1211 540 454
Cell phone: 082 448 9505
Fax: +27 1211 502 517
Sally and Jens-Birger Giebelmann
This message was sent by Zenzele Farm
Brits, NWP, South Africa
Tel.: +27 1211 502899
Fax.: +27 1211 502517