We Want To Rescue Hand-Made Rooibos April 07 2017, 1 Comment
I am going to return to spend a few weeks visiting rooibos farms in the Cederberg during April 2017. This time I will be joined by Meta Mate partner, Fabricio coming all the way from Berlin. Our mission is to rescue traditional rooibos handmade by small family farms that have access to the best high altitude rooibos.
The idea was born in 2014 while I was visiting the Tolotti's yerba mate farm with Fabricio in Brazil (see blog: Ancient Techniques: Flame-grilled Mate Brazil) I introduced green rooibos to Fabricio and we began to envision this project.
Once upon a time Africa was connected to South America at the part where South Africa is today and I believe there is an ancient bond that exists. You may not see it on the surface but deep down in the ground you will find earth which was once shared between these two mighty masses of land. We access these minerals indirectly from the plants that have extensive root systems penetrating deep into the Earth. The rooibos plant in the Cederberg mountain range and the yerba mate plant in Brazil have the ability to reach down and extract ancient nutrients in the earth and bring it to the surface for us to enjoy. On both continents we still use herbal knowledge which has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries about how to harvest and prepare these plants for consumption. In South Africa, we love our rooibos tea and in South America they adore, "mate". So let us see if we can revive the authentic craft rooibos and merge it with craft mate in a way that makes the sum of the parts greater than the individual ingredients.
We expect to meet many good people in the rooibos farming community on this trip. Last year (2016) in March I went to the Cederberg to do some scouting work for this project and I have included some photos of that time below to give you an idea.
I look forward to welcoming Fabricio to South Africa who will join me on the negotiation phase of this mission.
I invite you, readers to follow us and support us to realise this dream between 14 and 30 April 2017 by sharing the story via this blog.
EVENT: On 22 April we will have a yerba mate party in Woodstock, Cape Town to share our experiences. email me, Jovi if you would like to join us (jovi[at]yerbamatesouthafrica.com)
Photos from last year's project scouting phase