Amorentia Estate Steeped in History
Len Hobson was my maternal Grandfather. He was well-known and well-loved as a great South African Horticultural pioneer. Len was responsible for introducing the Beaumont macadamia cultivar into South Africa. He paved the way for Macadamia nursery practices which would later be modified and adopted by SAMAC as the blueprint for the current SAMAC protocols. Amorentia Nursery played a key role in finalising these protocols that govern our industry’s foundation: The Nurseries. We are proud that our roots are anchored in history. A spot of very exciting news is that hail netting now protects our Macadamia nursery trees. After two severe storms in the last six years, we made the decision to ensure the nursery is secure.
What sets Amorentia apart from other Macadamia nurseries?
- Macadamia oil runs in our blood.
- Our pioneering spirit.
- Our 45 years of production and propagation experience.
- Our resilience.
- Our commitment to the grower and the industry.
- The strict selection of our mother-material which is paramount to ensuring that our growers receive the best possible start to their Macadamia development – because potentially high yielding trees can only come from high yielding mother-trees.
We love to show off our nursery. Come see for yourself.
Our New Amorentia Sweet Dragon Fruit Mother Block is halfway planted!
Our dragon fruit mother block will be just over a half a hectare with 676 posts and 1352 plants. 13 Lines of the nicest looking, great sweet tasting and amazingly healthy fruit you have ever tasted.
We have monitored our older mother block closely this year and have had some excellent flowering and production.
One of our farmers did some tests on the drying of Amorentia Sweet Dragon Fruit. Everything went according to plan and the initial results are very positive as the fruit kept its sweet taste.
We will be travelling around the country between June and October to host 6 Farmer Information days on Dragon Fruit. Please keep an eye on our website and social media for these events or send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the invitation email for your area.
En so is ons skielik in die middle van die jaar!
Ons het ons avo seisoen vroeër afgeskop die jaar en ons derde vrag saad is reeds geplant in ons nuwe Ontkiemings Huis. Ons is baie opgewonde oor die res van die jaar. Ons sal tussen 50,000 en 70,000 saailinge produseer hierdie jaar. Meerderheid van die sal as saailinge uitgestuur word en in die land geent word.
And all of a sudden we are in the middle of the year!
Our avo season started earlier this year, and we already have our third load of avocado seeds planted in our new Germination House. We are so excited about the rest of this year. We will produce between 50,000 and 70,000 avocado seedlings this year. The majority of these will be dispatched as seedlings that will be grafted in-field.
Ons saailing kliënte van verlede jaar is opgewonde oor die eenvormigheid van die groei van die saailinge en die eerste vroeë ente is reeds gedoen. Die ente lyk goed en net drie weke na ons geent het, stoot die oogies reeds uit.
Our avocado seedling customers from last year are very excited about the uniformity of the growth of the avocado seedling trees, and we already did our first in-field grafting. The grafts look great, and only three weeks after being grafted they have started swelling out.
Ons het fantastiese media dekking gekry in die Landbou Weekblad onlangs en kry daaglikse navrae vir bome.
We have had excellent media coverage in the Landbou Weekblad recently and are getting daily enquiries.
KOM KYK WAT ONS DOEN EN PLAAS JOU BESTELLING SO GOU AS MOONTLIK!
COME SEE WHAT WE’RE DOING AND PLACE YOUR ORDER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Hail Damage Feb 2016
As reported in our previous newsletter, we have had an excellent rainy season. From the 1st December until 15th May we measured 2110mm in the Politsi Valley.
In general, our crops look good. We are still recovering from the early 2016 hail storm, and we will only be back in production on the entire farm in 2018 again.
We have remained positive despite some very challenging times.
We endured hail, wind, drought, flooding, all in just over a year.
River in flood
Wind Damage 2017
We recently took part in the 20th Annual Cape Parrot count. The Endangered Parrots are seen daily at Amorentia feeding on Pecan nuts and wild plums. During the two-day count we only spotted 18 parrots, but the day after the official count there were 42 feeding in the Pecan tree outside our offices. That amounts to over 4% of the entire estimated population.
Some of the Amorentia staff and family enjoying the sunrise while waiting for the parrots to arrive.
As you can gather from our newsletter, we are extremely diversified. We would like to invite everyone to come and visit us at Amorentia and look at our website www.amorentia.co.za. Come and see what we do and enjoy some of our home-grown coffee with us.
These young Beaumont macadamia trees were planted in the Letsitele valley.
Their incredible growth is attributable to their mother material from Amorentia’s mother block and also to the good farming practices implemented by these dedicated farmers
The recipe: Excellent nursery trees thorough land preparation, Good nutrition from early on and immediate disease control.
In and around Amorentia Estate
In our December newsletter we mentioned that we had some good rain, but we were hoping for it to continue throughout the rainy season. Well, it did. Since the 1st December until 31st January we have measured 1050mm in the Politsi Valley. It has been an absolute blessing. Most of the farmers we communicate with, has also reported fantastic rainfall figures. Unfortunately there are still some area’s that has received very little rain. We hope that these areas will receive their share as we move closer to winter.
It has been an eventful start to the year. On the 25th January we had a late afternoon wind storm that ripped through a section of the farm, uprooting 7 huge pecan nut trees that are over 50 years old. Unfortunately we could not save these pecans. We could however cut back and replant the number of 20 year old Macadamia trees that also blew over.
Marcel Strydom – Assistant Nursery Manager
During January we welcomed Marcel Strydom to the Amorentia team. Marcel has joined us as junior nursery manager. He is currently standing in for Lauren who is on maternity leave. Lauren and her husband Nick became the proud parents of a baby boy on the 27th of January. We wish them many years of joy and happiness with Lennox Strever. We all look forward to him joining his sister Islay-Rose for late afternoon visits to the office.
Pecan trees uprooted by the wind in January
For those of you that have been following the Champion Tree Project, we are proud to announce that our three Queens of Amorentia, our three massive Matumi trees, have moved up further on the champion tree list. They are currently in 4th, 5th and 6th position according to the 2016 list.
Enrico and Erna Liebenberg, authors of the coffee table photo book, We are the Champions: Champion trees of South Africa, has very kindly donated a number of books to Amorentia. These books are being sold and 100% of the proceeds go to Thlalefa School that is situated on the Estate. This year Thlalefa School has a record number of students, with 117 learners starting the year. We know it is going to be another excellent year for our kids. Thank you again to all our amazing sponsors and supporters from our community.
We look forward to another exiting season with all four our nurseries, Macadamias, Avos, Dragon Fruit and Ornamentals, at full capacity and orders being dispatch almost daily.
We are busy installing hail netting over the entire Macadamia nursery to secure the stock and ensure that we can continue supplying quality Macadamia trees to the industry without any interruptions. We are also busy tripling the capacity of our Avocado nursery for this season.
More about these exiting developments in our next newsletter.
So we are almost halfway through our first flowering season since launching our Sweet Dragon Fruit.
We have had unbelievable interest and support from farmers all over South Africa, Africa and around the world.
Despite the drought, one of our farmers in Letsitele, with extreme heat and severe drought over the last year, has set his first crop on his plants. They could not believe the sweet taste of these fruit after having tasted the bland varieties that have been available in supermarkets this year. Here are some pictures taken on their farm.
Sweet tasting freshness
Our grower from KwaZulu-Natal also planted his first hectare.
We will have more launches towards the middle of the year and will also be revisiting the areas where we launched last year. Ideally we would like to have mini-field days on farms that has already planted.
Should you be interested in attending one of our launches or field days, please send us your details via email and we will keep in touch!
THE IMPORTANCE OF A STRONG AND HEALTHY ROOT SYSTEM AND PROVEN MOTHER MATERIAL
Since winter 2016, improvements to our propagation techniques has resulted in our nursery trees growing faster. This, coupled with the incredible rain we’ve had means that we have witnessed the trees, especially the vegetatively propagated Beaumont trees, double in size, reaching SAMAC’s minimum height recommendation ahead of schedule. The most critical factor for us, has been to ensure that the nursery tree roots have developed at the same rate as the leaves/height of the trees. We have evaluated the root systems on-going and continue to select trees which adhere to all of the industry’s guidelines for our growers.
We were recently asked to inspect some trees that were planted out recently from another nursery as the farmer had lost over 10% of these young trees. The grower needed confirmation that he had not missed something vital in his planting out procedures.
What we could confirm, is that the the common denominator regarding the dying trees was a weaker or poorly formed root system. The trees were already under a lot of stress as a result of an extremely hot December and naturally, the trees with the weaker root systems were the first to die. It is likely that any surviving trees with a weak root system, will not make it past 5 years old.
Poor / deformed root systems with one-sided rooting
Establishing Macadamias is a long term investment and you must be sure that your trees will give you a return on your investment. The only way to achieve this is by planting the best possible trees from known mother material out of an established and experienced nursery. We monitored the performance of our mother block trees for more than 10 years and Only the highest yielding trees with proven crack-outs have remained in our mother blocks. This ensures even growth in the orchards with the greatest potential for high yielding trees.
Our advice to any grower is to visit your nursery and ask questions about root systems and mother material.
There are many new nurseries in our thriving industry now because the demand for trees is high. Some will follow the correct protocols and others are likely to take short cuts. You have the right to insist on seeing their protocols, mother material records and you have the right to inspect your trees. We always welcome and encourage our growers to visit their trees and to see the environment that they are produced in. At Amorentia we pride ourselves in following the correct protocols which were created for the benefit of the Macadamia industry as a whole.
We look forward to dispatching our record breaking beautiful trees this year. Amorentia Macadamia Nursery has never looked better and with the the new hail-netting that being out up, we can sleep easy knowing that our grower’s investments are safe in our hands.
We hope that all our growers had good rain and wish you all a successful 2017 season. Please feel free to stay in touch with us should you require advise or help