07 Aug A Tour Around The Farm With Charles Back
As winter reached its peak during this past July, rains finally fell across the thirsty Western Province, providing some relief to our dams, land and people for the first time in months. Charles, having grown up at Fairview all his life, is a true farm man, with one of his favourite past times being to oversee the farm activity and ensuring everything is moving along smoothly. After one of the recent heavy downpours, we joined Charles as he decided to head out in his trusty 4×4 to inspect the farm and view the positive impact the rain had on the area. Here’s what we saw:
Peafowls: “At Fairview, we introduced several peahens and peacocks that wander the area. We actually built them some special treehouses up in the trees near my house where they can sleep at night. During the day, they traverse the farm, feeding on bugs and plants within the vineyard and making a helluva noise. But they sure are beautiful to look at!” says Charles.
Next up we pass Donald, the Fairview farm manager, and Janro and his team mate who are on the farm.
“I met Donald when I was in the army, and we have been friends ever since. He has a very important job on the farm, and there is always a lot to do. That’s why we enlisted the help of Janro, our animal manager, who now takes care of the animals on the farm for us. While they are still Donald’s first love, Donald has to oversee everything else on the farm and does a fine job of it too!” explains Charles.
As we get further along the farm, Charles encounters a deep ‘puddle’ of water that has gathered after the rain. Fearless, he preps his 4×4 and drives through it effortlessly. Meanwhile, he lets Anna his Anatolian Shepherd dog run around – she even run behinds the car as she has so much energy to expel.
“We got Anna in 2016 when she was just a puppy. She has grown into this massive dog so fast. Anatolian Shepherd dogs are quite something – they are livestock guardian dogs, meaning they are in charge of watching over a flock and protecting the defenceless animals from predators. She watches over me and Diane like a hawk – it is in her nature to do so. She is also very suspicious – she needs constant exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of “good guys.” Then she can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they are likely to be suspicious of everyone,” says Charles.
As our farm tour comes to a close, there is one last stop. The pig pen. The somewhat muddy pigs come out to greet us, and Charles adds in a rather amazing tale:
“We’ve only recently re-introduced pigs back to our stable of animals. We used to have them on the farm back when my father was alive. One of the most hilarious stories I can recall was the day I was driving towards the pig pen when an old car that I didn’t recognise drove past me. There was a man driving, and next to him was possibly the most unfortunate and ugly looking man I’ve ever seen, wearing a hat and sunglasses. As I arrived at the pig pen, some of the farm workers ran up to me, exclaiming that someone had just driven away with a stolen pig. And upon reflection, I laughed aloud and realised that the unfortunate looking man was not a man at all – but the stolen pig!”, laughs Charles.