As a child growing up in Swaziland we would pick litchis, bananas, mangos, raid mulberry bushes and chew on sugar cane we’d just cut from the fields. Now many years later, after having lived in countless convenient cities I look back with fondness at the delight in picking my own fruit and veg, the simplicity thereof; and although I can get all of this at the local grocery store, the experience is spiritual.
The Camdeboo Peach Farm is as the name suggests a peach farm, but the big difference here is that your average peach farm can’t be found across the road from the Dome in North Riding, not to mention the fact that they aren’t a commercial peach farm but rather a hidden nook in Johannesburg focused on bringing the farm lifestyle to you.
The idea is simple – a peach orchid and vegetable greenhouse which is open to the public for picking. You get boxes supplied to you on arrival which you can fill to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content, all of which go for R20 a kilo. Brilliant! Owner Juliana even encourages you to taste as you go along!
There is a cafe on the property aptly named the Peach Cafe which has a constantly evolving menu of delicious bits and pieces (but peach smoothies and wood fire pizza’s are staples). The cafe and pizza oven are an absolute sight for sore eyes with loosely wound bamboo and palm thatching lightly blocking the sun, making you feel like you’ve stepped into a hidden fantasy world. You’d never say you were in Joburg!
The other mind-blowing thing about the Peach Cafe is that they use Sun Cookers to get a lot of their meals going. This is basically a solar powered method for cooking your meals, leaving the smallest of carbon footprints. I love this idea so much that I’m making space on my patio for one.
There’s also a tiny farm stall on the property stocking preserves of all kinds and other specialty bits including Egyptian Dukkah, peaches in syrup (and I even saw a peach and chilli curry preserve which I promised myself I would pick up the next time I’m there).
Families wandered through the orchids during our visit, some laying down blankets in the shade of a peach tree, taking in the ambience, picnicking. I also confirmed with Juliana that the Peach cafe does NOT have a liquor license but wine fans could bring their own wine to sip while enjoying one of her cheese platters, complemented by a fresh pizza bread from the wood oven.
Words unfortunatly can’t describe the delight of this gem and it’s right here in Johannesburg so you have no excuse not to go see for yourself.
Address: Travel along Witkoppen road, towards Fourways Mall or Northgate, turn off at Market Street towards Maroeladal. Follow the signage until you get to the farm gate – less than one kilometer – where you will find free and secure parking.
Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm
Peach Picking – Last weekend October – Early December
Fresh Vegetables – Last weekend October – Last weekend March
Peach Cafe – Last weekend October – Last weekend March
Farm Closed – Mid December – Mid January
by Byron Marais