Terra Madre - An organic farm in Elgin that means Mother Earth
Just over the mountain, in the picturesque Elgin Valley, lies Terra Madre. A family-owned business and farm committed to sustainability and the community they serve by supplying the healthiest, freshest, purest food to families and individuals in the Greater Cape Town CBD and surrounds. This week you will find sweet crunchy pears and some delightfully fresh gem lettuce (roots still intact to attest to their freshness) among other wholesome fresh produce that they have carefully grown and sourced from surrounding small farms, just for you.
The farm is run by the tight-knit Precoudis family – made up of daughter Nicole, and her parents Koula and Chris. They embrace the mission to genuinely make a difference in society and in peoples’ health, while honouring and respecting Mother Earth – hence their carefully thought out name: Terra Madre.
Nicole invested in this piece of heavenly land a few years back after running a few successful restaurants in Johannesburg. Her dream was to own a piece of land in the Cape – for years she searched, until one day fate brought her to Elgin and she set foot on what is now Terra Madre. Nicole gushes. “It was love at first sight” and “I sometimes feel I could faint with excitement” [when seeing her veggies being harvested] “– that will never go away”.
The key to their wholesome fruit and vegetables is the investment in soil preparation and strict organic farming methods. Nicole believes this is where “our veg have the best shot at flourishing”. The plant seedlings are nurtured with organic folio feeds and a good irrigation regime. Terra Madre is Global Gap and GRASP accredited (the former applies to farm practices and latter to the ethical and fair treatment of employees) – the farm is audited annually to ensure they adopt full transparency and customers can be sure their veggies are as pure as they say they are.
You can certainly tell (and taste) that family is central to this farming community – Nicole describes how her mom and dad have always played a key role in any business she embarked on. For her, they are the rocks in her life who’ve help her get through all the many trials farming can bring, despite both being close to 80 – she notes they are still fit as a fiddle. “We make a good team and I am truly grateful to have them with me here on the farm”.
Her folks aren’t the only people who help keep Terra Madre going – Nicole believes in investing in her team and employees as much as in her land – “any business is as good as it’s team”. She regularly sends them on courses to learn and grow, they are paid at least 20% higher than the area industry average, and they know that they will grow within the business – which in turn gives them a greater respect for what the mission on the farm is. “With a mission to upskill my team, I sent Freddie (her right-hand man and key veggie farmer) on several courses last year: tractor courses, spray operator, health and safety, first aid, fire control and several others. He totally rose to the challenge and is now the farm foreman and looks after all 5500 of my babies with me”.
Nicole loves this land with all her heart, she passionately says, “as long as I am blessed enough to own this farm I will continue to put my heart and soul into making everything with the Terra Madre label with large doses of love, and delivering quality produce affordably to people – especially in these challenging times. I think as farmers we have a big responsibility to do this and I take it very seriously.” We at UCOOK Market Box admire this passion and love for the land and it’s people, and will continue to help carry out her mission of making a difference in society and in peoples’ health while honouring and respecting Mother Earth.
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