Our Sustainable Harvesting Programme is looking for 4 field monitors

Flower Valley’s Sustainable Harvesting Programme

Flower Valley’s Sustainable Harvesting Programme is in need of 4 field monitors. They will assist in using a new monitoring method as well as capturing data in the fynbos veld. These positions are short term (for a 5-month period) and asks to be based in the Gansbaai/Stanford area.

 

The responsibilities of the positions include:

  1. Assisting veld harvesters to use a new monitoring method and checking that they are following the sustainable harvesting principles.
  2. Recording field assessment data correctly.
  3. Completing independent fynbos assessments and capturing this information on a computer.

 

Minimum qualifications & experience:

  • Basic computer skills (Word and Google)
  • Matric/Grade 12
  • Valid driver’s license (Code 8/10)
  • Self Motivated
  • Responsible
  • Good physical health
  • Love for nature and working in the outdoors
  • Good people relations

 

Desired qualifications & experience:

  • Previous work/training with a conservation agency (for example: SANParks, CapeNature, Grootbos-Greenfuture College)
  • Off-roading 4×4 experience
  • Speaking a second language (Afrikaans/IsiXhosa)
  • Knowledge of fynbos/harvesting

 

A market-related salary will be negotiated, dependent on qualifications and experience, for the position.

 

Deadline: 16 June 2017

 

Please send your CV, a cover letter, and two contactable references to info@flowervalley.co.za or fax 028 425 2855.

For more information, contact 028 425 2218 during office hours.

A tasty way to use fynbos responsibly

Fynbos gin and fynbos-infused snacks: that was how Flower Valley and friends celebrated International Biodiversity week.

At a Fynbos Fusion event, hosted by Flower Valley Patron, Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, a group of lively fynbos supporters came together to celebrate this unique South African heritage.

The event was held at the Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town on Friday 26 May. Inverroche Distillery founder Lorna Scott held a gin tasting for the guests. Inverroche uses mountain, coastal and limestone fynbos in their three gins.

 

 

Fynbos cupcakes and cheesecake

The morning tea included wonderful fynbos creations, planned and created by Chef Tjaart Walraven, a judge on the Great SA Bake Off, as well as the Vineyard Hotel Chef Carl van Rooyen. Fynbos and Honey Cupcakes, an Orange and Citrus Buchu Crème brûlée, and a Sour Fig Confyt Baked Cheesecake were served.

Of the savoury options, guests enjoyed Wild Rosemary-infused Chicken Mayonnaise Filled Ciabatta; Wild Spinach and Goats Feta Phyllo Parcels and Spekboom, Tomato and Bononcini Quiches.

 

“Blend with fynbos”

Chef Tjaart offered advice on how to cook with fynbos. “Keep it simple but blend what’s local; blend with fynbos.”

According to Flower Valley’s Conservation Director, Roger Bailey, fynbos needs to be protected, given the huge threats fynbos vegetation faces.

He said one mature Blue Gum tree consumes on average 900 litres of water per day. That’s about the same as an average household in Cape Town before the water crisis hit. “That’s why it’s vital we protect our fynbos – naturally-functioning ecosystems, like a healthy fynbos landscape, benefits us in so many ways.”

From the Flower Valley team, a huge thank you to Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, the Vineyard Hotel, Tjaart Walraven, Carl van Rooyen, Lorna Scott and everyone involved in making the day a wonderful success.

 

Flower Valley’s latest news

Our latest news

There’s a lot going on in South Africa right now. It makes one feel uncertain. And that’s never a nice feeling.

But despite political turmoil, there are some definites we can rely on. Like South Africa’s value in terms of our environment. It’s well known we’re in the top 10 biodiversity-rich countries in the world.

And our fynbos plays a major role in that status. It’s a reason to be so proud of our natural heritage here.

So when International Plant Appreciation Day comes around, we’re at the forefront of the celebrations. It’s on Thursday (but we’ll celebrate all week. Just keep an eye on our social media). And we hope you’ll find your own way to celebrate our very unique fynbos – and the role we should all play in protecting it.

Get our latest news here

A new partnership benefits Masakhane’s children

Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme

It just makes sense when two organisations doing good join forces to benefit the community – especially when it comes to the development of our young children.

So it was a positive moment when Flower Valley Conservation Trust partnered with the Grootbos Foundation, to support young children in the community of Masakhane in Gansbaai.

Flower Valley’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme works with five ECD centres across the Overstrand region. Two of these centres are based in Masakhane: Good Hope and Takalane.

The Grootbos Foundation and Flower Valley will work together to support the administrative, management and governance aspects of the centres. Flower Valley will continue with the learning programme and curriculum support.

Flower Valley’s ECD programme also provides support to children in Buffeljagsbaai, Pearly Beach and to the centre on Flower Valley Farm, reaching about 160 children up to the age of 6. Through a home-based care programme, fieldworkers also visit families in Pearly Beach/Eluxolweni and Baardskeerdersbos, to give support and tools to parents and children here.

According to Flower Valley’s ECD Programme Coordinator, Gabbi Cook, “We are very optimistic and thankful to the Grootbos Foundation for joining hands with us – together we are better; together we are strong. To make real impact, solid and caring partnerships are essential. ”

4 reasons to celebrate Plant Day

This Thursday (April 13) is International Plant Appreciation Day. And what better way to celebrate and appreciate our fabulous fynbos!

So we’ve got 4 reasons to get into the fynbos on Thursday (and any other day, for that matter).

 

#ERICA IRREGULARIS

This endangered pretty pink flower only grows from July to October and is only found in three locations in the world – one of them on Flower Valley Farm. This Erica species used to be harvested for the fynbos bouquet industry. But the fynbos industry and others involved in fynbos soon realised this was not smart. And so harvesting of Erica irregularis was stopped – before extinction!

#ALOE JUDDII

The Aloe juddii is very new to the aloe family – and was only discovered a few years back. This phenomenal new species can only be seen on Flower Valley Farm and Farm215, on high rocky sandstone slopes. Although it’s believed to also occur elsewhere, experts say its population is decreasing, threatened by invasive plants.

#LACHENALIA LUTZEYERI

A wonderful species which was spotted after a small fire in our region in 2004 – by Heiner Lutzeyer of Grootbos. This vulnerable species can be found flowering on Flower Valley Farm from October to November and has the most spectacular white bulb-like petals. The Lachenalia lutzeyeri loves the sun and grows after a fire. But irregular fires are a major threat to this Lachenalia.

#LEUCOSPERMUM PATERSONII

Another vulnerable species that we love on Flower Valley Farm is the Leucospermum patersonii – the silver-edge pincushion. This dark orange pincushion blooms between August and November and the sugarbirds use the plant as a landing pad for them to collect sweet nectar. They make for a beautiful sight on Flower Valley Farm in October.

These interesting plant species are a must see on Flower Valley Farm.

Just remember your hiking shoes and a camera!

Photo credit: Flower Valley Conservation Trust and Fynbos Hub

Making fynbos monitoring ‘easy’

fynbos monitoring

Fynbos monitoring

There’s nothing simple about monitoring fynbos populations – like seeing how fynbos harvesting may affect fynbos in an area over time. So the Flower Valley team has teamed up with scientists and students to find ways to more easily see how fynbos changes in the long term.

Fynbos harvesters and teams head out into the veld daily, picking fynbos species that are used in bouquets, and ultimately sold around the world.

While tons of fynbos is exported out of the country every year, scientists have only been able to use expensive and time-consuming methods to see how this impacts on the landscape itself.

 

Using what we have

Now the Flower Valley Sustainable Harvesting Programme (SHP) team is working with experts, to better use some of the tools we already have.

As a member of the programme, a landowner or harvester is shown how to complete a field assessment on the land. This assessment looks at how well harvesters are complying to environmental standards (as captured in our SHP Code of Best Practice).

Now this field assessment has been reworked to include a monitoring aspect, like including estimates of how abundantly a fynbos species may occur in an area.

 

Support from Stellenbosch University

The SHP team received help from Conservation Ecology students from Stellenbosch University, under the leadership of Flower Valley Trustee, Rhoda Malgas.

The students helped to test the field methods used in the assessment, to see how practical and easy they were to use.

According to Kirsten Retief, the Conservation Extension and Applied Research Coordinator at Flower Valley, the work so far will make it easier for landowners and harvesters to see changes in their veld over time.

 

Combining science and practicality

“The methods we develop have got to be easy for anyone to use. But they must still have scientific integrity. The data we collect from these field assessments will be used to spot fynbos trends over time. And to react quickly if the assessments point to any areas of concern,” she said.

The Sustainable Harvesting Programme is Flower Valley’s flagship programme. The programme gives support to landowners and harvesters to meet best practice environmental standards, as well as social and labour standards. The aim is to help the niche fynbos industry become even more attractive as an ethical industry – while ensuring fynbos landscapes are protected.

The programme is funded by the WWF Nedbank Green Trust and the European Union.

Our ECD team is growing and you can join the team

Early Childhood Development Programme

Flower Valley’s Early Childhood Development Programme is expanding and you can become part of the team. There are two new positions available: a Centre-Based Support Teacher and Governance and Administration support. The positions will be filled by July 2017, and are based in the Gansbaai region.

1. Governance and Administrative Support

Job purpose

To support the ECD Programme Manager to implement the programme with specific reference to programme administration and governance.

 

 Main Job functions

  1. Carry out all administrative functions for the ECD Programme;
  2. Monitor the home-based ECD programme;
  3. Support and coach the centre managers and governing bodies in governance, management and administration.

 

Minimum qualifications & experience:

  • Experience in administration & governance.
  • Preference given to candidates with experience in the social and adminstrative sector or ECD governance.
  • Computer literacy (MS Office).
  • Passion to work on a community-based level.
  • Passion to be part of positive social change.
  • Passion for young children and women and their rightful place in the world.
  • Good interpersonal skills, communication and self-governance.
  • Valid driver’s license and own vehicle

 

2. Centre-Based Support Teacher

Job purpose

To support the ECD Programme Manager in implementing the centre-based programme with specific reference to  curriculum and learning programme support, coaching, training and teacher development.

 

Job functions

  1. Ensure the Learning Programme and curriculum is in place, applied and implemented at centres;
  2. Develop plans with the programme manager for coaching, training and teachers’ professional support; and implement these;
  3. Implement a monitoring and evaluation system for the centre-based programme;
  4. Engage with the community in the centre-based ECD Programme;
  5. On-going curriculum and learning programme development alongside the programme manager;
  6. Facilitate professional development workshops and opportunities for teachers/practitioners and field workers;
  7. Work with relevant stakeholders to ensure the appropriate resourcing, equipping, management and appropriate use of the centres’ indoor and outdoor learning environments.

Minimum qualifications & experience:

  • Degree or Diploma in ECD.
  • Computer literacy (MS Office).
  • Passion to work on a community-based level.
  • Passion to be part of positive social change.
  • Passion for young children and their rightful place in the world.
  • Good interpersonal skills, communication and self-governance.
  • Interest and love for the natural environment.
  • Valid driver’s license and own vehicle

 

A market-related salary will be negotiated, dependent on qualifications and experience, for each position.

Deadline: Friday 28 April 2017

Please send your CV, a cover letter, and two contactable references to info@flowervalley.co.za or fax 028 425 2855. For more information, contact 028 425 2218 during office hours.

Adrenaline junkie? See you this Easter

Happen to be in the Overstrand region over the Easter Weekend? Or just keen for some fun and adventure? Amoija Events presents the Great White MTB & Trail run taking place Saturday 15 April and you are invited to join. The races start at our neighbours, Lomond wine farm, and participants will be able to enjoy Flower Valley’s fynbos when the routes cross over our farm.

Why don’t you bring the whole family and enjoy the outdoors? There is a route for everyone, the more tricky routes for the serious runners and cyclists, as well as the more casual shorter distances.

And after the race, come pop in at Flower Valley Farm (just next door to Lomond), and enjoy our fabulous fynbos without needing to race.

Entry fees are as follows:

Mountain Bike
55km – 08:00 – R250
35km – 08:30 – R180
15km – 09:00 – R100

Trail Run
30km – 08:15 – R250
12km – 08:45 – R120
5km – 09:15 – R50

To avoid the queue and pre-register online, please follow the link.

All information regarding the event can be found on the Entry Ninja website, including registration times. For any more queries on the event, please do not hesitate to contact the event organiser, Naomi, on 083 267 8164 or naomi@amoija.com.

Look forward to seeing you cross Flower Valley Farm so that we can show off our magnificent fynbos on offer!

 

Help from our US partners

We had a class full of happy children – thanks to wonderful donations from our global partners. The Webb School in Tennessee, United States, collaborated with the Stanford Rotary Club and Animal Welfare, to deliver wonderful goods to our Early Learning Centre.

The Rotary Club’s Malcolm Bury and Annie Ranger delivered the five scooters – used to help our children learn about road safety on our road safety track, as well as a number of English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa books.

 

 

The Webb School is a co-ed boarding and day school for children in grades 6-12 in Tennessee. The school has a long history, founded in 1870. It’s hallmark is an education system based on honour and personal integrity.

Thank you from the Flower Valley team – to all the partners who made our children so happy.

Answering tough fynbos questions

fynbos questions

Lea Cohen

Flower Valley is introducing new skills and capacity to answer difficult questions around fynbos use. With the help of a database expert, the team is now able to use internet-based databases, to help analyse trends in fynbos.

We’ve worked with fantastic volunteers, such as Lea Cohen, who shared her knowledge and expertise on open source database management systems with the Sustainable Harvesting Programme.

 

Experience on 3 continents

Lea has varied experience working and volunteering for a number of conservation NGOs on three continents: North America, South America and Africa. Her impressive tertiary background includes Geography, completed at UCLA, and an MSc in Conservation Biology completed at UCT. She has since specialized in GIS and data management systems.

She introduced the Sustainable Harvesting team to programmes used by international companies to manage large datasets and geospatial information.

This will allow the Sustainable Harvesting team to use information we’re collecting to answer more complex questions concerning fynbos use across the Cape Floristic Region. Watch this space!