When Blackbirds Fly (…to Babylonstoren Farm and Hotel, South Africa)


"Let's fly away, so high away from here, where the air and water is clear, you can make bread…..and I'll make beer"
                      — Michael Franks (from the song "When Blackbirds Fly")

(above and below)  Babylonstoren Chefs gathering Farm Fresh Organics for the day's menu

In case my articles are out in "Cyber-Space" 7,000 years from now and the aliens are trying to dicipher my "means something only to me" metaphors and hidden messages that I always slip into my articles, let me help them out a bit……..

Since I was a kid , I was always the "Black-Bird", daydreaming of flying off to far away places………..

Anywayz, enough about me, 

About the Babylonstoren Organic Farm and Hotel in South Africa

A 500-acre Cape Dutch winery and fruit farm dating to 1692 has been reincarnated way beyond its former glory.

This meticulously restored estate is anchored by eight acres of formal vegetable, flower, and fruit gardens. The simple, whitewashed exteriors of the 12 suites, overlooking gardens or vineyards, give little hint of the graceful interiors that mingle old and new, rustic and contemporary.

Modern glass-walled full kitchens in select suites that enable fantasy DIY farm-to-table cooking (guests can pluck their own heirloom vegetables and organic fruit on-site).

A restaurant from a converted cowshed, presents a fresh daily menu whose organizing principle is seasonal colors (a red salad—a plate of watermelon, strawberries, beets, radishes, and mulberries—for instance)   source

(above and below) The Green House Menu allows for your choice of farm fresh veggies.

(below) Amazing how the fowls are so cooperative in their role in organic farm society
(chickens might not find that comment funny, but I do)

(below) May is citrus month at Babylonstoren, and the garden is cranking out lemons, limes, oranges, naartjies, grapefruits and kumquats in abundance

(below) Winter leaf veggies and herbs like coriander, rocket, parsley, spinach, tatsoi, pak choi, cabbage and watercress are flourishing. Giant turnips, brightly coloured beetroot, carrots and radishes are also plentiful.

(below)  I named this photo "Wild and Free" 🙂

(below)  Hotel guests can enjoy some relaxing yoga in lovely spots on the farm

(below)     In case one needs more relaxation, Canoeing at the Babylonstoren Lake

(below) "Pumpkin Power" at the Babylonstoren Greenhouse

(below)   "Farm to Table" Menu       Note to self: "Never do an article like this on an empty stomach again"

(below) The "Yellow Salad"

(below) Flame grilled lamb cutlets with kapokbossie (a wild rosemary) and Malay spices, pampelmoes (grapefruit), curry leaf & roasted peanuts.

(below) White marrow with gorgonzola, hazelnuts and fresh pear

(below) Fresh Bowl of "Shaved Fruits and Veggies" for a light Breakfast

(below)  "The Art of Tea" at Babylonstoren (and trying not to "Pig Out" on the Teatime Tarts)

 (below) Babylonstoren's own Olive Oil. Cold Pressed. Hand harvested olives. A blend of 4 Italian varieties grown in the sun and soil on the slopes of iconic Simonsberg Mountain.


(Above and Below) The decorations for the weddings held on the farm are sourced from the garden.
(Weddings are not my thing, but I figure some of my readers would have to find these photos cool!!! 🙂 )

(below),   My new Life goal #6,   between  #5-Help save the Rain Forests,   and   #7-Create World Peace
Life Goal #6 – Sunday Brunch with a pretty girl at that table at lower left

(below) Guest are treated to a  special walk on the farm, especially late afternoon when the light softens or after the rain, when the clouds lift to reveal panoramic views of  Simonsberg Mountain and surounding hills.

(below) The BabyIonstoren Facebook page said,  "Is time to let summer flowering bulbs have a good rest!
We harvested our dahlia tubers and will store them baskets, out of the rain and cold, until springtime."

(below) Pruning time! They espalier their fruit trees in shapes to add interest in the garden.

(below) The public can stop by and shop for some red salad, celery, cabbage and mizuna seedlings

(below) The Babylonstoren Gardeners

(above and below) Babylonstoren was on Conde Nast Traveler 's list of their 100 favorite hotels in the world. You can even pluck your own veggies and do your own cooking in your suite, or leave that to the Chef's, OR BOTH!!!

(below) I think we can all agree that this photo really didn't need a caption

(below) Clivia gardenii (boslelie) flowers

(below) Preparing winter seedlings at Babylonstoren

(Above and below)  the ‘Puff Adder” – a meandering shade house that snakes through the trees by the river

(below) "You can make bread……….."
Master Baker, Karen Pretorius, a teacher in the breadmaking workshop

(below)   "……and I'll make beer"
At the distillery making "Mampoer", a clear spirit distilled from seasonal fruit from the farm.

(below)   Plum Blossoms in the Spring at Babylonstoren

(below)  Harvest Time: eggplant, green peppers, red & green kohlrabi, naartjies, green beans, persimmons, apples, quinces, olives & savoy cabbage.

(below)    Grape Harvesting at Babylonstoren

(below)  Grapes "just about ready" to become Balylonstoren Cabernet Sauvignon

(below) Hotel guests enjoying a stroll to "The Island", perfect for birdwatching or a romantic picnic

(below) A fruit called Jambos. Even though it looks very similar to a guava, it is also known as a rose apple. The fruit is said to have the most delicately perfumed rose taste and aroma

(below) what Babylonstoren calls the "Berg River" Running through the Garden

(below)  A Babylostoren classic for visitors. A seasonal tea made with herbs and flowers from the garden, including St. John’s Wort, bergamot (a fragrant orange) , fennel flowers, vrouebossie and lemon balm.

(below)  a "picture of a picture" of Babylonstoren Organic Farm and Hotel


Michael Franks: "When Blackbirds Fly"
(….sounds nice with the slideshow below 🙂 )

Normally, I choose the best photos for an article and trash the rest, but it would be a "Bloggers Crime" to not post the many other amazing Babylonstoren photos, so I made a little slideshow. Turn on "When Blackbirds Fly" above, and ENJOY!

(…slideshow runs automatically. To start slideshow from the beginning, refresh your browser, or click "Play" After the first auto-run slideshow ends. If restarting by refreshing browser, slideshow won't start until all photo reload, so be patient)

~stay healthy~




you might also like……


The "All Organic" Tropical Resort, Kittitian Hill, St. Kitts West Indies


Upscale Organic Vacationing, The Wiesergut Hotel, Austria


Sustainable Upscale Living, Oil Nut Bay, British Virgin Islands


check out all my articles in
"Sustainable Gardening, Eating, Living…..and all that jazz"

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