Organic Essential Oil Farming
We operate a 20 Ha commercial essential oil farm in Rustenburg for the production of organic geranium and various other essential oils. This farming operation provides a significant component of our secured sales but also maintains African Rose on the cutting edge internationally of the best farming practices for various crops, most particularly rose geranium.
The farm has been in production since 2007 and consistently yields organic geranium oil of international quality and in significant yields relative to the world market. It employs a number of full time staff and many more seasonal workers during plant production, planting and harvesting.
New developments in the field of organic geranium farming that have been developed on this farm include,
- The use of a combination of various organic fertilisers including significant amounts of vermi-compost produced in-house
- Combining mechanical and manual techniques and extensive mulching for weed control
- A completely new approach to harvesting
The farm is an ideal training venue for potential new essential oil farmers, facilitating cost effective training and practical experience, giving new farmers vital insights before they set out on their own. It has already been used in this way by various organisations and we are currently developing new models whereby long term training for specifically selected farmers can be conducted over a period of several seasons whereafter the "graduating" farmers are financially and technically equipped to begin their own farming enterprise.