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Dassiesfontein on the N2
Freshly baked bread with creamy farm butter in front of a toasty wood-fired Dover. That sounds like an Enid Blyton story – but its available at Dassiesfontein farm stall 10km outside Caledon on the N2 to Botrivier.
10km outside Caledon on the N2 to Botrivier
EMAIL: [email protected]
PHONE: 028 214 1475
Founders Sassie and Alda Fick are lucerne and Donhe Merino farmers and initially, the farm stall was nothing more than a trailer that Sassie hauled to the side of the road by tractor. “We sold some fruit and veg that was produced by the locals,” says Sassie in a broad Overberg accent. Later there were two trailers and later still it became three. “But then we were robbed, and once the high winds blew us over” laughs Sassie “on top of that, authorities are on your case if you are selling on the main highway, so in 1995 we decided to build a permanent structure. The name is from the original farm, it’s fitting”
To survive in any business for 25 years one must do something right. And one has to be innovative. The Dassiesfontein speciality is Boerekos: hearty old-fashioned meat, vegetables, and potatoes, with that freshly baked boerebrood of course, served on a traditional enamel plate. Sassies other attraction is an impressive array of Dover wood-burning stoves. But this is no nostalgic museum – the stoves have been refurbished and are for sale to people who prefer an alternative homely way to heat up a house or cook a meal.
Sassie who says he’s taking a ‘gap year’ is busier than ever – together with ten other farmers in the region he is creating a preservation area. This entails clearing invader plants (including pine trees) to allow the fynbos – especially endangered varieties – to flourish. Plans also include developing hiking and mountain bike trails to open up more of the beautiful Caledon environs to tourists and nature lovers.
Upon approaching Dassiesfontein farm stall one is immediately struck by the vast number of solar panels on the structure’s roof. According to Sassie solar provides 80% of the farm stall’s electricity needs. Therefore, it is not surprising that Sassie immediately signed up with Zero Carbon Charge to install an EV charging station at Dassiesfontein. In fact, his station will be the first of Zero Carbon Charge’s roll-out of charging stations on all major SA routes.
Sassie regards it as an easy decision.
“I saw the benefit instantly; I didn’t need any convincing. It’s a promising idea it’s the future and it’s the right thing to do”
Sassie is under no illusion that it is a quick-fix or flash in the pan, and he is prepared to wait until this investment pays off. “We’ve been in a comfort zone,” he says “I needed this to shake myself up. It will attract interest and it will attract more customers. It’s going to be incredibly positive”
Sassie reckons that in spite of initial misgivings skeptics will soon be won over by the benefits of electric vehicles. “A decade ago a farmer wouldn’t even consider driving an automatic transmission bakkie or SUV” he laughs “now it’s the norm.”
As for his own preference in EVs Sassie is loyal and pragmatic: “I’ve always been a Land Rover Defender guy,” he says “initially I thought I’d convert one of my old models into an E-Defenders, but I’ve let that idea go. Now I’m waiting for Land Rover to bring one out.”