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Windpomp Padstal on the N1
This area is a bushveld hunting Mecca
with over three hundred lodges between Musina and Alldays
2km north of Baobab toll plaza and 35 km south of Musina on the N1
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PHONE: 084 806 8057
“We are a dream team,” laughs Sarita Erwee when I ask her about her husband Hennie’s involvement at Windpomp Farmstall “I dream these larger-than-life dreams, and he makes sure all the strategic decisions are made so that the dreams become reality.”
Windpomp Farmstall is the northernmost Network partner in the Zero Carbon Tribe and is situated on the N1 two km north of the Baobab toll plaza and 35km south of Musina. The farmstall was established in 2018, but in October 2022 Sarita embarked on an expansion and renovation plan, and now it is three times bigger than before.
The farmstall is on the farm Maseri Pan and since the early 1900s, there has been a shop where transport ox wagons used to stop to rest and replenish water and food stocks. When the N1 was built the farm was rent asunder. “The eastern part that stretches towards Tshipise is our hunting grounds,” says Sarita “and the western part is used to grow tomatoes, melons, and pumpkins, among others.” This fresh produce is for sale at Windpomp, but there’s a lot else besides.
“We take pride in the game biltong, dry wors and chili-bites that we produce from our own farm” boasts Sarita “our products taste better because we allow it to dry naturally in Musina’s dry heat.
Our competitors use fans and heaters, which gives their meat a ‘cooked,’ unnatural taste.” Windpomp also supplies fresh venison cuts and venison wors from our own registered butchery – highest quality guaranteed.
Apart from the typical pickles and jams (the sweet green figs are special!) Sarita also offers handmade leather products, Africa Arts, and Mopani wood lamps. “The lampshades are sandblasted and are in huge demand.”
Sarita’s client-base includes locals and also support from truck drivers in need of a break before or after crossing Beit Bridge.
“This area is a bushveld hunting Mecca. There are more than three hundred lodges from here to Waterpoort and Alldays” explains Sarita “many of the foreign visitors also enter the area via the airstrip on our farm and many of out farmstall items are aimed at their tastes.”
Another target market are the so-called Swallows – older folk who escape the bleak Highveld winters to bask in the warm shelter north of the Soutpansberg, sometimes for up to three months. “The Swallows slot into our community,” says Sarita “they become part of the church congregation and they have to shop at local stores.”
It is Sarita’s mission to turn Windpomp into an irresistible oasis. To this end she has expanded the petting zoo. “We now have miniature mountain goats, ponies, turkeys, chickens, bunnies, fish, and two large bird cages. I’m planning to build a tower for the goats to clamber up and down.”
Maseri Cabins is Windpomp’s self-catering accommodation offering and comprises ten x 2-bed cabins with bathroom, kitchenette, and braai area. During the week they are occupied by contractors to the mining industry, and on weekends tourists on their way to or from Zimbabwe and Kruger Park sleep over. “The demand has grown so much that we are expanding and by December 2022 we’ll have five 2-room family units available”.
EV charging station
Sarita is tickled pink about the partnership with Zero Carbon Charge. “Actually, Joubert did everything” she laughs “we just provide the location.” She reckons the Charging Station will attract curious locals and travellers, who will then see first-hand that the e-volution is really happening. “People will see that in the gramadoelas we are not as backward as they think!”
She understands that the process will be evolutionary, and the ZeroCC development is part of the trend among some of the larger local farmers to move towards solar power to become completely independent from Eskom. “I love the idea that we are trailblazers” she says, “it’s wonderful to know we are planting a seed that will one day yield a massive tree.”
Sarita and Hennie are not only environmentally aware but are also deeply involved in social and community projects. “Among other things we donate meat to an orphanage in the district, and we contribute to community and skills development projects.”
She hasn’t given much thought to selecting an EV yet. “I’ll settle for an electric quadbike” she decides “because that’s where I am most of the time, on my quadbike, haring from farmhouse to farmstall”
Meaning, The Windpomp Farmstall, in the hot, far north of Limpopo Province