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Oak Valley Oak Forest

Join Tru-Cape for old apple stories and a picnic under the oaks

Sharing stories about our culinary heritage is the reason the largest exporter of South African apples and pears approached the highly engaged Lockdown Recipe Storytelling Book (LRSB) Facebook group to meet over heritage tales and food.

Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing approached the Lockdown Recipe Storytelling Book group to host a picnic under the oaks as an adjunct to the Heritage Orchard tour this Saturday, February 26 at 10am. The LRSB group, an initiative and brainchild of magazine editor and serial entrepreneur, Ingrid Jones, was started during the initial COVID-19 lockdown, and has grown to over 4000 members who engage on-line; a hard-copy coffee table book of recipes sourced from the group, the Koe’Sister Magazine and many spin-off events all linked by “komvandaan” stories – personal foodie histories that make up who we are, where we come from and how that has influenced what we eat.

Oak Valley Estate in Elgin has generously made an oak forest, immediately opposite the Tru-Cape Heritage Orchard, available to picnic for one day only on Saturday, February 26, 2022, from 9am to 2pm.

On one day each year Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing opens its Heritage Orchard at Oak Valley to the public for a guided walkabout by Tru-Cape’s apple and pear experts, Henk Griessel and Buks Nel. Nel and Griessel co-authored two books, Apples in the Early Days at The Cape about the old varieties no longer in commercial production represented in the Heritage Orchard and The Newcomers and Their Friends about the new varieties currently and soon to be on the supermarket shelves. Buks Nel says, “If you don’t know where you come from, how can you know to where you are going?”

Fahiem Stellenboom and Wyomia Mouwers, both active members of the LRSB group, will host the picnic.

Stellenboom explains: “We are creating that old-school family picnic vibe with some fun games and spot prizes on the day. We want people to pack their picnic baskets, fill it with their favourite treats and join us for a day of fun, festivity and community. We have the privilege to gather in the pristine oak forest with tons of shade and after our gathering we will leave with beautiful memories, all our goodies and the forest as we found it.  Tru-Cape is providing gazebos for additional shade and two porta-loos but tables, chairs and everything else must be brought along. A “skottle” or gas braai is permitted but absolutely no open fires.

People can arrive from 9am to set up their picnic spaces, join the Heritage Orchard tour from 10 to 12.00 and share stories and lunch after. The day’s activities conclude by 2pm.

While both the Heritage Orchard tour and the LRSB Picnic are free events, a ticket for each event is required to enter the estate and must be secured via

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