Diepklowe Regenerative Farm

The Diepklowe Regenerative Farm is an ongoing experimental, regeneration inspired, agricultural project in the Western Cape

The project is an experimental agricultural project that seeks to produce a diversity of healthy foods using regenerative farming practises. The farm is situated in the Overberg in the Western Cape. 295 hectares of the farm is dedicated to nature reserve while 7 hectares are committed to farming practises. The first phase of the project is a 0.6 hectare integrated fruit orchard and alley cropping system composed of over 40 varieties of fruit trees and mixed grain, cover and fodder cropping practises. The orchard design draws from a variety of inspirations including permaculture design, food forest systems, agro-ecology, agroforestry and keyline design.

The project began with a think tank of seasoned and passionate farmers, environmentalists and designers hosted by Six Kingdoms in May 2016. Subsequent design and planning sessions developed on the ideas generated during the think tank.

The first fruit trees were planted in orchard section of the farm in August 2017 and Honeybush and Rosemary and Lavender hedgerows were planted in late May 2018. The next phase of the project is planting beneficial understory species to support the fruit trees with a variety of functions from nutrient accumulation to pest deterrence.

Key design principles and strategies incorporated into the orchard system are:

– Diverse cropping systems

– Cover cropping and soil management practise

– Low-till to no-till farming

– Regenerative farming and ‘carbon farming’ practises

A rough timeline of the farm design and implementation process can be found below:

May 2016- Think tank and design development, initial soil, water and site analysis

June 2016- Cover cropping of site

October 2016- Flattening of cover crop

June-December 2016- Iterative design sessions

February-March 2017- 2nd soil analysis and over-story (fruit tree) species selection

May 2017- Soil preparations – power harrowing, chisel ploughing, biochar and compost application, cover cropping

August 2017- Tree Planting

September-February 2018- Tree maintenance and observation

February 2018- Annual planning meeting for 2018

May 2018- Chisel ploughing of keyline structures and hedgerow planting lines

May 2019- Hedgerow planting

For past project updates and more information click here




Brainstorm plan for the project design, May, 2016
Adam laying out trees, May 2017
Experimenting with biochar on site, May 2017
A mixed cover crop of beans, rye, wheat and mustard, July 2017
Preparation for citrus planting, August 2017
Chisel ploughing in April 2018 to increase water infiltration along hedgerow lines
Cover crop in late winter 2018, with alleys mowed alongside trees
Trees growing in mid summer, 2019
Honeybush, an indigenous nitrogen fixer and increasing popular herbal tea plant
Some of the first fruit, February 2018. The 2019-2020 season will be the first proper harvest season for the project