A visit to the BAR Valley could not be complete without spending time at Owls Rest Olive and Lavender farm. Located on Route 62 between Robertson and Ashton and nestled in the foothills of the Langeberg mountains in the Klaasvoogds River valley, lies this beautiful lavender and olive farm. Visitors get the opportunity to experience a working lavender farm where Lavender, Rosemary and Rose Geranium are harvested by hand and then steam distilled to extract the beautiful essential oils and floral water from these crops. These herbal products, which are well known for their wonderful fragrance and therapeutic benefits, provide the foundation for the wide range of products produced and sold at the farm. Alongside the aforementioned products, the farm offers its own smooth blend of fresh extra virgin olive oil, delicious table olives and tapenades and some unusual and delicious fruit preserves. The farm also has a growing fan base for its unique herbal cordials !
Queen Elizabeth I of England valued lavender as a conserve and commanded that the royal table should never be without conserve of lavender. She also drank an abundance of Lavender tea to help ease her migraines.
The ancient Greeks medicinally used it to treat insomnia, backaches, throat infections, chest pains and insanity. Cleopatra used lavender to set the mood when she seduced Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Lavender is referenced in the Bible by the name spikenard. For example, John 12 1-10: reads, “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.”
Hedley and Patricia Manicom bought the Owl Rest farm in July 2016 and immediately set to work upon turning the good little business they had bought into a great business. Hedley’s engineering and business background combines well with Patricia’s landscaping and creative design skills and with the support of their small but capable workforce, the farm has become a popular destination for locals and tourist alike and they have a growing customer base across South Africa.
The staff at Owls Rest grew up in the Langeberg valley and have a deep understanding of all that it has to offer. Each member brings their own specific strengths and in their own way is able to contribute towards developing and keeping happy customers whether this is through providing great products, delicious refreshments or a memorable experience at the farm.