The Earth Centre

Opening Hours

Open now

9:00 am - 4:30 pm

  • Monday

    9:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Tuesday

    9:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wednesday

    9:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thursday

    9:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Friday

    9:00 am - 4:30 pm
  • Saturday

    9:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Sunday

    Closed all day
  • Local time

    July 12, 2024 9:00 am

Description

The Earth Centre started off as The Veggie box more or less 11 years ago, at the time i was staying at a small holding myself, growing veggies and looking after animals

We had surplus veggies, so i started making salads and bunching leeks and went in to town to look for interested people, i still remember my very first customer calling me after she got home and unpacking her box, Shantal, she said, the leeks have dirt on them, i started appologising, No, she said, I love them with a bit of dirt, it means they were freshly harvested
Till this day I love receiving The Earth Centre’s Veggies with a bit of dirt on them

Down the road from the small holding, there was a lady making cheese from their own cow’s milk, another lady further on made preserves and another one rusks….
I harvested and prepared all my salads and veggies for my orders the day before, and early the next morning id leave home, collecting all my neighbours’ produce and products on my home to town for our deliveries

I realized then that we are surrounded by so much food growing in and around our town, but a big portion of it gets shipped off to central markets….just to end up back on the super market shelves again….
So, i thought, ill collect what i can from interested farmers as well and also include their produce in the veggie box
As we were also organic farmers, I’ve always looked out a bit more for Organic Farmers, we’ve always listed our produce as organic, Biologically grown or regular, so that the customer can make an informed decision for themselves.
But in all fairness, I’ve come to love all the farmers…..They are all making the effort to grow food, its not a simple task, so we work with them all! But, we do draw the line with super harmful chemicals.
We do all our own farm visits as well for The Earth Centre, it always takes so much longer than expected, farmers are very warm, most of the time you are invited to join them for a meal, and it is always a heartfelt meal, accompanied by a heartfelt story about how much they love what they are doing
Most of the time i am overwhelmed by the support we receive both from our producers and our customers…..i cant thank them enough

There’s a few farmers whom has given some land to their farmworkers to grow some veggies for themselves, one guy has become an excellent farmer, he grows for himself, his neighbors, the farmer and has some to sell, his veggies are so beautiful, the smell! The taste! It is so amazing

We also have people coming in to trade with us, our backyard farmers, they don’t usually have much, maybe a kg or 2 of lemons, or a handful of kumquat or a couple of bunches of kale, whatever they have, they bring and trade for whatever they need in the shop, we appreciate this very much!

We have the most wonderful egg farmers, those hens have the best life ever! And our customers love the eggs, i think their eggs are the best seller in the shop, it is the biggest treat when they come to deliver our eggs, we get warm hugs and lots of love!!

Most of our products and produce is harvested and made by local hands, what we cant find locally, we source further afield
We look for it locally first, we look for sustainability and fair trade

We have found some growers and others have found us
This is equally wonderful, finding someone, its almost always the feeling of, where have you been all our lives😉
Its the same for the ones that find us, one just feels grateful that they finally found you!
Then there’s dairy farmers that has recently tried their hand at veggie farming, and realizing they are quite good at it, and is sporting a bumper crop for their first try, i do a little happy dance in my mind when this happens!
It means they will most definitely go for it again in the new season! More locally produced veggies for Swellendam!

Our Naartjie and Watermelon farmer, they are such humble people, always serving their community, we’ve been receiving fruit from them for almost a year, today was the first time he delivered our naartjies himself, it was wonderful to see him at our shop, in person, so full of warmth!

Then we have our Olive farmers, its a little family Living on a farm in the usually dry Karoo, but not so much anymore, after all this rain, they have a whole bunch of dogs and a sheep, whom thinks he is a dog, and his name is Wagter😄
They grow the best olives, and preserve them very well, all by their own hands and then to top it all, they also grow nuts, crush them by hand….nogal…..and bring them with….yum

When i first opened the shop at the Museum, I thought we were going to go completely Vegan soon, and then so many people started asking for Healthier Meat
We now have a big variety of Free Range and Organic Meat, all Anti Biotic and Growth Hormone Free, it is such a pleasure working with these farmers aswell, they look after the wellbeing of their animals so beautifully, for that, I am so thankful!

We have a very special family making Beef, Veggie and Chicken Broth for us, using our shop’s bones, to ensure delicious Collagen Rich Broths made with mountain spring water! It is the best Broths ever, although i may be a bit biased, but it is😉

Then there’s the room, which has become the clothing room over night….i have been dreaming about a natural fibre, clothing range for a while now, until in about a space of a month, they brought their locally made, with Natural Fibres Clothes to The Earth Centre, with all their Vibrant Colours, much like the people who made them! For weeks the smell lingered of freshly made clothes

And of course we stock environmentally friendly cleaning products, natural body products, tinctures, balms, and ointments.
As well as GMO Free Grains, pulses, seeds, Flours, Legumes and Super Powders

And of course, we also have a reading room, Rob has brought his living library and his extraordinary Shell Collection into the 3rd room of our shop, we gave the room a comfy couch so that people can sit with ease and read through the books, there’s also a lovely dining room table and chairs for meetings and conferences, but mostly we share meals and conversations around that table

Then there’s friends’ art pieces, blessing our walls with their everlasting presence, and gifts made by local hands.

Gary says he loves the busy-ness of Wednesdays and Thursdays….wednesdays all our farmers deliver their weeks’ fresh produce and it gives us time to connect with each other, to talk about the joys or hardships of the week
On Thursdays our Customers come to collect their orders, its the same really, both the farmers and customers have become friends, and it just feels like two days of kueiring in our little shoppie
I am greatful for the passion and the freshness of it all

We also have the most amazing encounters by random visitors
Ones you might never see again, but the moment shared was memorable.

We did a photo shoot for Schoone Oordt Country House, Alison, the owner goes out of her way to support local, so she sent her photographer over to take a few pictures of us receiving our freshly harvested veggies, we will be packing and delivering her order tomorrow❣️ This may very well by why my story is so filled with emotion today, i was reminded by how wonderful this place truly is……thank you Alison❣️
I am so grateful for my family and friends for all their support and love throughout the years, and to everyone whom has ever walked through the doors, wether you have come to work, shop, deliver, browse or just catch up, thank you for coming
And most of all, I’m thankful for Gary and Collette, it has been a pleasure serving with you

 

 

 

Services

  • Deliveries
  • Gift Shop
  • Health Shop
  • Groceries

Location

  • 26 Swellengrebel Street, Swellendam

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