SKYE FEHLMANN - FOUNDER

Skye is the founder of Naturally Organic.  In 2004, only 20 years old, Skye walked onto the land of Gumtree Farm and decided to embark on an organic adventure.

My aim was to diversify – start farming both roll on lawns and organic food, and see which one took off.  I needed to be practical, I had to feed myself, but at the same time I wanted to farm healthy food.  It was great to see how as we went on, it was clear that there was a gap in the market for organic veg and I could fill it and close down the lawn business.  That was a good feeling.”

Skye was studying psychology at the time and simply wanted to make some extra cash selling people healthy vegetables.  Knowledge of farming – or organic farming?  Not so much.  Thanks to Amazon, he got a delivery of 22 organic farming books and proceeded to read and self-educate himself.

“The books told me to start farming on my doorstep – because that’s where you walk.  This seemed practical – farming in a corner of your land you never walk past would be a tough way to start and keep at it.  We were up at six am and worked until 6pm everday.  As time went on, I made many mistakes, but the great thing was that I could learn so much by chatting to fellow farmers, and of course using the modern oracle: Google.

 

I have definitely had my moments of ups and downs - I guess I also don’t want to glorify farming too much as it can be really tough.  But at the end of the day, I know it’s what I want to do and I am grateful I’ve had the opportunity in my life to pursue it.  Waking up when the air is crisp and clean, swimming in the dam with my dogs, sweating into the compost, and watching that hard toil grow into beautiful produce.”

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Gumtree farm, Varkensvlei Road, Philippi, Cape Town, South Africa