Growing fruit is our bread and butter here, and the fresh pome fruit (apples and pears) grown on Koelfontein Estate and destined for the export markets of Europe, North America, Asia and increasingly Africa as well, is the largest contributor to the income of the business. Pear cultivation, in particular, is where our competitive advantage lies. The Warm Bokkeveld is arguably one of the best places in the world to grow Forelle pears, which is our flagship cultivar. Other bi-colour pears such as Rosemarie and Flamingo also do very well here, which is why we are looking forward to the performance of our own plantings of Cheeky, a new locally-bred bi-colour pear cultivar. The rest of our pear range is completed by Packham’s Triumph, Early Bon Chretien, Golden Russet Bosc and Abate Fetel.
Even though the valley is not as well-known as the neighbouring high-lying Koue Bokkeveld for its apple cultivation, we do have plantings of Panorama Golden, Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Royal Gala. The relative earliness of ripening in the Warm Bokkeveld does provide a niche for the apples we grow.
Apples and pears take up almost half of the irrigated land on the farm. The remainder of the farm’s acreage is committed to stone fruit: Royal apricots, Elberta peaches, nectarines and prunes for sun-drying and yellow cling peaches for canning.