It’s been a while since I wrote anything about my favourite place in Cape Town – the Oude Molen Eco-Village (see the sidebar for my previous posts). So I thought I’d make up for that now by sharing some photos of the many, many chickens who call this place their home.
I love popping in at the Millstone Farm Stall for a delicious chococcino and a super-decadent ultra-chocolatey brownie.
Or a wholesome butternut and feta quiche with a side salad. Or a spicy pizza slice… yumm!
Or to pick up some farm-fresh organic vegetables, delivered fresh every Friday: potatoes, leeks, carrots, butternut, sweet potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, …. even some exotic-looking coconuts.
Or to inhale the aroma of their freshly baked bread or ciabatta, straight from the wood-fired oven.
Or to splurge on a glass of honey or a bottle of olive oil or a jar of home-made jam.
There is always something happening: a children’s party with balloons and lots of hyper-excited kiddies racing around; or perhaps a workshop for children on making pizzas or baking cookies.
Recently, a drumming circle met there for a morning workshop of drumming, using Djembe drums, which sounded most exciting.
Some days around lunchtime, the youngsters from the adjacent Gaia Waldorf School get a drumming lesson underneath the large old tree with its pirate ship treehouse. It can get a little noisy when they become carried away by excitement, but their delight in making beautiful rhythmic sounds with their drums is quite infectious.
And even if there aren’t any organised activities, I find that the horses, dogs and chickens – and Miss Milly May, the resident pig – provide endless entertainment.
Recently, for instance, I was browsing the shelves in the farm stall when I heard the most alarming and bone-chilling squeals coming from Milly May’s residence just around the corner. Her cries were so heart-rending, that I immediately rushed over to investigate.
It appeared that Miss Milly had tried to get out of her pen by forcing her considerable bulk through some bushes and out through a miniscule gap in the fence.
Well, she must have under-estimated the size of her belly, because the poor dear had gotten herself solidly stuck in the bushes. The thick branches were clasping her firmly, and had no intention of letting her go. She could neither move forwards nor backwards.
Jochi, the Millstone chef and Milly’s owner, was trying to pull her out backwards… which is why she was squealing so loudly!
It was the first time that I realised the meaning of the phrase “squealing like a stuck pig” (I’d always thought it had to do with knives and such… Now, I no longer think it does.) Yep. NOW I know that sound. It goes right through your stomach, and turns it inside out.
When all attempts to free Milly May were unsuccessful, Jochi decided to leave her in peace… in the hope that she would get herself out of her own mess. (A couple of days later, one of the waiters confirmed that she had indeed managed to escape, by forcing herself through the bushes and out through the gap in the fence on her own. Clever girl!)
I so badly wanted to take a photo of her where she was stuck, because I really wanted to show it to you. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do so.
When I went to commiserate with Milly May, she looked as sheepish as it is possible for a stuck pig to look. She glanced up at me, and gave a disconsolate snort, while I scratched the top of her head and spoke kindly to her.
Wordlessly, she asked me not to take a photo of her in this acutely embarrassing predicament. So I scratched her head some more and reassured her that I was keeping my camera firmly tucked away in my rucksack.
Oh dear, the poor thing.
Anyhow, that is why I have now shown you photos of chickens instead!