Monthly Archives: April 2014

Female Entrepreneur Awards

Female Entrepreneur Awards

Hi All.

The National Department of Agriculture,Forestry & Fisheries is running the competition for women in different sectors of agriculture.As the Provincial Department of Agriculture & Rural Development we have been tasked to invite all interested female Entrepreneurs to take part in this competition.

Thabo Mofutsanyana District is inviting all Female Entrepreneurs to take part and represent our wonderful district in the Province.If they win in the Province then they will represent Free State Province in the National Competition.

Here are the Categories of the competition:

  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: COMMERCIAL
  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: SMALLHOLDER
  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: PROCESSING
  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: EXPORT
  • BEST SUBSISTANCE
  • BEST FEMALE WORKER
  • MINISTERIAL AWARD: YOUNG WOMAN/ WOMAN WITH DISABILITY

Closing date for entering the competition is 14 May 2014.All interested farmers can contact Mr Tsepiso Mosia and get forms at his office in Dihlabeng Municipal office in Clarens.
Good news is that Clarens is running for the hosting of the district event on 29 May 2014.Let us go for this challenge Clarens Farmers,remember Clarens is the unique town of WINNERS!!!
Hope to hear from you soon.

Tsepiso Mosia
Department of Agriculture & Rural Development FS
Phone: 0710791332
E-mail: mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com

Protea roupelliae

 

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Weekly Plant of Interest Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. Well it’s been some time since we’ve included a woody plant in our line-up of must-see-plants, thus this week’s plant hales from the Proteacea (Protea) family. Protea roupelliae (Silver Protea in English, Silversuikerbos in Afrikaans and seqalaba in Sesotho), is a small tree that grows to between 3 & 7 m tall. This plant is found on grass slopes in close proximity to rocky outcrops, usually at altitudes of up to 2400 m A.S.L. P. roupelliae is endemic to S.A. One also gets the feel that they are in a totally different part of the country when walking among the Protea’s. The photos below were not in fact taken in the Clarens Nature Reserve but on private farmland within 10 km (or 5 minutes’ drive) of Clarens.     The leaves of P. roupelliae are a bluish green measuring 60-160 mm X 15-45 mm and held in terminal rosette stems. Young leaves are covered in silvery hairs, while older leaves are hairless. The bark is thick and black, with narrow furrows observed on older bark. Flower-heads are 80-120 mm in diameter with brown outer bracts. Inner bracts are spoon shaped, deep pink and edged with silvery hairs.  As the flower-heads age they grade to pale pink-red then brown-purple/black. Flowering Feb-Apr. Uses:

Food

The nectar is probed from the flower-heads by sunbirds, in particular the spectacular malachite sunbird and Gurney’s sugarbird. Also used for fuel during cooking.

Ecology

A favourite nesting spot for the above-mentioned nectar-sucking birds as well as a few small mammals. Proteas’ are a Fynbos species of plant which rely on fire for their seeds to germinate. A fire interval of 10 -15 years is generally favourable for the growth of this species, any shorter and seed banks will not be able to accumulate sufficiently for the maintenance of the spp., any longer and the plants become senescent and no further seed are produced. The presence of this spp. in grassland could therefore act as an indicator of veld which is in a relatively healthy state.

Gardening

This plant can be grown from seed – and for those who enjoy birding and photography – a few of these in your garden will bring birds of stunning plumage to your doorstep. P. roupelliae is relatively frost tolerant and hardy. It seems to proliferate in wind-prone areas on shallow, slightly acidic soils.

Traditional Uses

The bark has been used in traditional medicines.

Conservation Status

This species has been recorded as of least concern by SANBI.

Eriospermum ornithogaloides

Eriospermum ornithogoloides

Weekly Plant of Interest

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’re focusing this week on a small plant of the from the Eriospermaceae family.

Eriospermum ornithogaloides (khonggoana-tsingoana in Sesotho), is a small plant that grows to between 100 & 250 mm in height at altitudes of up to 2400 m A.S.L. This unusually shaped plant is found growing in colonies on the edges of rock sheet and sparsely grassed rocky areas – often nearby or among succulent plants. Occurs from  the EC to FS.

E. ornithogaloides photographed here were observed growing just above the Scilla Walk – apparently unharmed by errant goats. It’s not often that one sees a plant growing with no stem and just a single above-ground leaf…Interesting.

 

 

E. ornithogaloides possesses a single solitary leaf which lies closely against the ground and measures approx. 35 X 25 mm. The leaf is roughly heart-shaped with red margins, sometimes fringed by hairs. The inflorescence is not often observed as it occurs separately from the leaves – on the same below ground plant. The flowers are 10 mm in diameter, with spreading outer tepals and white erect inner petals with a blue-green midvein. Flowering Oct – Dec. Uses:

Traditional Uses

Has been known to treat earache and even infertility in women of the Sesotho culture.

Conservation Status

This species has been recorded as of least concern by SANBI.

Gardener – Employment wanted

John Mosea is a very well spoken , kind and honest man who is seeking work as a Gardener in Clarens. His son attends Dihlabeng Primary and he is a proud father and a good man.
Please contact him on 073 954 5146 if you would like to set up a meeting with him and interview him.

25th April, 2014: Welcome to the New News

Clarens in Autumn


Table of Contents: Welcome to Clarens; Focus on Recycling:  Cleaning Up Clarens; Recycling: the why, what, how and where?; The Twitcher; Clarens Primary to be revamped; Clarens Village Conservancy; Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve: Female Entrepreneur Awards; Letter from the Clarens Ratepayers Association; A Dihlabeng Chicken Run; Dihlabeng Budget; Cluny Animal Trust Appeal; The MTN Mountain Bike Race: How you can make it work for you; Coming Events: 2 May, 2014:  Supper Theatre On the Square; Coming Events: 2 May, 2014: Artists Open Day at Sunnyside Guest Farm; Coming Events: 3-4 May: National MTB in Clarens; Coming Events: 31 May 2014:  Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day; More Coming Events; It’s super rugby time again; Conservation Sense


 Welcome to Clarens

Just a glance at the picture above and you know that this is Clarens.  And we at Clarens News are over-the-moon excited to launch our new website. As promised, our new website is now live. It’s a rather unusual website in that it has a dual purpose. The primary objective is to attract visitors to Clarens by telling them what a special town we have.   It is, however, also a website for the people who live in Clarens, and we hope that all the business owners and Clarens Organisations  will come to look at it as their website. In other words its a website for and about Clarens, and it’s there for both visitors and the people of Clarens to use, alongside these newsletters and the Clarens News facebook page. The website is an on-going project: we’re working on it all the time but there is still a lot of work to do – especially as far as listings are concerned, so please forgive us if we haven’t got your business listed yet. With your help – we’ll get there soon.  In the meantime, please enjoy all the information already on the website.  And should you wish to comment – please email us:  editor@clarensnews.com.


Focus on Recycling:  Cleaning Up Clarens

Clarens Recycling Centre Team

Clarens News managed to catch up with Evon Els and her helpers Mojalefa and Palo outside the Recycling Centre just after the beerfest.   Evon manages the Recycling centre, and together with Mojalefa and Palo,  goes to great lengths to collect recyclable materials from in and around Clarens.  It’s a big job – often smelly and dirty – and therefore, not for the feint hearted.

I asked Evon how she came to be so passionate about recycling, and she told me that it all started when she had an engineering business in Graaff Reinet.  She started to put aside all the scrap metal generated by her business, and next thing the community started bringing her tin cans and bottles, which she bought from them in an effort to alleviate the dire poverty in the area.  The effect verged on miraculous.  Not only was there money going into the community, but the whole town was cleaned up.  The effects of recycling are huge, and Evon is hoping that she can have the same effect on the Clarens community that she had in Graaff Reinet.

Materials are collected from the trailer parked outside the Bibliophile, restaurants, businesses, the transfer site,  schools, the Kgubetswana taverns and homes, and if you phone her, she’ll even come to your home to collect.  Read more

Recycling: the why, what, how and where?

Many of us have heard of recycling, but how many of us know the importance of recycling? I suppose that if asked, the majority of us would come up with a response like “because it’s good for the environment”, but there’s more to it than that… much much more. for the environment”, but there’s more to it than that… much much more. So why should we recycle? To start off with well … you guessed it – it’s good for the environment. The Earth only has finite resources and at some point these must run out – unless we start reusing that which we already have. But when we look deeper we will find that that it also aids socio-economic development. Recycling raises awareness which in turn prompts an alteration in behaviour which leads to action which results in positive change – streets are cleaner (reduce), attitudes are changed so that people now take pride in their surroundings and all the recycled materials can be used to make other new objects (reuse) and employment opportunities are created. Because pollution is reduced, quality of life improves – people are happier and more productive. This is particularly true of impoverished communities. This leads us on to what can be recycled? The following are just a few examples of what can be taken to recycling centres:    Read more


The Twitcher

One long weekend down, two to go.  Judging from the reaction of the restaurants, bars, coffee shops and guest houses, you could be forgiven for thinking we had won the lottery.  But if you happen to be a gallery or retail store owner, maybe not so much.  The point is that spending is selective in these stringent economic times:  Fill the tank with gas, fill the tummy with steak and craft beer and lay your tousled head upon a rented bed – and all is well with the world, apart from an upcoming election of course.  But whether or not you were on the receiving end of tourist largesse, it has to be said that Clarens at Easter was simply gorgeous: The trees are somewhere between butter and brown and the sunsets are an extreme exercise in sky theatre.  And if the Easter Bunny forgot about you, go buy your own little slice of chocolate heaven at your nearest village grocer; they need some business too!  Read more


Clarens Primary School to be revamped

Clarens Primary School

 
Clarens Primary, a school that was established almost a century ago will be celebrating their hundredth birthday  by receiving  a much needed revamp. The school is a non fee student school and depends largely on funding. Together with the dedicated teaching staff and helpers the school strives to bring out the best in learners by making use of what they have available.
Annetjie Coetzee - Clarens Primary School  Proud school principal Annetjie Coetzee has done her best to steer and direct the primary school through hard times. Last year (2013), after hearing about the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative(ASIDI), Annetjie  wrote to  this organisation on behalf of the school and the ASIDI, after inspecting the school, have now approved funding  (R15 million) for reconstruction. Read more
 

Clarens Village Conservancy

Clarens Village Conservancy - Spruit management The Clarens Village Conservancy rangers continue  their hard work.  Alien clearing from the Nature Reserve alone is a massive project necessitating much planning and physical effort, but given the systematic and scientific approach, there is hope that they will eventually overcome this massive problem,   Alien vegetation control is however one aspect of the work they do. Click here To read the Rangers April report , covering not only Alien Vegetation, but also Erosion Control, Environmental Education, and Trail Maintenance.  (You can also see previous reports on our Clarens Village Conservancy website page.) You  too can play your part, by becoming a member of the Conservancy, or by donating to the Conservancy in cash or kind.  (The Nature Reserve could for instance benefit from recyclable benches.) Click here for more information about The Clarens Village Conservancy.


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve:

Delosperma sutherlandii D sutherlandii

Damien Coulson

 

 

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. This week we’re focusing on a striking member of the Mesembryanthemaceae (Vygie/Ice Plant) family. Delosperma sutherlandii (Sutherland Hardy Ice-plant in English), is a succulent herb growing to 120 mm high. The Latin Delos translates to “conspicuous”, whilst spermatranslates to “seed”, referring to the large capsule-shaped seeds produced by the plant. In grasslands between KZN and Mpum it grows at altitudes of up to 2100 m A.S.L. The seeds of D. sutherlandii require only a sufficient quantity of rainfall to open. One can “trick” the dry capsule into opening by sucking on it for a short while or dripping several water droplets on the capsule. The capsule opens before your eyes but will soon close as it quickly dries. Interesting to know that the vibrant looking flowers are among the largest of any Ice-plant. The photo below was taken on a section of the Kloof Mountain Trail during the spring of last year.   Read more


Female Entrepreneur Awards

Hi All.

The National Department of Agriculture,Forestry & Fisheries is running the competition for women in different sectors of agriculture.As the Provincial Department of Agriculture & Rural Development we have been tasked to invite all interested female Entrepreneurs to take part in this competition.

Thabo Mofutsanyana District is inviting all Female Entrepreneurs to take part and represent our wonderful district in the Province.If they win in the Province then they will represent Free State Province in the National Competition.

Here are the Categories of the competition:

  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: COMMERCIAL
  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: SMALLHOLDER
  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: PROCESSING
  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: EXPORT
  • BEST SUBSISTANCE
  • BEST FEMALE WORKER
  • MINISTERIAL AWARD: YOUNG WOMAN/ WOMAN WITH DISABILITY

Closing date for entering the competition is 14 May 2014.All interested farmers can contact Mr Tsepiso Mosia and get forms at his office in Dihlabeng Municipal office in Clarens. Good news is that Clarens is running for the hosting of the district event on 29 May 2014.Let us go for this challenge Clarens Farmers,remember Clarens is the unique town of WINNERS!!! Hope to hear from you soon.

Tsepiso Mosia Department of Agriculture & Rural Development FS Phone: 0710791332 E-mail: mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com


Letter from the Clarens Ratepayers Association

Hi there I would like to advise you that Chris Salt, Treasurer and Vice Chair of the CRA has resigned. Chris has been with CRA for 6 years and before that he was Treasurer of the preceding association, RAG.  Thus he has been volunteering his services to the Clarens Community for many years and we would like to thank him for his dedication, expertise and support. We will be advising you soon of the date for the CRA AGM for which Chris will prepare the financials; the meeting will most probably be held in early June.  At the AGM we will be electing a new committee; please give some thought to volunteering as a committee member – we have three to four meetings per year. I am sure you will all join me in thanking Chris for his work for Clarens. Kind regards Pat Chairperson, CRA  (Phone: 058 256-1123  email: raubenheimer@icon.co.za

Click here for more information about the Clarens Ratepayers Association


A Dihlabeng Chicken Run

Dihlabeng Chicken Run
Ben Horn

The Dihlabeng  church here in Clarens is about to take part in what they describe as a chicken run,  set to start in June this year is an agricultural  based community challenge.  This project will aim to serve three purposes: feeding those in need, educating young people, and empowering local men and women with the skills and resources to create a sustainable income. Project leader, Ben Horn, is currently doing a gap year in Clarens. (Next year he’ll be moving to Preston to start a church and study robotics at university.) Three years ago, after spending a month serving Dihlabeng Church in Clarens, and its local community, he decided he would return to do the same thing for his gap year. Ben is still at the coop building stage of his project, but is hoping soon to be in a position to house 20 laying hens producing between 15 and 20 eggs a day, which will go towards feeding those in need. The second way this project will serve the local community is by educating young people. This will be done in two ways: educating children through Dihlabeng Christian School, and getting young adults involved in the running of the project. Dihlabeng School shares grounds Dihlabeng Church, meaning that as the coops will be built at the church, they will also be on the school grounds.  Ben writes:  Through the project, we not only hope to educate children on how to properly look after hens, but also to provide a teaching aid that will help school staff teach the children about a range of agricultural and biological topics. Right from the day the project begins we hope to get young adults involved in every area of running the project, teaching them how to look after hens and a range of project management skills. Thirdly, we plan to do this by taking our model for looking after hens to families in the surrounding villages.


Dihlabeng Budget

Those of you who’ve read the twitcher in full, will have seen the comments on the Dihlanbeng Municipality Budget, which was presented to Clarens residents at the Martie Lotz Hall on Wednesday.  Your editor had planned to upload the budget onto the website – but has so-far failed to manage this. (A software glitch which we can’t seem to overcome at the moment.)   Should you wish to have a look at it, please email: editor@clarensnews.com, and we will email you a copy.


Cluny Animal Trust Appeal

Cluny Animal Trust Appeal


The MTN Mountain Bike Race: How you can make it work for you

Organisers of MTN Mountain Bike Race have approached the Chamber of Commerce offering exclusivity of the water points needed on the two race days to businesses in Clarens.  This means that Clarens businesses have the opportunity to nab the huge exposure available at these water points, back from Bethlehem businesses.   This year more than 2000 cyclists are participating who will all see your brand.  What is needed is a gazebo (preferably branded), your branding such as banners, t-shirts, etc., 3-4 people and spirit.  You need to set up by 6.30 each day , it will be out on a farm road and the length of time will depend on the race route but will be no longer than 3 hours.  You will be provided with water, drinks, apples, bananas, banana bread and jelly babies to be handed to the athletes.  You will need to brush up your motivational phrases, bring your own good cheer and strong voices, and anything else to make your brand stand out and have fun.

The race organisers need 4 water points.  Please respond to info@clarensbrewery.co.za if you want to grab one. Who knows – yours might feature on SuperSport?

The organisers also asked the Chamber to appeal to guest house & B&B owners to:

1 – offer an accommodation discount to the cyclists. (They realise this year falls on a long weekend but next year’s race has been moved to the weekend after the May long weekend)

2 – offer a discount if the cyclists skip breakfast on account of being out in the route

3 – be accommodating in a late check out if you have no guests booking in on the Sunday to allow the cyclists to have a shower after the race.


Coming Events: 2 May, 2014: Supper Theatre On the Square:

Theatre in Clarens - Cat Simoni Phone Carol at Gosto’s for further details: 082 416 3687Click here to find out more about Cat Simoni


Coming Events: 2 May, 2014: Artists Open Day at Sunnyside Guest Farm

Artists Open Day at Sunnyside


Coming Events: 3-4 May National MTB in Clarens

MTN in ClarensClick here For further information


Coming Events: 31 May 2014 Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day

Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day

The purpose of the event is to raise funds for the development of an animal hospital in Fouriesburg and the surrounding areas.

Why:

Animals are mans best friend, they are always there when we’re lonely, they never give up on us and share our joy and sadness

Contact Details: Jan Sander (c) 0782462553, (f) 058 223 0727 email: jansander22@gmail.com


More Coming Events

Have a look at the website for the list of other coming events.


It’s super rugby time again

Watch all the action at one of our local Clarens pubs (and if you want to watch it on a big screen go to Artichoke).  The atmosphere is great –   almost like being at the game!


Conservation Sense:

A snippet of “conservation sense” as quoted from an old varsity buddy: “Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree. That makes it a plant. Chocolate is salad”.

Thought it might make somebody’s evening. Any weight-watchers out there? Cheers, Damien

25th April, 2014

One long weekend down, two to go.  Judging from the reaction of the restaurants, bars, coffee shops and guest houses, you could be forgiven for thinking we had won the lottery.  But if you happen to be a gallery or retail store owner, maybe not so much.  The point is that spending is selective in these stringent economic times:  Fill the tank with gas, fill the tummy with steak and craft beer and lay your tousled head upon a rented bed – and all is well with the world, apart from an upcoming election of course.  But whether or not you were on the receiving end of tourist largesse, it has to be said that Clarens at Easter was simply gorgeous: The trees are somewhere between butter and brown and the sunsets are an extreme exercise in sky theatre.  And if the Easter Bunny forgot about you, go buy your own little slice of chocolate heaven at your nearest village grocer; they need some business too!

In the lull between a four-day weekend and a three day affair (no, I’m not talking about our unmarried guests) we have had a breath-taking insight into the Affairs of State.  Well, local actually; in fact, the Municipal Budget presentation.  Before you yawn yourself into a coma, pause to consider that our friends in Dihlabeng don’t do this for any old Eastern Free State town; it’s just us actually, and we get a pat on the back for our engaging criticism and friendly advice.  Ho ho.  After half-an-hour of comic relief in the Marty Lotz Hall, we moved into the Coffee Shop there, in order to actually hear the presentation, given the intervention of an eighty-five decibel hail storm on an old tin roof.  Point is that we run at an immense annual deficit (about R85 million) in spite of our weighty rates and taxes, not least because of the Municipality’s salary and wage bill, and there is no prospect of change any time soon.  The MEC for Finance, a very jovial chap, responded patiently to an hour of gripes about the ‘inability’ of some of our esteemed Councillors to pay their rates.  Given that he sighed and noted that this was always our main priority, it would seem that our annual bitching doesn’t penetrate the Council Chamber down the road.  So what to do?

Slashing Councillor’s salaries and allowances is clearly not an option two weeks before an election, so perhaps it’s time for Clarens to think it’s way out of this civic cul-de-sac.  Perhaps it is time for some creativity and lateral thinking:  After all, we are actually sitting on a tourist gold mine in idyllic surroundings, and about the most progressive idea in currency is to build a retirement home on the Golf Estate!  We have to do better than that if we are going to protect our business futures and operate in a municipal environment free from bankruptcy hearings.

So, let’s make a start: First, who fancies a cable car to the top of Mount Horeb?  Just think, bright young things taking your money in 11 official languages while you sweep skywards in a rainbow-coloured car to scones and coffee on the peak of our most dominant mountain?  Don’t laugh.  Think for a moment about half of Johannesburg and one-third of Pretoria queuing to give their hard-earned away to the Clarens Mountain Railroad and Scone Company.  Move over Cape Town, here we come.  Second, anyone remember that we are sitting on one of the country’s biggest aquifers, snug beneath the Clarens Golf Course?  Of course you do; why else would your little white ball swerve erratically away from the 12th hole every time you play?  Point is that we could go down as well as up.  Think for a moment about National Geographic running a deep-diving mini submarine to a wine and oyster bar on the bed of our biggest natural water reservoir.  Admittedly, you would have to hold your breath a while and it would be a bit of a mission clutching your oysters in the dark, but I’m betting that Free Staters would kill for the experience.

But third, and without doubt the clincher, how about the biggest adventure ice-skating rink in the country, smack in the Clarens Square?  Just imagine, Victorian balustrades encircling an immense stretch of ice, with ramps and slopes sculpted around towering Voortrekker ice-wagons; first-aid stations interspersed with ice-skate sellers and 44-gallon drums of Schnapps to keep your cheeks warm.  And that’s only in summer.  If it catches on, we could do a ski-jump down Main Street, landing on the Golf Course, and – you guessed it – catching a ride down to the Wine and Oyster Bar.  Oh, the money that will roll in………………..

So come on Clarens.  Time to brain-storm our way out of this Municipal delinquency and make our village the centre of the known universe.  Why spend trillions on space exploration with the prospect of a breathless hot and sticky planet to live on, when you can stretch your legs and minds in this splendid part of the planet, 1867metres above the predicted high-tide mark for 2019.

Oh bugger.  I forgot the birds again.  Sorry.

 

The Twitcher

Delosperma sutherlandii

image002

Damien1-100x100Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. This week we’re focusing on a striking member of the Mesembryanthemaceae (Vygie/Ice Plant) family.

Delosperma sutherlandii (Sutherland Hardy Ice-plant in English), is a succulent herb growing to 120 mm high. The Latin Delos translates to “conspicuous”, whilst sperma translates to “seed”, referring to the large capsule-shaped seeds produced by the plant. In grasslands between KZN and Mpum it grows at altitudes of up to 2100 m A.S.L.

The seeds of D. sutherlandii require only a sufficient quantity of rainfall to open. One can “trick” the dry capsule into opening by sucking on it for a short while or dripping several water droplets on the capsule. The capsule opens before your eyes but will soon close as it quickly dries. Interesting to know that the vibrant looking flowers are among the largest of any Ice-plant. The photo below was taken on a section of the Kloof Mountain Trail during the spring of last year.

The leaves of D. sutherlandii are opposite, flat and somewhat joined near the base. The measurements are 50-80 mm long by 15-20 mm wide. The leaves tend to taper towards the end and are keeled on the ventral surface. The margins are covered in fine short hairs and the water-holding cells are clearly visible, giving the leaves a leathery appearance. One generally observes 1-3 flowers of 35-60 mm diameter in terminal clusters at the ends of stalks of length 50-100 mm. The colour of the flowers is a purple/pink colour fading to yellow white with white stamens. Flowering Late Oct-Dec. Uses:

Gardening

Heat, drought and salt tolerant, this adaptable evergreen plant thrives with little maintenance. It may be used as a groundcover or added to rock gardens.

Photography

The brilliant pink flowers complete with yellow “eye” make for an attractive photography subject.

Conservation Status

The SANBI conservation status for D. sutherlandii is listed as Least Concern.

Letter from the Clarens Ratepayers Association

Hi there

I would like to advise you that Chris Salt, Treasurer and Vice Chair of the CRA has resigned.

Chris has been with CRA for 6 years and before that he was Treasurer of the preceding association, RAG.  Thus he has been volunteering his services to the Clarens Community for many years and we would like to thank him for his dedication, expertise and support.

We will be advising you soon of the date for the CRA AGM for which Chris will prepare the financials; the meeting will most probably be held in early June.  At the AGM we will be electing a new committee; please give some thought to volunteering as a committee member – we have three to four meetings per year.

I am sure you will all join me in thanking Chris for his work for Clarens.

Kind regards

Pat
Chairperson, CRA
raubenheimer@icon.co.za

11th April, 2014: 257 Days until Christmas




Mzanzi Tour in Clarens

Table of Contents:

  • Festival of Dirt – Report Back;
  • Mzanzi Tour in Clarens;
  • Made in Clarens;
  • The Twitcher;
  • Female Entrepreneur Awards;
  • Community News: The great get-together;
  • Community News: News from Paphama Youth;
  • Travels with Beezus;
  • Travelground votes Clarens Amongst the Top Hiking Spots in South Africa;
  • Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve: Leonotis leonuris;
  • News from the Golf Estate:  Business league;
  • News from the Golf Estate: Friday competition;
  • Cluny Animal Trust Appeal;
  • The MTN Mountain Bike Race: How you can make it work for you;
  • It’s Easter:  Passiespele;
  • Church Services over the Easter weekend;
  • Easter Fleamarket;
  • Coming Events:  2nd May: Supper Theatre On the Square;
  • Coming Events: 3-4 May: National MTB in Clarens;
  • Coming Events: 31 May: Cluny Animal Trust  Golf Day;
  • It’s super rugby time again;
  • A quote to quote;
  • Not on the mailing list?

Mzansi Tour in Clarens

Mzansi Tour in ClarensIt’s certainly been quite a week for coming and going in Clarens.  The Festival of Dirt last weekend and then the Mzanzi Tour this week.  Clarens was abuzz with cyclists, road cars, motorbikes, cameramen, and of course bicycles.
This is the tour’s second year and going by the number of international riders, it seems to be all set to become The South African cycling event.
Thank you Mzansi for bringing the tour to Clarens.


 

Clarens Festival of Dirt

Clarens Festival of Dirt – Report back

The Festival of Dirt held their 3rd annual festival this past weekend with great success. Starting out of humble beginnings the 1st festival was held in October 2012 drawing but only 53 enduro riders, 24 Mountain Bikers and 3 Dual Sport Riders. This year we can boast with record numbers of more than 350 Enduro Riders, 100 Trail Runners, 40 Mountain bikers and about 30 Dual Sport riders.The weekend started off with some Super Enduro on the Friday afternoon with at least 50 participants. Saturday was of course the main event with the Enduro event as well as some rider training by pro rider Wild William Gillett. The Enduro event went off with minimal casualties and left the people raving about our coarse and majestic views of the country side. The Trail running event was also held on the Saturday morning in town from Mozziac Pizzeria. There was a 10km and 20km trail for the runners that looped through the wonderful Clarens Conservancy. People loved the trails and pure magic of the Clarens Mountains.The Sunday enduro mountain bike event was also held in town with the competitors craving for more. Everything went off without any hiccups and the Festival of Dirt will surely be back next year same time same place.Well done Clarens Xtreme…


 

Made in Clarens

Apple pressing in ClarensWe’ve long enjoyed the high quality range of beers and ciders on offer at The Clarens Brewery.  The range of award winning beers, bottled under the Clarens Brewery label are brewed at the brewery premises in  Market Street, and until recently the ciders were brewed out on Natalie and Stefan’s farm.  This turned out to be a bit of a logistic problem, and so now all the machinery has been moved to Sias Oosthuizen Street.  Read more

 

 

 

 


The Twitcher

Since Clarens is about to reel under the weight of public appetite for holiday weekends – yes, three on the trot lie ahead – I thought you might be interested to know that Christmas is only 257 short days away.  That’s right: Your turkey only has 36 weeks to live and you need all the practice you can get under the Mistletoe, so pucker up and start spreading love and contagion.   Just don’t let your partner catch you.

But to matters of the moment: Those of you who had the time and inclination would have witnessed 90 testosterone-loaded cyclists, from all points of the global compass, jostling to navigate their way around the Clarens square on Thursday, en route to exploring the Free State’s pot-hole collection.
Read more


Female Entrepreneur Awards

Hi All.

The National Department of Agriculture,Forestry & Fisheries is running the competition for women in different sectors of agriculture.As the Provincial Department of Agriculture & Rural Development we have been tasked to invite all interested female Entrepreneurs to take part in this competition.

Thabo Mofutsanyana District is inviting all Female Entrepreneurs to take part and represent our wonderful district in the Province.If they win in the Province then they will represent Free State Province in the National Competition.

Here are the Categories of the competition:

  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: COMMERCIAL
  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: SMALLHOLDER
  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: PROCESSING
  • TOP ENTREPRENEUR: EXPORT
  • BEST SUBSISTANCE
  • BEST FEMALE WORKER
  • MINISTERIAL AWARD: YOUNG WOMAN/ WOMAN WITH DISABILITY

Closing date for entering the competition is 14 May 2014.All interested farmers can contact Mr Tsepiso Mosia and get forms at his office in Dihlabeng Municipal office in Clarens.
Good news is that Clarens is running for the hosting of the district event on 29 May 2014.Let us go for this challenge Clarens Farmers,remember Clarens is the unique town of WINNERS!!!
Hope to hear from you soon.

Tsepiso Mosia
Department of Agriculture & Rural Development FS
Phone: 0710791332
E-mail: mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com


Community News: The great get-together

Meeting of Clarens Organisations

A history-making meeting of the 4 Clarens Associations took place on Monday 7th April.
Pictured here are (clockwise): Tammy – CTF, Ollie – CTF, Malcolm – GCCC, Natalie – GCCC, Louw – CVC, Victor – CTF, Ralph (obscured) + Pat – CRA, Carl – GCCC, and Rodney – CVC.
With a team like this Clarens can only get stronger and stronger.  Well done everybody – we can see that Clarens in capable hands.


Community News: News from Paphama Youth

Paphama Youth Career Guidance


Travels with Beezus

It’s always interesting to read what people are writing about Clarens.  Cape info sent us the link to a delightful blog: Travels with Beezus.  Below is an excerpt from the blog. We can heartily recommend that you visit the blog and read some of the other interesting comments about Clarens. Click here

 

The Maloti Wonderland in the eastern Free State

Beezus' first road trip

The first question for the trek south from Johannesburg to Cape Town was where to stop first and what to explore.  Parys, on the banks of the Vaal River and just over an hour south of Joburg provided one option — it seems to be a town on the up — but a speedy yet not-terribly-helpful reply from the Parys Info office was discouraging.

So we settled on visiting Clarens in the Eastern Free State for the first time.  And… Wow!… we were not disappointed!

It’s about three hours out of Joburg (320km) taking the N3 toll road to Durban and then heading south on the R712 at Villiers and past Reitz and Bethlehem .  The roads were good and as one approaches Clarens the scenery is spectacular!  We left Joburg in pouring rain (which lead to flooding after we left) and arrived in a very  wet, lush and spectacularly green eastern Free State.

And while you’re surfing the net you should also take a look at http://jennafinch.blogspot.com/2014/04/postcards-from-clarens.html


Travelground votes Clarens as among the top 6 hiking spots in South Africa.

Hiking in Clarens

And if you’re not sure why – just take a look at the hiking page on our website, where you’ll find a comprehensive list of all the hikes available in our area.

This photograph was taken in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve. The trails in the reserve are well marked and there is a trail to suit every level of fitness.  Be sure to collect a trail map from Maluti Tours, Village Grocer, Bibliophile, or Mountain Odyssey.  The maps cost R10, and proceeds go towards the maintenance of the trails.

 

 

 

 

 


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve:

Leonotis leonurus

Damien Coulson

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at an attractive specimen of the Mint Family or Lamiaceae.
Leonotis leonurus (Wild dagga in English, Wildedagga in Afrikaans and lebake in Sesotho), is a shrub that typically grows to 2 – 3 m in height.Leonotis is derived from the Greek words Leon–“lion” and Otis -“ear”. Leonurus means “lion coloured” referring to the mane-like appearance and also colouring of the inflorescence. It is widespread throughout S.A – from the W Cape – Mpum., and tends to grow in grassland amongst rocky outcrops up to 2000 m A.S.L..
The specimen photographed was observed on the Kloof Mountain Trail. It is one of few plants adapted to growing on very shallow and nutrient poor lithic soils.  Read more


News from the Clarens Golf Estate: Business League

The Clarens Golf Estate will be playing host to numerous entrepreneurs and business owners hoping to proclaim themselves champions on the Golf Course. Currently Art & Wine and Sir Henry’s has entered teams. Mr Rob Donald will captain the third. Mike Henry is also in the process of getting his team together. If you feel confident that you would be able to commit to playing with a full team the last Wednesday of every month please let us know. Teams will have to have four players representing.The format will be Fourball Alliance: 2 Mystery Scores to Count. Single players, barbarians with no alliances, will be accommodated  monthly forming a rugged bunch of players looking to topple the more structured teams.

Current Teams entered: Art & Wine, Sir Henry’s, Management, Rob’s Team.
Starting the last Wednesday of April and spots are still open for more teams.
Special rates will apply for visiting players in your teams.
Please invite your friends and business partners to join in the fun!
Francois Schoeman
Golf Operations Manager
www.theclarens.co.za

Clarens Golf Estate Business League


News from the Golf Estate: Friday competition

Clarens Golf Estate Friday Competition

New life in the Friday Competition,

On a weekly basis members, visitors, scholars and supporters gather for a Friday afternoon round at The Clarens Golf Estate. The Clarens Golf Estate is proud to have partnered with Ciglers Butchery in Bethlehem. They are generously sponsoring the prizes, and believe me the prizes are impressive!

Any golfer with a official handicap is welcome to join in the fun. With more players participating lately, growth is assured. The past two Friday’s has seen the competition run in conjunction with other events to boost participation and fun. Voortrekker High School played Jim Fouche High School in their inter Schools League, Voortrekker being victors. This week saw another local School, Jordania, defeat Fichardt Park Primary in their encounter. Parents, Teachers and supporters enjoyed the course and atmosphere as the “golfing bug” bit them hard.

The whole family is welcome even if they don’t participate, they will enjoy the atmosphere and fun after enjoying the spectacular views on course. Thank you Ciglers and all loyal supporters of The Clarens Golf Estate. (Francois Schoeman)


Cluny Animal Trust Appeal


The MTN Mountain Bike Race: How you can make it work for you

Organisers of MTN Mountain Bike Race have approached the Chamber of Commerce offering exclusivity of the water points needed on the two race days to businesses in Clarens.  This means that Clarens businesses have the opportunity to nab the huge exposure available at these water points, back from Bethlehem businesses.   This year more than 2000 cyclists are participating who will all see your brand.  What is needed is a gazebo (preferably branded), your branding such as banners, t-shirts, etc., 3-4 people and spirit.  You need to set up by 6.30 each day , it will be out on a farm road and the length of time will depend on the race route but will be no longer than 3 hours.  You will be provided with water, drinks, apples, bananas, banana bread and jelly babies to be handed to the athletes.  You will need to brush up your motivational phrases, bring your own good cheer and strong voices, and anything else to make your brand stand out and have fun.The race organisers need 4 water points.  Please respond to info@clarensbrewery.co.za if you want to grab one. Who knows – yours might feature on SuperSport?

The organisers also asked the Chamber to appeal to guest house & B&B owners to:

1 – offer an accommodation discount to the cyclists. (They realise this year falls on a long weekend but next year’s race has been moved to the weekend after the May long weekend)

2 – offer a discount if the cyclists skip breakfast on account of being out in the route

3 – be accommodating in a late check out if you have no guests booking in on the Sunday to allow the cyclists to have a shower after the race.

See upcoming events listed below.


It’s Easter!

Passiespele 2014: Bethlehem


Clarens Church Services over the Easter Weekend

Good Friday (18th April, 2014)
Methodist Church (cnr Bester and Roos Streets):  10h30
NGK (Main Street): Nagmaal: 9h30

Easter Sunday(20th April 2014)
Methodist Church (cnr. Bester and Roos Streets): 6h30 (Sunrise service)
NGK: Sonopsdiens at Methodist Church:  6h00
NGK: (Main Streer) Opstaandingsdiens: 9h30
Anglican Church (cnr. Bester and Roos Streets): 10h30
Dihlabeng Church: (Dihlabeng Primary School, Fouriesburg Road):  9h30

For more information for both Methodist and Anglican churches please contact Francois Brink (head of churches committee) on 083 769 5432.


Clarens Easter Flea market: 20th April, 2014

See you on the square for boerewors, skilpadjies, snoek, kerrie en rys en baie stalletjies wat versillende produkte gaan verkoop.  The Fleamarket is hosted by the NGK.  For further information 058 256 1341 or email: clarensngkerk@gmail.com


Coming Events: 2 May, 2014:
Supper Theatre On the Square:

Supper Theatre in Clarens

Phone Carol at Gosto’s for further details: 082 416 3687Click here to find out more about Cat Simoni


Coming Events: 3-4 May
National MTB in Clarens

MTB in Clarens

Click here For further information


Coming Events: 31 May 2014
Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day

Cluny Animal Trust Golf DayThe purpose of the event is to raise funds for the development of an animal hospital in Fouriesburg and the surrounding areas.

Why:

Animals are mans best friend, they are always there when we’re lonely, they never give up on us and share our joy and sadness

Contact Details: Jan Sander (c) 0782462553, (f) 058 223 0727 email: jansander22@gmail.com


It’s super rugby time again

Watch all the action at one of our local Clarens pubs (and if you want to watch it on a big screen go to Artichoke).  The atmosphere is great –   almost like being at the game!

Click here to see the April 2014 fixtures


A quote to quote:

“The Budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled,
public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be
tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be
curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt. People must again learn to work
instead of living on public assistance.” – Cicero, 55 BC

       So, evidently we haven’t learnt much over the past 2,068 years.


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Leonotis leonurus

Leonotus 2 Leonotus 1 Leonotus 3

 

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at an attractive specimen of the Mint Family or Lamiaceae.

Leonotis leonurus (Wild dagga in English, Wildedagga in Afrikaans and lebake in Sesotho), is a shrub that typically grows to 2 – 3 m in height. Leonotis is derived from the Greek words Leon –“lion” and Otis -“ear”. Leonurus means “lion coloured” referring to the mane-like appearance and also colouring of the inflorescence. It is widespread throughout S.A – from the W Cape – Mpum., and tends to grow in grassland amongst rocky outcrops up to 2000 m A.S.L..

The specimen photographed was observed on the Kloof Mountain Trail. It is one of few plants adapted to growing on very shallow and nutrient poor lithic soils. The stem of L. leonurus is 4 sided, woody and velvety from the base. The leaves are long and narrow (approx. 60- 70 mm by 20 -30 mm), rough above and velvety below with serrated edges. Inflorescence is whorled in compact clusters (up to 3) on the stem. The flowers are tubular (approx. 70 mm long) and a bright-burnt orange colour. Flowering take place in autumn – End Feb/early March – Sep. Uses:

Cultural uses

Used in traditional medicine to treat fevers, headaches, coughs, dysentery and many other conditions (see uncle Google for more – he knows everything.). It is also used as a remedy for snake bite and as a charm to keep snakes away.

Gardening

Makes for an attractive garden plant which is well suited to the Eastern Free State as it is relatively hardy and frost resistant. It also attracts a variety of birds and insects as a result of the copious quantities of nectar it produces. L. leonurus can be propagated from both seed and cuttings.

Food

The nectar is sucked by children as a type of natural “sweet”.

Ecology

The flowers are pollinated by insects and birds of various species, which in return are privy to the flowers nectar. Insects and birds often pollinate several plant species and their presence ensures the continued existence of these species, thus helping to maintain the ecological integrity of an area and preserving local biodiversity.

Conservation Status

The SANBI conservation status for L. leonurus has been recorded as of Least Concern.

Damien1-100x100Article and photographs by Damien Coulson

Head ranger: Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Bidens formosa

 

Bidens 1 Bidens 2

Damien1-100x100Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. Well it’s that time of the year again – and so how could we not include this very popular specimen of the Asteraceae family!?

Bidens formosa (Cosmos in English, Kosmos in Afrikaans and moqhoboqhobo in Sesotho), is a bushy herbaceous species that grows up to 2.5 tall. The Latin word (bi)dens means 2 – toothed, referring to the hook-like awns on the fruit, whilst formosa means beautiful. Occurs in the Eastern Cape – Gauteng in S.A. and is a native of C America and the W Indies – also occurs in several African countries.

B. formasa may be observed in stands so large that they often resemble huge and rather dazzling multi-coloured mats on road verges, fields or even across entire landscapes. The Cosmos flowers depicted here were actually photographed on a back-road in Fouriesburg, however they can be observed throughout Clarens and surrounds.

B. formosa leaves are opposite, measure approx. 100 mm X 50 mm, are deeply lobed, very fine in appearance and soft to the touch. The flowerheads are medium – large, measuring around 90 mm in diameter; occur solitary on mostly long bare stalks and whose ray florets are usually light pink, deep pink or white. The disk florets are sunflower yellow. Flowering Late Feb – May. Uses:

Photography

Makes for an attractive and in fact rather spectacular focal point for amateur and pro-photographer alike.

Food

This particular species of the Bidens (formerly Cosmos) genus was originally introduced from the U.S.A. in the late 1890’s as a fodder source for livestock.

Ecology

Cosmos is in fact not indigenous to S.A., but is rather a naturalised alien weedy species proliferating in disturbed landscapes. B. formosa is so widely distributed and occurs in such densities that elimination is practically impossible. Each plant produces hundreds of highly viable seed which are distributed with the greatest of ease. One may surmise that the presence of B. formosa could in time lead to a loss of biodiversity, however their ephemeral existence in the autumn landscape has thus far (to my knowledge) not led to any significant ecological degradation.

Gardening

The attractiveness of its flowers make it one of those “must-haves” for avid botanists and keen gardeners. Easy to grow strains have been developed for this purpose. Check out https://www.mweb.co.za/gardening/PlantDetailsView.aspx?pn=Cosmos%20bipinnatus%20(=Bidens%20formosa)&type=BotanicalNames for more info.

Conservation Status

The SANBI conservation status for B. formosa has Not Been Evaluated as Naturalized exotics are not assessed for the National Red List.

Oxalis smithiana

Oxalis 0011

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at an attractive specimen of the Sorrel family or Oxalidaceae.

Oxalis smithiana (Narrow-leaved Sorrel in English, Klawersuring in Afrikaans and bolila in Sesotho), is a herb that typically grows to 250 mm in height. Oxalis is derived from the Latin words oxys, meaning acid or sour and als meaning salt, and likely refers to the taste of the flower if eaten. This wildflower can become a prominent feature in damp grassland and even among moss-covered rocks in forested areas. The plant has been recorded at altitudes of up to 2560 m A.S.L., and is relatively widespread from the W.C. through to Mpumalanga.

This particular specimen was found growing on a section of the Mallen Walk trail. The fusion of pink, white and yellow on the flower makes it an attractive subject for photography.

The 3 leaflets of O. smithiana are deeply divided with narrow lobes and measure approx. 20 mm by 3 mm, all held in a basal rosette. As is typical for the family, the flowers possess 5 petals, however unlike many wildflowers these flowers occur solitary rather than clumped. The petals are a bright pink grading to white in the calyx (throat) with a short yellow stamen and slender stalk of around 120 mm. Flowering in Nov – end Jan.

Uses:

Cultural uses

Used in traditional medicines as a remedy for tapeworm.

Gardening

Makes for an attractive garden plant or may be otherwise transplanted as a pot-plant.

Food

The leaves and bulbs of the plant are eaten by the children of the Sesotho whilst the entire plant is consumed by cattle.

Ecology

The flowers are pollinated by butterflies of various species, which in return are privy to the flowers nectar.

Conservation Status

The SANBI conservation status for O. smithiana has been recorded as of Least Concern.