Our Lucerne-Tree-Farm Business

When I started Practical Pages, I did not plan for it to be a personal blog.

And generally it isn’t …

… the names and faces of the innocent are protected  ;)

and some family members never feature.

But as I’ve emailed, chatted to and met some of my readers (thank you so much for the visit),  I realized that it is personal.

My passion is to inspire and encourage others.

That is personal.

Well, may I share some more?

Many of you may know these facts about me ~

  • we live in South Africa
  • in the Klein Karoo (fynbos & protea grow here)
  • high on a mountain farm
  • we farm Dorper sheep
  • and try live simple, farmstead lives
  • and we grow Tree Lucerne

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “What is a lucerne tree?”  Tree Lucerne is also known as Tagasaste, (Chamaecytisus palmensis), and it officially came from the Canary Islands.

Normal lucerne (known as alfalfa) is a wonderful, rich grazing.  Tree Lucerne is also a highly nutritious plant that is like normal lucerne except that it is a shrub that grows for 60 – 80 years!

This season, our fields of 3-year-old lucerne trees flowered and yielded a bumper harvest of seeds in pods.

Literally – millions of seeds.

So we became officially the

We’ve just launched our new little websitePlease will you pop over for a quick tour?

(and if you wondered ~ “Boom Lusern” is Afrikaans for Tree Lucerne)

The family spend our days (and nights) peeling and packaging seeds.

My step-son plants out thousands of seeds into seed-trays or potting bags and cares for the seedlings.

I created, write, post & maintain, and teach my non-computer-savy hubby about his new blog and help him with admin.

He spends time running his farm, creating infra-structure and talking to farmers on the phone.

We are all involved.

It is a real family business.

Thanks for letting me share a more personal peep into our farm life.

Blessings,

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27 thoughts on “Our Lucerne-Tree-Farm Business

  1. Thank you for sharing your family enterprise. Sounds fascinating. Is there any success of this tree in the US? I quickly googled Lucerne and found a lot of info for Australia and New Zealand, but didn’t find out anything for the US. Seems like it could make a nice ornamental type shrub for landscaping. Best wishes on your endeavors.

    • @Rhoda, this is still a fairly unknown tree here in South Africa, although farmers are starting to plant them and do trials with these trees.
      I love them in the garden as they grow so quickly, are evergreen and make a beautiful display of white or light pink flowers in early summer.
      Thank you for your kind wishes.

  2. We live here in Bahrain and I am new to homeschooling. I love your “Practical” and wonderful help!! Thank You and continued blessings in all you do!

  3. I grew up on a farm, and am always interested in agriculture. Thank you for the aducation, and for explaining the terms most of your readers (me included) would not recognize.

  4. Thank you so much for a glimpse into your family lives! I lived in Southern Africa for 3+ years and loved it. I really miss the protea and Jacaranda trees!

  5. I love the new website and think the Lucerne looks lovely! Thanks for sharing a little glimpse into your life with us. I am so blessed by your blog here. We just started homeschooling our 7 year old in January and I’ve used your blog as a source of inspiration and guidance. In particular, our son loves the “cat” handwriting pages! Thank you!!

  6. Oh, how I miss my childhood home. I grew up in Calvinia where we farmed with dorpers and my dad planted lucern. My parents still live there, but are no longer farmers. I’m not too far from them in Cape Town and will go and visit soon!

    I’m glad I stumbled across your blog, as I just started out with homeschooling. I will have to make time to peruse the pages in search for much needed inspiration, especially on the Charlotte Mason method.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • @Christine, lucerne is a plant food for grazing animals such as cattle, sheep and horses. We cultivate it for our sheep. I must post some photos of our sheep grazing the trees :)

  7. Hi just like others I stumbled upon your site, looking for South African handwriting worksheets for my girls. I got so much more, thank you. We are currently looking to buy a small holding in the Cape to live a self sustaining lifestyle with our family. So as you see I got so much more. thank you and Blessings

    • @Dawn, Welcome to Practical Pages and all the Lord’s blessings as you look for the land to live out your dreams. We took about 18 months before we found our farm and it was such an adventure!

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  11. Your website has been really encouraging for me. I am a South African living in the USA and it has been so lovely to get your perspective on homeschooling. I have used a number of your pages and my daughter is really enjoying them. So lovely to hear your values and see your family and your business. Even though you are so far away I feel a little connected in that our values are so similar. Always lovely to find out that you are not the only one who feels certain things are important… even though they may not be ‘normal’ :) Bless you and your family in your new enterprise, look forward to hearing more of how things develop for you all.

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  14. Hi Nadene, many thanks for the good news you whrote on the treelucern that grows in sa. When I go into any treelucern site in sa the only pictures I see is the same Australian ones the guys pull of the internet, but I see theyrs hope. Whant to know, myself I’m a merino sheep farmer in Rustenburg North West area and would like to settle 20 hectares with this amazing fodder, but is theyr a diferens between sheep and cow type and what is the risks from the seedling til it go into the ground. Nobody had any sucses in this area and I am to scared to plant this ones that I have if theyrs a tric to it. I baught 6000 seeds for a start and they said theyr is no diferens cow sheep the same. I would like to hear from you because you seems like a woman with integraty and with CHRISTIAN values. ( sorry for the english spelling). Thanks Hennie

    • @Hennie, thanks for your comment and questions. Here are brief answers for readers who may want to know what I emailed to you:
      1. We use normal “cattle” lucerne trees and cut them to 1.5m for sheep. There are no sheep lucerne seeds or trees available (that we can find).
      2. Seedlings will need to be protected from all animals and insects that eat these delicious trees while small. Put up shade cloth around your field to keep rabbits, buck and other animals out. Use old re-cycled irrigation pipe around the tree stems to stop mice ring-barking the trees.
      3. Once the tree is 2 years old or at least has a woody stem about 2cm thick, they will bounce back after grazing.
      4. Prepare small batches of seed (a 100 at a time) for germination and follow our step-by-step instructions on our blog.
      5. Pot out seedlings and protect in a sheltered area till spring.
      This tree is a pioneer plant and should do well in your area. May God bless your endevours.

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