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New craft, food and beer trail to launch in the Magaliesberg

In recent years, markets have tempted food lovers away from mass-produced goods with their pots of thick yoghurt, sides of grass-fed free-range beef, and vegetables so fresh the soil is still clinging to their roots. But why browse a stall when you can visit a farm directly, not only selecting produce at its peak, but refreshing yourself with a dose of rustic charm, too?

That’s the thinking behind what will be called the Magaliesberg Craft, Food and Beer Trail. “This is such a beautiful part of the countryside… by joining forces and showing people what’s on offer, we hope to encourage visitors to explore it,” explains David Brown of Breyers Deli, one of the route’s founders. He adds that the route has been established by the farmers in the area, with the idea that visitors to Magaliesberg will stop by each venue, sampling some fresh vegetables here, some beer there and pausing for a picnic somewhere else.

The route is currently being fine-tuned and its infrastructure improved. The farms in the area are open for visitors, but it’s worth phoning ahead to confirm your arrangements. Visit the website for more information.

What you can look forward to on the new Magaliesberg Craft, Food and Beer Trail:

Mkholo Olive Farm

You might not immediately associate the Highveld with olives, but Mkholo produces olive oil from two different varieties, as well as a range of table olives. The farm boasts a shop full of olive-inspired products and, if you make arrangements beforehand, you can enjoy a light lunch and olive oil tasting experience. Visit www.mkoholoolives.co.za for more information.

Heartwood Smokehouse

Food market regulars may already be familiar with the wide range of smoked goodies produced by Roy Gibbs of Heartwood Smokehose, ranging from bacon to mature cheddar, pork sausage and trout. If not, here’s your chance. Call 012 253 1217 for more details.

Breyers Deli

Another food market favourite, Breyers Deli’s award-winning duck products are best enjoyed picnic-style on Silver Bush Farm, where they are made. You can also stock up on artisan deli products including pork sausage, free-range chicken, homemade chilli sauce, relish, prepared meals and pâté. Visit www.breyersdeli.co.za for more information.

Goat Peter

Here you’ll find an extensive range of preservative-free goat’s milk cheeses, from traditional chèvre to pecorino-style grison and Greek cheeses like feta and halloumi. www.goatpeter.co.za

New Harmony Farm

When Ruth Malroie says that her chickens are free range, she means it. (She even coaxes them outdoors with vegetable treats when they’re tempted to stay inside!) Shop for fresh finds from Ruth’s garden and stock up on eggs and chicken while enjoying refreshments under the trees. Visit newharmonyfarm@yahoo.com for further details.

Die Ou Pastorie

This historic venue is one of the most popular lunch spots in the valley. It’s also home to SUGA, a range of deli goods including organic microgreens, baked goods and gourmet preserves, which are created as part of an employment initiative. For more information, visit www.dieoupastorie.com.

The Irish Alehouse

This craft brewery produces a number of interesting beers, best enjoyed alongside a pizza straight from the wood-burning oven.

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