Sustainability Blooms at Boschendal with Launch of New Werf Food Garden

Werf Food Garden

Boschendal has revealed its newly-transformed and redesigned Werf Food Garden, a further showcase of the historic farm’s commitment to environmental stewardship and its focus on farm-to-table dining.

The Werf Food Garden is designed to sustainably enhance Boschendal’s sourcing capacity and ensure fresher, more flavourful produce for the seasonal menus on offer. Everything in the redesigned garden has been reused, donated, or replanted.

Kholwane Thela, Gardens and Landscaping Manager at Boschendal, says the project to redesign the Werf Food Garden prioritised eco-friendly practices throughout. “We have taken greater care to tread lightly on our grounds by producing our own compost, repurposing materials naturally occurring on our farm, employing a range of water conservation methods, and making use of invasive Casuarina trees and Kasuarinaboom for our structures. Our vegetable and herb boxes were made from 365 invasive Beefwood trees that were found on our grounds, which have been cleared to allow the rich variety of indigenous plants to thrive in their place.”

Thela and his team employed a range of measures to reduce the farm’s carbon footprint and support Boschendal’s broader sustainability and regenerative farming efforts. These include producing amazing growing media from over one thousand cubic metres of compost and mulch made on the farm as part of an alien clearing programme; sourcing soil from the original garden to avoid alien seeds and chemical input; repurposing river stones in the sub-base and drainage layers; and using drip irrigation and drainage into the farm’s wetland to allow water life to flourish.

“We also used sustainable sources of timber to construct our pergola,” says Thela. “And many of the benches found around the garden were made from repurposed felled invasive species timber and made by our woodwork team.”

The gardens were designed by renowned landscaping expert Andy Jasper – Project Director and Special Advisor to Boschendal, Gardens Portfolio – who drew on ideas from Boschendal’s own restaurant and garden teams, with the help of James Furse Roberts – Landscape Architect – of FRLA.

Jasper says there is something around every corner for guests to explore, from the culinary and herb gardens to abundant fynbos gardens. “Guests are also encouraged to visit our beautiful rose garden, dedicated to Gwen Fagan, for her indispensable work collecting and restoring heritage roses on our farm and throughout the greater Cape region. Well over 150 people from Boschendal and Alan Dawson Gardens, who were contracted to support the internal team, have been involved in creating, planting and even harvesting from the new garden.”

The gardens were established a short distance from The Werf Restaurant’s kitchen to create a closer link between the vegetables and herbs grown here and their ultimate destination: the plates of hungry guests and visitors.

Stella Delport, Head Chef at The Werf Restaurant, says she is excited at serving the farm-fresh produce from the new garden to guests. “We believe that the shorter the distance between the garden and our kitchens, the better the flavours in our food. Our teams will pick fresh herbs and vegetables daily in celebration of the best seasonal produce and authentic flavours.”

Jasper adds that he hopes the new Werf Food Garden inspires others in their own eco-friendly endeavours. “With the support of our guests, we hope to instil a love for sustainability and farm-fresh flavours in every visitor to our farm. We invite guests from all over to share our story of sustainability, community and culinary excellence with the world and hope people come back again and again to see the bountiful harvest.”  We hope this garden will help continue to inspire and delight – to help everyone to live our farm their way.

The Werf Food Gardens are now open. To find out more, visit