The Golden Canola Fields of Overberg August 18th, 2015
Being an incredibly diverse part of South Africa, the Overberg brings with it scenes of dramatic beauty – seascapes, mountains and hidden valleys which in August every year, is interspersed with a breathtaking patchwork of golden wheat fields and rolling green pastures.
Canola is a cool season crop in which the optimum soil temperature ranges 10°c. The seeds are very small and planting is in itself an art-form to get the correct depth and adequate moisture level for optimum survival. Harvesting of the canola takes place in October and November when the ploughed fields become an assortment of reds and browns peppered with hay bales.
The canola flowers are a preferred source of food for bees and the seeds attract all sorts of birds including canaries and bishops. The fields are also a major breeding ground for the blue crane.
Other uses of canola are edible oil for humans, canola meal for livestock, and studies are being undertaken for its sustainability in industry. Canola oil is a healthy oil that is low in polyunsaturated fatty acids and has been approved by the Heart Foundation.
Day trippers travelling between Swellendam, Caledon and Bredasdorp during August and September will delight in the view before them. A photographers dream - for when the canola fields carpet the landscape at their most golden and vibrant, the setting is awash with yellows and greens – it becomes a glorious sight indeed.