Collaborate with nature.
At WelMac we operate on sustainable methods from intrinsic motivations throughout the whole value chain. We believe that in order to produce a top grade product year after year, on a consistently high level, a farm or a business has to be run in a way that gives back as much as it takes. This applies for the people we work with as well as the land we work on and the environment we farm in.
Our biggest impact at the moment is setting an example on farm level for other farmers, where we show that we can produce bigger, better and more nuts with less water, fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides. Meanwhile we are absorbing more CO2 than we emit and reinstating indigenous trees and wildlife, giving the ecosystem a chance to thrive. For us sustainability is a conviction, not just a label.
Powered by light
In 2019 we started construction of a solar power grid that would make us practically independent from the national power grid. The whole project will be completed in 2 phases as the farm grows.
Currently the solar panels installed will provide us with sufficient power to supply the whole farm and processing facility with sufficient electricity. When the farm grows and more pump-houses are installed as well as when an expansion on the processing facility is realised, additional panels can be added to increase the capacity.
In 2021 we started a trial with certain cover crops, that we will be extending throughout our orchards in the coming years. Cover crops provide many positive effects for our tree and soil health. The organic matter that is produced is being mulched under our trees, provides nutrients and extra moisture retention. While the crops are in flower, they provide extra an extra food source for our pollinators. By timing these specific crops to flower right before our Macadamias we increase the population of pollinators, while making sure that during the flowering time of our Macadamias, their main source for food is the flowers in our trees.
We have also noticed that the cover crops loosen the soil, helping the trees with their root development.
Many of the species of flowers and grasses used in these cover crops, are known to take carbon out of the air and make it available to the trees under ground. This will be a significant contribution to the total amount of CO2 we are sequestering.
Respect the wildlife
Bees and other pollinators
Most people know how important bees are to agriculture and in many places in the world efforts are being undertaken to help increase the population. On our farm we are also doing our best to increase the population of these amazing creatures. We are building hives and providing an environment the bees and other pollinators can thrive in. The use of chemicals to spray for the stinkbug and nut-borer, two of the main pests that can damage your macadamia crop, is diminished as much as possible. When we do have to spray, we do it at night when the bees are not active.
We have also started a project where we are planting indigenous trees around our orchards, in the areas where we cannot grow macadamias, that flower during different times from the macadamia trees. This way there is plenty of nutrients available for the pollinators on the farm, but when the macadamias flower they are encouraged to move into the orchards.
WelMac thrives towards reinstating natural habitat on Welgevonden on the hectares that are not suitable for farming macadamias. Where there was an almost total absence of wildlife when WelMac started farming at Welgevonden, we have noticed all types of wild animals finding their way back.
By removing weeds and planting indigenous trees we are providing a habitat for birdlife as well as waterbuck, monkeys, wild pigs and porcupines. Currently WelMac is growing Bushwillow, Boabab, Marula and Weeping Bean trees in our own nursery, to be planted out in the farm. We will also visit the nursery in Kruger National Park, to acquire trees that are indigenous to the area but currently very hard to find in the area. The Moringa tree, which is not indigenous but not considered invasive, will also be planted around the farm as it has medicinal purposes and so can be made use of.