My father, John Grieve is always on the look-out for the ‘nature happenings’ on the farm. He was delighted to come across this family of Spur-winged geese (Plectropterus gambensis) at the water’s edge of one of dams. The Spur-winged goose is the largest of the indigenous geese and ducks of Southern Africa, and is common throughout its range, occurring on rivers, lakes and other wetlands. It takes its name from the sharp spurs that grow on the bend of their wings. They can be aggressive towards other waterfowl; and adult males will use these spurs in battles with each other over mates and nesting territory. Pairs of Spur-winged geese generally nest on or close to the ground, often choosing a nest site that is protected by overhanging vegetation.
As family man… Avondale is a family farm where we appreciate that the health and balance of our living system is inextricably linked to well-being of our families. As a father of two and a husband, as son and brother, my inspiration to achieve a robust, balanced vineyard ecosystem is to ensure that Avondale will support the lives of our future generations.
As artist… A passion for jazz and a love for all forms of art, especially woodwork and sculpture led me into four years of fine art studies – an eclectic education for a budding a farmer, for sure! However, I have found that in so many ways, the patterns, interconnections and openness of the artistic worldview have influenced my understanding of how living systems work.
As farmer… My interest in farming started early when I was a boy growing up on a small-holding outside of Durbanville. I planted and tended my own vegetables which I sold to family and friends. I hardly imagined at that time though that I would one day become a farmer. However, the theme of a healthy balanced life was embedded in our family’s outlook.