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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Part VII - Lanzerac Hotel in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Saturday, November 23 of 1985, we could sleep in till 10:00...
We packed our suitcases and even enjoyed sun-tanning for half an hour.
By 13:00 Colin Jacobson came to pick us up for dropping us off at the Jan Smuts airport of Joburg.
We flew to Cape Town at 14:30 and arrived by 16:30.
Tim Crawley from Medallion Mushrooms picked us up and dropped us off at the Lanzerac Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
We admire our new surroundings and are happy with an afternoon off.
These photos with us in them, are actually taken on Sunday morning...
We are standing in front of an old wooden wine press!
The driveway leading to the Lanzerac Wine Estate with in the back Jonkershoek Mountain.
Such beautiful surroundings of Lanzarac Hotel.
Photo taken from the other side with us standing next to the old wooden wine press.
 This is interesting to read for Dutch speaking as it is in Afrikaans
In Afrikaans from November 1985...
Post card

Next we take a taxi to the town of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape Province...

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for Part VIII

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Part VI - Interview at South African Broadcasting Corporation in Joburg

On November 21, 1985 our Congress had come to an end and now on the 22nd we got picked up by Geoff Martin who took us to the Waterford farm from Tongaat.
By 11:45 we went with the lady from Public Relations to the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Joburg.
South African Broadcasting Corporation HQ in Uitsaaisentrum, Johannesburg - Photo by Wikimedia
South African Broadcasting Corporation photo by Google
It was a beautiful, new and enormous high building with very tight security!
We went to the Radio & Televisie Studio (Afrikaans) where they did a radio interview with Pieter.
We had a very good discussion with the female journalist and we were told that in South Africa 16% of the population, mostly whites, had to pay 84% of ALL taxes! (see post below where I introduced these series with My South Africa Publication...).
Sure the entire world got indoctrinated mainly by the voice of the B.B.C.
After the interview, they brought us to a section of Joburg, to show us how hard it is to integrate those blacks into modern day society.
Indeed a beautiful brick housing subdivision from only half a year old, looked like war had destroyed it.
They took us inside, to show us what had happened to their tax payer's money.
Those blacks from the Shanty Town, not familiar with cooking on a stove, had demolished all inside doors and cabinets, then burned them in a corner - as fuel to cook on!
Faucets were broken off and sinks torn off the wall. I never ever will forget this horrible sight.
It got abandoned and they went back to their Shanty Town.
Sure, the B.B.C. never mentioned this very noble effort!
We had a late lunch at this Tongaat farm in the garden near the pool and Pieter continued his lecture for the supervisors and manager Deryk A. Champkins.
Tongaat Mushrooms is no longer found on the Internet but I got this very interesting article: Was there really a Mushroom Farm in Sandton Central? where Tongaat is mentioned and also that it incorporated Denny Mushrooms click on link.
In the evening we went with the owners from Highveld Mushrooms and their wives for a last dinner together.
Their choice was an Italian restaurant; Piazza, in Joburg.
We also met again with our travel companion from the USA, Donald (Buster) Needham from Pennsylvania.
Just learned that his son Artie Needham has been to the International Society for Mushroom Science Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in 2008...
L to r in back: Chris R. Richardson, Donald (Buster) Needham, Elizabeth & Colin Jacobson and Norgan Richardson with me in the front.
Husband Pieter took this photo, he himself is also in the top picture.
And here a happy Pieter to the right...
A delicious meal with great company till 23:00!

Thanks for your visit and stay tuned for part VII

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Part V - Tongaat Mushrooms in Bryanston, South Africa

Early in bed by 2:00 and rising again at 7:30 for the 2nd day of the Congress on November 21, 1985.
We had breakfast and Pieter opened the day by being the first one to lecture and as usual, showing his slides.
For lunch we drove to the Tongaat Mushroom Farm in Bryanston, where they used wooden trays as tables and we were seated on straw bales. 
It is here, where I got bitten by a stray puppy, a Rhodesian ridge back.
It gobbled up some of the meat of my kebob and when I gave it also bread, it bit in my finger!
'Biting the hand that's feeding you', as mentioned in my Newspaper Publication (link below this post).
Always interesting to be really in the field, a practical class room so to speak!
Husband Pieter sure did climb up somewhere high enough for making this photo!
He was always such an avid photographer!
Me, pondering in this Mushroom growing room at the time of harvest...
Having a peek inside the Tongaat Mushroom farm where the harvesters were picking away.
Harvester in action.
This is the end result in the packaging area where they will be wrapped and labeled.
That very afternoon, Pieter also did an interview for their Farmer's Weekly and it got published on January 10, 1986.
SOUTH AFRICAN mushroom growers face a tougher task than their fellow-growers in other parts of the world, says international mushroom expert, Mr. Pieter Vedder, who visited South Africa as a guest of the Mushroom Growers' Association.
"Mushrooms thrive in damp, dark conditions and farmers in this country must invest enormous amounts of money so as to control the climatic conditions necessary for successful mushroom growing," he says.
Mr. Vedder has been involved in the education and training of mushroom growers in his capacity as director (principal) of the Centrum voor Champignonteelt (or Mushroom School) at Horst in the Netherlands.
He was appointed director (principal) of the school at its inception in 1968 and headed it until he resigned in 1983 to take up the post of vice-president of training and development at the Campbell Soup mushroom division.
"Mushroom growing is an enormously sophisticated process. The grower is creating the ideal conditions for the growth of all fungi  and the grower has to cultivate just one fungus. Obviously the strictest attention is given to creating the most hygienic conditions possible," he says. 
Mr. Vedder is best known for his book Modern Mushroom Growing, which was first published in Dutch in 1964. An English version was published in 1978 and has rapidly become the bible for mushroom growers.
It is generally accepted that the Netherlands mushroom industry leads the world in growing techniques and yields. In 1984 the Dutch industry produced more than 94 million kg of mushrooms with an average production of 24 kg/m2.
He says: "Mushrooms are the ideal crop for the Netherlands. The crop is labour intensive, doesn't require much land and grows well in the Netherlands climate."
This is Mr. Vedder's first visit to this country and he is not disappointed in the mushroom industry here.
"Obviously growers in South Africa suffer because of their geographically isolated position  they don't have the daily contact with other growers as do farmers in Europe. However, in spite of some serious drawbacks, South Africa produces mushrooms of excellent quality."
He says the presentation and the packaging of mushrooms in South Africa compares favorably with the best standards in the world. 

The above article got sent to us on January 8, 1986 together with the black and white photos that I showed you in my previous Part IV.
On April 16 we got this reaction to the article that I wrote for the Courier Herald (see link below, My South Africa Publication...).

Fond memories of that special day!
We did also attend a Rotary Club dinner-meeting with the club of Kyalami South.
Pieter exchanged the Rotary Club's flag from Dublin, Georgia, USA for theirs to bring back with us.

Quite an experience for one single day...

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for Part VI

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Part IV - INDABA Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre in Bryanston, South Africa

On Tuesday, November 19, we left from Highveld Mushrooms, and we got dropped off at the Congresscentrum INDABA in Bryanston.
INDABA is Meeting Place in Zulu language.
These were the lovely chalets where we stayed at: INDABA 
Indaba Hotel en Konferensie Sentrum
Harbeespoortdamweg, Witkoppen in Bryanston, north of Johannesburg.
This is the presently used address, Johannesburg.
Pieter Wenning Road... You clearly see the Dutch influence in the names.
As is for my Dutch born husband Pieter, the use of 'ie' instead of just 'e' -  the English version would be Peter.
NEVER had we seen such enormous LIGHTNING POLES...
Pieter did change into his shorts after they dropped us here at INDABA, at the end of the day.
A little time to relax before dinner, under the heavenly Jacaranda trees.
And so did I, just being in the moment for soaking up our beautiful surroundings.
Pieter admiring the surroundings of Bryanston, South Africa in the morning of November 20.
We both felt so privileged for having been invited to this Conference!
Areal view of INDABA HOTEL and its location, north of Johannesburg, South Africa.
On Wednesday, November 20, Pieter gave one of his lectures at 9:45 and then there was a coffee break.
Pieter engaged in a conversation with other Mushroom Industry people after he also participated in the afternoon workshop.
Yes, South Africa adheres very well to the Dutch coffee break tradition + cookie...
In the evening we had a lovely Banquette with dinner dance.
Here Pieter (l) is engaged in a discussion with SMFA Chairman, Colin Jacobson.
Pieter also was presented a special tie.
SASBV Suid-Afrikaanse Sampioenboerevereniging or SAMFA for South African Mushroom Farmers Association, established in 1984, click on link.
A Century of South African Short Stories by JEAN MARQUARD
And I received the above book with short stories about South Africa.
There was lots of laughter because the photographer had problems and Colin Jacobson had to repeat kissing me...
 We danced and after a walk together, for unwinding, we went to bed by 2:00 and up again by 7:30...
The SAMFA Congress would go on for one more day, but it was heart warming to receive such a letter back in the U.S.A.

Dear Pieter,
I am so pleased that you were able to make the trip to our country and to participate in our Congress.
I think everyone who met you was impressed with your tremendous knowledge of mushroom growing and as a result of your visit, I am sure that changes will be made on many farms, which will result in improved crops.
It was delightful having met yourself and Mariette and I hope that you had a pleasant return flight.
Kind regards,
Yours sincerely,
C. Jacobson

Thanks for your visit and stay tuned for Part V

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Part III - Highveld Mushrooms in Bryanston, South Africa

November 19, we got up at 7:00 and had breakfast. We packed up and checked out from the Holiday Inn, Sandton.
By 9:00 Chris Richardson picked us up. We are going to visit his and Colin Jacobson's Highveld Mushrooms farm.
David Blyth, the farm manager gave us a tour.
Here I proudly show off their excellent quality mushrooms.
On  the road to Highveld Mushrooms, seeing the road signs: Pretoria - Olifantsfontein and Pelindaba
And now closer to Highveld Mushrooms.
You can see the mountains in the distance.
At Highveld Mushrooms click link for also finding mouthwatering recipes!
We first got a farm tour by manager David Blyth.
Around 11:00 I met with Elizabeth, the Zulu harvest manager and I did give a harvest demonstration for all.
Yes, I did work all afternoon with these girls and I did leave Elizabeth a written note with hints and tips for implementing. She was so happy with that and hugged me and said: 'I will tell my Mama all about you!'
Yes, we have seen some tribal women in South Africa making their faces WHITE, as seen in this picture to the left towards top rows.
Showing off Higveld's product.
Open Brown Mushrooms or Oop Bruin Sampioene in Afrikaans.
Highveld Mushroom produce in their cold storage.
A very warm letter from Highveld Mushrooms director, Colin Jacobson after he received some photographs and a copy of my article for the Courier Herald (see link below about My South Africa Publication...)
The above mentioned South African farm manager, David Blyth, did actually visit us in Dublin, Georgia on August 10, 1986!
 Here in this photo is husband Pieter, David Blyth from Highveld Mushrooms, South Africa and Jim Yeatman from, Pennsylvania.
David Blyth to the left, me in the center and Jim Yeatman from Organic Mushrooms to the right.
In Maastricht, The Netherlands (the capital of my Province) we met again with the next generation of Highveld Mushrooms people, in May of 2000 at the International Mushroom Science Congress
Guess this must be Chris Richardson's son Ross...

Thanks for your visit and stay tuned for Part IV

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