2016 Schreiner Karoo Writers Festival


The 7th annual Schreiner Karoo Writers Festival took place 21 – 24 July. Lovers of literature and all things Karoo were treated to close encounters with well known authors and a chance to mingle with like-minded spirits. Here are some of the highlights Toby and I attended: 

Karoo INKspiration was an introduction workshop on painting with ink, bleach and water, using the landscapes, textures and buildings of the Karoo as inspiration. Theresa Hardman is a P.E.based artist and architect with a special place in her heart for the Karoo and particularly Cradock. The workshop was thoroughly enjoyed by all! 

 Mike Hardwich – Vet and conservationist enthralled a captive audience with the trials and tribulations of his career as a country vet. He has worked with wild and domesticated animals for over 39 years. All of his enjoyable tales are documented in his 3 books and proceeds go towards ‘Dr Mike Hardwich Foundation’ – to help animals of the less fortunate. Find more info here.

Liz De Wet – Archivist at the Cory Library for Humanities research presented a collection of Lidbetter photographs. Catherine Knox is a textile artist with a particular passion for stitch and natural fibre. Her work can be seen at The Studio, Donkin Street, Bedford. Her creative touch and impressive stall was much appreciated by all, one of the Festival organizers. Browsing through second hand books for sale at bargain prices. We came home with far too many books and not enough weekend! “In this wild and tender place may we ever hear the sound of truth, in the whispering of stars. In the turning of windmills, in the silence of the veld” – Antony Osler.

Poetry, politics, mindfulness, laughter, tears, and honesty were the order of the day as this enigmatic and inspirational man wove the story of his Buddha and Zen wisdom. He gave an enraptured crowd a fascinating glimpse into his books and encounters with human kind whilst simultaneously imprinting his playfulness, appreciation, insight and perception.

Thanks to the sponsors of the festival, the National English Literacy museum and all the organizers for a spectacular event! From one festivity to the next…don’t miss our monthly Farmers Market in Cradock on Orange Grove. An exciting new addition are 4 beautiful donkeys…see you there!


Pilgrimage to Schreiners Sarcophagus

  It was great to host the Rhodes Honor students on Orange Grove for their annual pilgrimage to Olive Schreiner’s sarcophagus. After a scrumptious breakfast they headed off…It was a strenuous hike to say the least…Toby led them up the mountain to the Sarcophagus site and then to view the fossil site.  
   Some history on Olive Schreiner…

The famous South African authoress, who, amongst many other literary works, wrote “Story of an African Farm”, lived in No. 9 Cross Street, Cradock, South Africa, in her youth. A pictorial display of her life can be seen in the house. 

Olive, her husband, Samuel Cron Cronwright, their baby and dog, were buried in a sarcophagus on top of Buffelskop Hill which lies between Orange Grove farm and Buffelshoek. 

From the top of Buffelskop Hill one gets a beautiful view across the Great Fish River Valley, the sight which so impressed Olive Schreiner herself, and the reason for her decision to be buried here. 
The walk up the mountain and visit to the gravesite is only recommended for those that are reasonably fit. A full half day is needed to complete this trip.

Story Of An African Farm

Toby and I have often spoken about hosting an artist retreat weekend. A getaway for artists and aspiring artists alike who need a little R & R and who wish to escape the stresses of everyday life. To enjoy the scenic beauty of the Great Karoo, the hospitality, the people and 5 star food and art in a relaxed environment. Our wish is for this to be more than just art classes… we would like people to leave inspired and to take a part of the Karoo back home with them.

By chance we came into contact with Theresa Hardman, a talented architect and artist living in Port Elizabeth currently working towards her PhD. Theresa has strong links with the Karoo as she spent two years researching the origin of Karoo farmhouses in the Cradock district for her Research Masters Degree in Architecture.

The programme of the weekend 8 – 10 April 2016

  • Friday meet and check in at ‘Die Tuishuise’ which will be the accommodation for 2 nights.
  • Friday Afternoon Art Class at Orange Grove Farm 14h00 – 17hoo. Drinks on the patio and dinner at 19h00.
  • Saturday Art Classes in the veld and lunch.  Dinner under the stars.
  • Sunday Morning Classes and lunch.




For more info contact Tracey Michau orangegrovekaroo@gmail.com

Schreiner Karoo Writers Festival, Anchovies & Gluhwein


The Schreiner Karoo Writers festival took place 24 – 26 July and is proving to be more popular each year. It was great to work with Catherine Knox again, Toby and I were asked to prepare the lunch. With the chilly weather we settled on a Karoo Lamb & Venison Potjie washed down with a glass of Gluhwein. It was a great success and we thoroughly enjoyed the day. Below is the recipe…don’t leave out the anchovies!