2020 has been anything but conventional. It has had many of us reprioritizing the things that matter most in life. As Black Friday nears, it was clear we needed to take a different approach this year. One that aligned better with the core values of Lomond which are conservation and community.
We would like to introduce you to Princess. She is a businesswoman, a conservationist, and a role model for many young women in the Gansbaai area. Her company, Siyanda Alien Clearing, is committed to fighting one of the greatest threats to fynbos: the invasion of alien plant species. She has been battling these invasive plants for 16 years and employs a team of 10 women. Rather than a manager, she acts as a mentor to the members of her team – teaching and empowering them to grow and one day become their own boss, just like she has done.
Since lockdown, nearly all funding for alien clearing has been halted, leaving Princess and her team out of work. Since most of her workers are the primary source of income for their families, you can imagine the hardship they’ve been facing.
Further, these alien plants have not slowed their spread with the pandemic. Instead, they’ve taken full advantage of the absence of Princess and her team.
There are a number of fynbos species that are found nowhere else on earth beyond the borders of Lomond. They exist right here, above the vines, and nowhere else.
Knowing this and the obvious hardship such a special member of our community has been facing, we hired Princess and her team last month to exclusively tackle a problematic area of the farm where we have started to lose the fight to aliens.
In just 4 weeks, they have made incredible progress and shown sunlight to fynbos that was nearly lost.
It is hard and often thank-less work. It’s a never-ending task. However, it is critical for the conservation of fynbos.
So like many things this year, the old idea of Black Friday just doesn’t add up anymore. Moments are more important than things. Outdoors are far superior to indoors. And we are encouraging everyone to trade the mall for the hills. Grab a nice bottle of wine and head into nature with loved ones.