december2012farmyard (4)Let’s start our journey off in Polokwane, the rapidly expanding provincial capital. Before I moved to South Africa, I was used to cities shrinking rather than literaly exploding. Much to my delight, I have been witnessing this cities expansion over the last 7 years. The platinum mine has provided lots of jobs, lots of infrastructure came in and new malls and housing areas are mushrooming out of the ground everywhere. Why does that make me happy?

There is an “onward and upward” spirit in the country, although many locals are stuck in complaining, and much remains to be done. Every new job creates new jobs. Employees need houses, contractors need builders, builders need lunch … you get the picture. Now about this little gem:

If you find yourself traveling the N1 on a long journey North or South, and look for a lovely place to rest and have the kids run around a bit (or even ride a horse!) , I have just the place for you. I am not a mall rat, malls tire me out. Next to the big new Mall of the North (you can not miss it, the N1 passes right by it) is a lovely German Farmyard. It has a big sign announcing “Leave your husband and children here with us while you shop”.

december2012farmyardThe owner Jacques Vonderstein had the right hunch about a decade back to develop this little plot on the outskirts of town into a wonderful little oasis. I have never seen a city expand that quickly as Polokwane, the Farmyard is now truly a last oasis in the midst of new town houses, big roads and fast city living.

Retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle, and let Jacques welcome you into their outdoor lifestyle.

december2012farmyard (15)Enjoy the splendor of the tranquil garden, which offers the perfect backdrop for quality time with family and friends, and let kids be kids in a secure outdoor environment. There are various animals to feed and interact with and a lovely playground.

Visit the old world charm of bygone days and experience true country living hospitality from German owners Paul and Angela Altenroxel. The essence of the business is captured in the spirit of quality time with the family – it is a love for the outdoors and nature with a hint of modern comfort and healthy eating.

The Farmyard proudly produces a fresh variety of home baking and Alfresco foods on the premises – from a variety of gourmet cheeses and breads to delectable pastries.

Their doors are open from 08:00 – 17:00 Mon-Sun and you are invited to experience something out of the ordinary.

december2012farmyard (17)The Speciality Food Store, a treat for both the eyes and belly, serving the community with specialty products found nowhere else in Limpopo. Organic vegetables fresh from nature’s garden. The deli counter displays a variety of local and imported cheeses and hams as well as hand-picked accompaniments like green fig preserve, onion marmalade, balsamic vinegar infusions and olive jam. The Friendly Baker bakes fresh bread every day. From Tuscany baguettes, Ciabatta’s, Rye breads and rolls, to Farm Style breads and Health and Seed loaves. 20100625_92There are also hand-made sweets from yesteryear. A definite “heaven” for young and old.

If you are a fan of ten-pin-bowling, don’t miss out on the newest edition of the Farmyard “Empire”, their bowling alley. We took a group of twenty the other day and it was so much fun. The new bowling hall is nothing like the stuffy, smelly sticky dens you find in the game arcades of Menlyn Mall and the likes. A humourous decor, friendly staff and comfy couches guarantee an evening (or afternoon) full of fun for you and your friends.

Go and have a good time, for me it is the best stop on a long journey between Zimbabwe and Cape Town!december2012farmyard (7)

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