A glimpse into one inspiring South African woman s self sustainable lifestyle

Winona Griggs

Discovering a South African woman’s inspiring journey towards self-sufficiency

I used to rely heavily on convenience. Everything, from groceries to everyday items, was delivered right to my doorstep. Whenever I needed something, the internet was my go-to solution. But with the uncertain state of food and job security in South Africa, I find myself yearning for a simpler life – even if it means giving up the comfort of convenience.

Imagine a life where I grow my own food and develop a deep connection with the land around me. I can pluck fresh peppers straight from my garden and gather eggs from a lively coop. Whenever I need something, I can simply venture into my veggie patch or explore my pantry filled with homegrown grains. This self-sustainable lifestyle is a shared dream among many South Africans who long for a secure and prosperous future.

A glimpse into one inspiring South African woman s self sustainable lifestyle

Let me tell you a story that brought me immense inspiration. I stumbled upon a remarkable community in South Africa, who had made the decision to live sustainably and off the grid. These individuals had spent countless years feeling trapped in the rat race, until they chose to embark on a different path. Tracy Michau is one among them, a person who radiates authenticity, down-to-earth charm, and possesses a wealth of knowledge on the art of living off the land.

Eleven years ago, Tracy made the bold decision to leave her corporate job behind and embrace a simpler way of life. Now, she resides on her homestead in Cradock, nestled in the beautiful Eastern Cape of South Africa, alongside her husband Toby and their daughter, Savannah. My excitement was hard to contain as I eagerly delved into a conversation with Tracy, seeking to understand her unique approach to life and the incredible benefits that come with embracing a farm-to-table lifestyle…

A glimpse into one inspiring South African woman s self sustainable lifestyle

A Day on the Homestead: Unveiling the Struggles and Rewards

Every day on the homestead is a whirlwind of excitement and challenges that make my life truly extraordinary. Join me as I take you through a typical day, where no two moments are ever the same.

I start each morning with my beloved herd of Indigenous Veld goats, an essential part of our sustainable lifestyle. These gentle creatures bring such joy to my heart. The day begins with the task of tagging and meticulously documenting the new kids. It’s a time for bonding and nurturing, as I ensure their well-being and growth.

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Once the goats are taken care of, I turn my attention to the Jersey cows, our prized members of the farm. With utmost care and dedication, I milk these beautiful creatures, collecting the rich, creamy liquid that will soon be transformed into delicious cheese.

Cheese making is a labor of love, and I indulge in it with great passion. The process involves a delicate dance of stirring and resting the curds, allowing the flavors to develop and mature. In between these critical steps, I handle other essential chores, like processing the fresh veggies harvested from our bountiful garden.

As the day progresses, I am joined by my wonderful daughter, who eagerly lends me a helping hand. We navigate through the tasks together, forging a deeper connection and strengthening our bond. With her by my side, the homestead feels even more like a place of love, warmth, and unity.

A day on the homestead is not without its share of challenges, though. It can be slow and simple, but there’s also a fair share of stress that comes with this lifestyle. Yet, with each challenge, there are countless rewards waiting to be discovered. The sense of satisfaction that comes from living sustainably and nurturing the land is immeasurable.

So, if you’re seeking a life that is both perplexing and exhilarating, the homestead promises an experience like no other. Embrace the journey, and let its mysteries and rewards unfold with every passing day.

A glimpse into one inspiring South African woman s self sustainable lifestyle

A glimpse into one inspiring South African woman s self sustainable lifestyle

What’s the most important thing I’ve learned from living self-sustainably?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that to find true happiness and peace, you must constantly work towards creating the life you desire. If you want to live self-sustainably, begin by acquiring knowledge. Whatever you lack, you can gain by gaining experience, reading, and connecting with others who are already living the life you aspire to have.

How about making your own cheese?

I’m a cheesemaker who loves using traditional methods and wooden cheese moulds. Taking care of these wooden tools is essential because they encourage the growth of helpful bacteria that keep harmful ones at bay. Wood is truly amazing! When I make cheese, I usually go for what my family and I are in the mood for. Some favorites include Gouda, Camembert, Brie, and Cambozola. I also like experimenting with natural cultures like Filmjölk, Kefir, and Skyr.

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Making cheese isn’t just for people who live on farms. You can learn how to make your own cheese by signing up for a course with Finest Kind. It’s a great opportunity to discover the joys of homemade cheese.

A glimpse into one inspiring South African woman s self sustainable lifestyle

What’s hiding in my pantry?

My pantry is filled with homemade, healthy foods that are good for my body and my gut. I make my own L. Reuteri yogurt, kefir, and sourdough bread. I even cultivate Spirulina to create my own superfood. There’s nothing better than enjoying a nutritious meal straight from my garden. And if you don’t have an outdoor space, don’t worry. There are other ways to grow your own food in limited space. You can try vertical gardening or start a small herb garden on your windowsill.

How about a delicious farm-to-table recipe to inspire you?

Sure! I recently harvested some nettle, and it’s perfect for making a tasty pesto. It goes great with Camembert cheese and sourdough bread or fresh pasta. I like to add a little fresh basil for extra flavor. Growing nettle is incredibly easy, so anyone can do it!

A glimpse into one inspiring South African woman s self sustainable lifestyle

A Recipe for Nettle Pesto

Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for making your own nettle pesto. Nettle pesto is not only tasty, but also packed with wonderful nutrients that are good for your body.


  • 200g of nuts (choose walnuts, macadamia nuts, or cashews – whichever you prefer!)
  • 150g of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or any other hard cheese that you like
  • 150g of blanched nettle leaves (make sure to remove the stems)
  • 340g of olive oil
  • 15g of dried lemon powder or 50ml of fresh lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparing the Nettle:

  1. First, put on some latex or rubber gloves to protect your hands. Then, remove the leaves from the stems. You can save the stems to make a nourishing nettle tea later on. Rinse the leaves well and let them drain.
  2. Next, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the nettle leaves and stir them gently with a wooden spoon. Cook the leaves until they have wilted and turned a beautiful dark green color. This usually takes about 2 minutes. Once the nettle leaves are cooked, remove them from the saucepan.
  3. After that, drain the nettle leaves and give them a gentle squeeze to remove any excess water. Set the leaves aside for now.
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Now that you have prepared the nettle, you are ready to make the delicious pesto sauce. Let’s get started!

How to Make Pesto:

  1. First, let’s gather the ingredients we need for making pesto – walnuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, cooked nettles, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  2. Next, place the walnuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese in a blender or food processor. Give them a quick chop until they’re coarsely chopped.
  3. Now, add the cooked nettles, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the blender or food processor. Process everything together until it’s well blended.
  4. While the blender or food processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Keep going until the ingredients come together and form a paste.
  5. Once everything is mixed together, it’s time to taste the pesto. Take a little spoonful and see if you need to add any more seasoning, like salt or pepper. Adjust as needed until it’s just right.

A glimpse into one inspiring South African woman s self sustainable lifestyle

Hey there! Looking for a delicious condiment to jazz up your meals? Look no further than pesto! Pesto is a versatile sauce that can be enjoyed in so many ways. Whether you’re a pasta lover, a pizza enthusiast, or a fan of sandwiches, pesto will elevate your dishes to a whole new level of flavor. Plus, it’s super easy to make!

Now, let me share some tips with you on how to store your homemade pesto. To keep it fresh and tasty, simply store it in a well-sealed jar and pop it in the fridge. This way, it will stay good for up to 3 weeks. But if you want to make it last even longer, you can freeze it. Consider freezing it in ice cube trays for small, easy-to-use portion sizes. In the freezer, it can keep its deliciousness for up to 6 months!

So, what are you waiting for? Give pesto a try and discover the amazing flavors it can bring to your favorite dishes. Once you taste it, you’ll be hooked!

This article was originally published and shared by Woman&home.

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