Harvesting carrots

I’m exactly where I want to be.

Boasting over a decade of growing some of nature’s finest crops for the company, Denham has always been a man with a plan.

“Farming is not a job. It is a lifestyle,” says Denham.

As seasons come and go, you’ll find broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, sweetcorn, commercial corn and tobacco colour Denham’s fields in every shade of green.

But it was livestock that initially captured his interest. A passion that sent young Denham to farms in Israel, Denmark, Egypt, Uganda and America, to learn and work.

Denham’s international exposure taught him invaluable lessons, but instead of unlocking a desire to emigrate, it revealed a proud Groblersdal farmer, ready for whatever the farming life brings.

“And farming is tough,” Denham says. “You need guts, and a lot of it.”

The moment he notices the storm clouds roll in, his first concern is whether it could be hail, and immediately after that, whether he is insured against it.

Farming with vegetables is also extremely labour intensive, which brings with it 50 permanent employees and a lot of responsibility.

But after 20 solid years the vegetable farming industry has a way of growing on you. “With everything in life there are always challenges,” he says. “But there is also always room for improvement.”

Denham believes in growing skills too. In the December summer holidays, he invites high school learners from the community to help out on the farm, teaching invaluable management skills and what it takes to be a farmer.

Not only is he a keen carrot and broccoli grower, but he also never tires of their taste. Carrot juice and broccoli stems are high up on his list of favourites, which could also be why Denham is such an accomplished athlete.
“A healthy body means a healthy mind,” he says, explaining why fitness is so important to him.

Denham’s wife Alta, and their three children, Jarred (13), Michaela (12), Reese (6) also keeps him young and energised for whatever tomorrow brings.

Image: Harry de Zitter

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