Growing Sweetcorn


Jaco farms sweetcorn in the Groblersdal region. A man of action rather than words, you can see this in the way he farms.

Resolutely getting on with the business of growing one of South Africa’s favourite vegetables.

Every hour of every day is divided into segments defined by a plan of action. Jaco is a doer. Steadfast and purposeful.

No Job Too Big Or Too Small.

It figures. Before becoming a farmer in 2005, Jaco was a logistics man. Still is. Grobler Vervoer is another of his business interests, a concern whose vehicles transport produce from the region, a name often seen traversing the vast spaces of Limpopo, Gauteng Mpumalanga and the Free State.

But farming is in his blood. His father farmed. He’d learned a few tricks and absorbed the lore of land management, which now involves the development of 160 hectares of arable land in various parcels throughout the region.

Our 4×4 pulled up next to the field moments before first light, bang on cue.

Jaco had half an hour to spare before moving onto his next commitment.

As the sun rises through the bushveld, the tentative morning light bathes the coffee-ochre tones of his newly planted sweetcorn fields in an otherworldly richness.

Underscoring, through the photographer’s lens, the textures of the earth and the promise of a landscape about to yield a thing of national importance. Food.

Capturing the grit of a farmer who does what he does because farming is a thing that nourishes in the most primal sense – perhaps as much for the farmer as for the people it feeds.

Image: Harry de Zitter


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