Excursion Day 4: Medicinal Plants and Economic Botany

Part 1: Medicinal Plants

Parceval was an intriguing glimpse into the world of organic medicinal plant harvesting for commercial products. The Waterval Farm and Nursery provided an opportunity to learn the horticultural skills necessary to propagate and farm medicinal plants under controlled conditions – an easily overlooked art. We then headed to their factory, Parceval (PTY) LTD to learn how the harvested plants are processed into tinctures and other commercial medicinal products.

Part 2: Mooiplaas Wine Estate – Economic Botany

Third Year Botany Excursion
Michelle van der Bank with Mooiplaas Wine Estate owner, Tielman Roos

Mooiplaas Wine Estate was first established in 1806 and is a winery, vineyard and a nature reserve. Excitement, and a hint of hesitation was in the air, when informed that before tasting the fruits of the land, we would first have to tread its historic routes. The 5km, 2 hour hike up the mountain, led by the Estate’s owner, was a test of both mental and physical strength. However, it provided an ideal opportunity to study the critically endangered Renosterveld and to take in scenic views of the Western Cape. After our descent, the much-anticipated tasting of six different wines commenced. Students learnt the art of viticulture and the mastery of wine making.