When it comes to growing sustainable gardens and agriculture products, the goal should be to limit harmful chemical herbicides or pesticides that will eventually render your soil useless. Many people are turning to natural defense and offesive ways to combat pests and plant predators. Meet the Indian Runner Ducks of Vergenoegd Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa. I recently had the pleasure of visiting this wine estate while traveling for a speaking engagement. I love learning about sustainable agriculture practices and besides, visiting a winery is always fun!
These ducks at Vergenoegd Winery have become world famous with visitors coming from all over to visit the winery and see the ducks in action.
Want to see the ducks? I think you will enjoy this quick video I put together of my visit. If you are planning a trip to South Africa, I would highly recommend stopping by this estate. It will be fun for all ages!
Duck Duck Booze! The Vergenoegd Wine Estate from An American Homestead on Vimeo.
I met up with one of the grounds keepers at the estate. His name is Simon and he oversees some of the activity of the ducks in the vineyards and gardens. The ducks are used to control a pesky snail that feeds on the grape vines during certain times of the year. The snails can be very damaging and the ducks when they find them will gobble them right up. There are about 1000 ducks who act to police up these damaging snails while another 400 or so ducks are kept for breeding or other garden purposes around the estate. Of course the ducks wherever they go leave waste behind and that adds valuable fertilizer to the soil.
You will also notice a number of geese on the estate. It was fascinating to learn that sometimes the ducks need protection as well. Crows and snakes will prey on the duck eggs and young ducks and the geese are great watch dogs that will fight off whatever comes near the nesting areas and young ducklings. These are not just any ducks. These are a breed called runner ducks as opposed to the kind of ducks that tend to fly a lot. These ducks RUN!
Duck Duck Booze
Twice a day the tourists and visitors gather to watch the duck parade around the estate moving from one location to another to get their job done.
And of course, you can watch all of the excitement while enjoying a nice glass of wine harvested and made right there on the estate each year. They also serve lunches as well. The whole area is great for pictures and you can understand why so many people choose the estate for weddings and other gatherings.
I hope you enjoyed the video! You will see more of the footage coming up in our December Winter Series.