IMLA Guest Farm is associated with raising living standards, economic growth, and social cultural enhancement of rural areas.We family is driven by the strong demand for family orientated recreational activities provided at an economical cost, compared to other holiday packages. Imla Guest Farm is dedicated to the customer demand for local food and experiences during the farm stay.
Our mission & vision at IMLA Guest Farm is to work toward:
• It must generate employment in rural communities;
• It must generate additional income for those who work on farms;
• It must improve the living and working conditions for farm workers;
• It must prevent the migration of people to major cities;
• It must develop new skills in entrepreneurship and hospitality;
• It must help spread awareness of food security to all;
• It must enhance the community pride and rejuvenate regional culture;
• It must reduce the impact of seasonality on rural communities;
• It must support farmers and the Agricultural industry;
• Farmers must be provided with advice on diversification and income generation for the benefit of all.
1895 - The First Groenewalds
Flip and Sannie Groenewald first set foot on this beautiful, challenging soil, in 1895. They both survived the Anglo-Boer War, 1899 – 1902 (also known as the South African War), however the Scorched Earth Policy of the British forces destroyed their farmstead, animals and crops. They had to pick up the pieces and start from scratch. Goewerneurskop, the headquarters of the farming operations to this day, was bought from a Mr Greyling. During Oupa Flip and Ouma Sannie’s time, the farming operations focused more on livestock, particularly sheep, with less focus on crop production. Also, cream would be sold off any excess milk, after the animals’ young had been fed. In memory of the pioneering spirit and perseverance of Philippus Rudolph (1860 – 1924) and Susanna Maria Lindeque Groenewald (1871 – 1958)
1924 - Second Generation
Boet and Anna Groenewald continued farming with a primary focus on livestock and a secondary focus on maize, wheat and green feed production. Before tractors, the fields were ploughed with red oxen, from as early as 3am. Wheat was harvested by hand. Visitors came unannounced from all over, to stay at Goewerneurskop. Personal differences never came in the way of a good time. Boet, a well-read man, had a passion for farming, politics and church affairs. He donated the weathercock to their church. The biennial Groenewald festival, held on the farm, was initiated by Boet and Anna. More than a hundred Groenewalds gather for the festival, these days. In memory of Johannes Jacobus (1894 – 1970) and Anna Catharina Bosman Groenewald (1909 – 1971) and their generous hospitality.
1967 - Third Generation
Jan came to the farm in 1967, three and four years, respectively, before his father and mother passed away, joining his brother, Flip, who had farmed with their father since 1950. The brothers each inherited 50% of their parents’ farming operations. Marieta (neé Smit) joined Jan on the farm, after they were married in 1973. Flip became an important mentor to Jan and affected crucial infrastructure developments, while building and maintaining a solid farming operation, up to his death in 2004.
Jan bought the farming operations from Flip’s deceased estate. This was an important catalyst in Jan’s ability to approach scale in terms of his and Marieta’s farming operations, such a key ingredient in 21st century agricultural success. From 1979 to the present day, Jan and Marieta have lead the farming operations to expand rapidly in terms of the acquisition of additional land and infrastructure development. Their entrepreneurial spirit and warm-heartedness, together with their predecessors’ legendary efforts, made this possible. Six children were born out of their marriage.
A shift in farming emphasis occurred, with the primary focus becoming crops, e.g. asparagus and potatoes, produced under the brand JJ7. This brand described Jan, Marieta and their six children. Livestock farming became the secondary focus. Empowerment initiatives, for staff and the greater community, since the 1980s, originated from their marriage partnership. (hyperlink new page to Empowerment) Johan, their son, came to the farm in 2005, and you may follow the rest of this story under the Innovative Agriculture heading.
Generation 3, 4 and 5…
Currently, the third and fourth generation Groenewalds, Jan & Marieta, their son, Johan & his wife, Zané, and Johan’s sister, Theoline, are leading and managing the IMLA Farm operations: Agriculture, Tourism & Empowerment. The fifth generation has already been born into the IMLA cradle, like green maize on the fields.