We had the honour of meeting Fekade Lakew. His beautiful son Eskinder picked us up at the hotel in Addis Ababa and drove us to Debre Birham. After a wonderful talk during a coffee ceremony, and a good lunch we began the interview, followed by a tour through the farm. Bernadette got this all on camera. I was astounded to find a farm so true to Biodynamic principles strictly adhered to even though the cost of some of the materials needed which had to be imported for the preparations must be high - e.g. oak bark (he now grows his own Oak trees but they will take many years to be ready), peat to store his preparations, the necessary bladder of the buck etc. It was amazing to enter his Preparation room and find ALL the BD preparations ready and carefully stored for use. We had passed the herb garden earlier and seen the yarrow, dandelion, chamomile etc. growing together with many other plants. The compost - so rich - and the beautiful cows which contributed to this rich compost - fine and sweet smelling. AND THEN on to the ROSES. Although the harvest was over and the rose bushes cut down to hibernate for the rainy season, we were still blessed with the odd rose - the fragrance of this rose was heavenly and the colour, the most beautiful rose magenta. The distilling room was marvellous and then on to the trial distilling room for the oils of all the different herbs grown. Bottle after bottle - peppermint, Thyme, Origano, Lavender, Eucalyptus, and many more.
He is not sure how to market his products but needs the extra finance and I can assure you all, that considering the healthy nature of this farm, it would be worth importing. Butterflies, bees, and so many varieties of birds made a joyous sound and vision as we walked through the farm.
And Fekade and Eskinder? Truly wonderful people!
Two days on this farm and in there company is not enough!