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Quacking up: pest control the natural way

Over the past five years, we have introduced Indian Runner Ducks to the vineyards at Nooitgedacht farm, which is managed and staffed by previously disadvantaged employees.

Quacking up: pest control the natural way

Like their name suggests, these ducks don't waddle but run. Their main purpose is to munch the snails in the vineyards, but they also enjoy insects such as weevils, crickets and worms that cause damage to the topsoil and vines. The ducks do not scratch in the soil to look for worms, so earthworms are safe.

At night we lock them in their Duck Mobile, which we move around, depending which part of the farm needs attention.

The ducks normally live between four and seven years. We started with 120 ducks, but their numbers dropped to 70 (possibly as a result of been hunted by wild cats) so we purchased an additional 60.

Through the Nooitgedacht Employee Trust, employees own 7.5% of both Nooitgedacht's land and operations. The employees also benefit from the sales of Frieda's Vine wines. 45c per litre of every Frieda’s Vine Chenin Blanc/Viognier and Shiraz/Mourvedre sold goes towards the Trust which funds community upliftment projects that are decided on by the farm's employees.

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