In the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, drive along the Drakensberg escarpment, through the scenically beautiful Van Reenen’s Pass and into the fertile valley below, and you will find Oaklands Farm. This is the home of PlantCeuticals and its sister brand, The Cultured Whey. Oaklands Farm, PlantCeuticals and The Cultured Whey are run by the family with the four siblings, Caroline Bruce, Kathy Romer-Lee, Annie Barnard and Simon Tully, living on the land and contributing to its success. Growing up in the mountains of Lesotho and the eastern Free State, it’s no surprise that this fun-loving family has such reverence for growing and producing herbal medicine.
Caroline has always been slightly off-beat with a strong inclination to live as naturally as possible. She resonates strongly with the land in the lower Drakensberg, feeling that she was guided to the area to fulfil her destiny: “I believe this land came to us because it needed a custodian and we needed its healing.”
She has been sharing her love for regenerative practices, real food, natural medicine and warm hospitality for many years through her family-based business Oaklands Farm Stay. Her entry into the healing realm came after grappling with serious digestive and gastrointestinal issues. Caroline went on a long healing journey that resulted in her developing her own curative protocol to heal her gut.
It was so successful that she started making it for family and friends, and it has grown into a well-loved brand of multiple gut-restoring products with national distribution.“From there I felt inspired to pursue other natural remedies and PlantCeuticals was born...”
“With the development of The Cultured Whey range of products, we’ve encouraged and taught the surrounding villagers to make their own kombucha vinegars and beet kvass and to understand more about the uses of the plants growing in their own back yards.”
“As we reach out and touch more layers of existence, understand how all communities are part of the whole, and part of our body, Gaia’s body… as we understand our ancestry and its sacred echoes in our bones, the dirt we walk on, the air we breathe and water we drink, our language and art… and as we become a more unified beings and move toward truly understanding the relationship between self and other, we light up more web. As we dance on the web we feel our vibrations affect more and more co-denizens. As we learn to dance a healing dance, and to live our lives as this dance, we move toward the strength, compassion, and infinite wisdom that true connection brings.”