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About Us

"Take a walk in nature with bare feet. You are made of the same frequencies as Mother Earth. The energy of earth will heal and rejuvenate you.”

TAMIKA HILDER

In the midlands of KwaZulu in South Africa, along the Drakensberg escarpment through the scenically beautiful Van Reenen’s pass and into the fertile valley you will find Oaklands Country Manor. This is the home of PlantCeuticals and the sister brand ‘The Cultured Whey’. Oaklands, PlantCeuticals and The Cultured Whey is 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 eastern Free State, it’s no surprise this fun-loving family, have such reverence for growing and producing herbal medicine.

Caroline Bruce

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 Oakland’s Country Manor. 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 developing her own curative protocol to heal her gut. It was so successful, 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.

“We believe that humanity has distanced itself from mother nature and her innate wisdom. This relationship needs to be repaired with integrity and respect if we as a species are to survive and thrive.”

CAROLINE BRUCE

Kathy Romer-Lee

“If you are cooking food and you don’t have a connection to the land then you aren’t really cooking.”
With a background as a renowned earth chef, and having worked at some of the most prestigious venues, Kathy has an intimate and undisputed flair for ingredients, texture, flavour, temperature and the mixing of. This is why plant alchemy came so naturally to her. While connecting and working with different plants and herbs, Kathy seems to have an inborn knowledge, automatically heating herbs to the right temperature and doing her magic to reach the right consistency. “The plants seem to naturally respond to the herbal remedies we are creating. It’s almost like when we start cultivating a plant in a healing capacity, more of that plant pops up,” she explains.

“It’s phenomenal, a certain plant appears, like ashwaganda. As soon as we noticed it growing endemically on the farm and started working with it, the plant responded and all of a sudden we had ashwaganda growing everywhere. Mullen and Wormwood were the same, we have now found a field of them. Every time we discovered a new plant, its companion herb also appeared. Sutherlandia, for example, has the African potato watching its back. It is amazing how they somehow grow next to their medicine friends. As we pay more attention to the land, the plants and the earth, it offers up information and gifts. The more connected we are, the better it gets. It is so inspiring to see the land regenerating and giving back.”

KATHY ROMER-LEE

Simon and Annie

Oaklands Country Manor is an established guest house and Simon and Annie are truly wonderful hosts dealing with all the hospitality needs throughout the year. Many of the guests return to Oaklands regularly for the horse riding, the food, the bush walks, the family atmosphere and friendly reception.

Community Values

Caroline, Annie, Kathy and Simon’s long affiliation to the region and their strong sense of family values form the core of the Oaklands ethos, and it’s one that extends to the nearby community as well. A primary employer in the area, the farm is deeply committed to skills development; providing opportunities for social and economic upliftment and creating a sense of family, purpose and belonging. All the families at Oaklands enjoy their own permaculture gardens.

“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 back yards”

Our Community

“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.”

WEAVING WOMEN. IMAGINATION HEALER.

Our Growing Ethos

“In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.”

GOETHE

Our principles are ingrained in nature’s deep design and we seek to hold her truth and gifts in honour and respect.
  • PlantCeuticals are made up of plants grown organically and in natural sunlight. Oaklands farm is 100% chemical free.
  • Our soils are nutrient and microbial rich and plants are nourished with natural source non-chlorinated water.
  • We believe that exposing the plants to the elements of nature enhances the strength of their medicinal properties.
  • As the human gut microbiome and the microbiome of the soil mimic one another they are the key to human and plant wellbeing.
  • One of our specialities is creating our own natural fertilisers, ferments and efficient microbes creating a positive bacterial environment.
  • We give reverence to the power and intelligence of nature and her ecosystems.
  • We believe in biodiversity over monoculture farming and practise the principals of permaculture.
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