Origin & Background
Daggaboer opened its doors in November 2006. Our charming, eclectic farm stall, 48km from Cradock on the N10 and two hours from Port Elizabeth, is a welcome stopover, with good coffee and a large selection of goodies to sell.
In fact, in 2011 we won the award for Farm Stall of the Year, in a competition launched by travel magazine Go!
You can relax on the stoep with real moerkoffie while drinking in the tranquil beauty of the Middle Karoo with its magnificent mountains and breathtaking vistas.
It goes without saying that the coffee cannot be left unaccompanied by a slice of either the best cheese cake, fluffy lemon meringue or authentic milk tart. We are also known for our fresh roosterkoek, lemonade and ginger beer. Daggaboer is quite famous for its sheepskin slippers, homemade pies and beef & venison biltong, all of which ( except the venison biltong ) are produced on Daggaboer Farm, just accross the road.
Here you can find more than 50 varieties of jams and preserves, all unique to the Karoo: Slap Hakskeentjies (onions in a mild mustard sauce), Boeremeisies (apricots in almond-infused witblits), and Turksvystroop (thick prickly pear syrup which is delicious on toast or waffles, and drizzled over ice cream or even smeared over braaied steak). We also sell Karoo books, droë wors, knitwear like scarves and shawls, and other local treasures.
The somewhat peculiar name Daggaboer always draws attention, and visitors often jokingly (we hope!) ask for the ‘happy weed’. They are then referred to the sign at the front door: Dagga sold out at 06h00 – Business hours from: 08h00.
There are three official theories about how the farm Daggaboer got its name, only one of them involving the weed itself: The first one is that Piet Retief left his farm (which was practically on the site where the farm stall now stands) to join the Great Trek, and a blacksmith, trading post, police station and small hotel were established there. This became the local farmer’s gathering spot. They used to greet each other with: “Dag, ou Boer”, which eventually just rolled out as “Daggaboer”.
The other likely story is that, since the Khoi San name for game is dagga, legend has it that this is the origin of the name Daggaboer, as there is a lot of game to be found in this area. The last legend refers to the Trollips, whose descendants own the farm to this day. The Trollips were British Settlers (the oldest grave on the farm dates back to 1856), and were registered to cultivate dagga as a supplement for horse feed. In those days horses were the main mode of transport and the dagga pips would provide extra stamina.
Personnel and business hours
Our personnel consists of 13 staff members who work flexi days – because we are open 7 days a week, 364 days of the year. We close our doors on Christmas Day only.
We are very proud of our staff, who have all benefited from this unique job opportunity created by the founding of Daggaboer. Some of them also earn extra income by knitting, sewing or crocheting for the farm stall. We even have a full-time gardener and a handyman who does carpentry and welding jobs for the farm stall. All staff members come from the farm Daggaboer itself, or from other farms in the nearby district.
Excellent service in spite of setbacks
Daggaboer has not been without its problems: because we are situated on a National road almost 50 km from the nearest big town (Cradock), serious logistical planning is necessary in order, amongst others, to acquire stock and at the same time keep an eye on our fuel expenses. However, we remain undeterred in our efforts to make sure that we always have on offer whatever is on the menu.
We have also had to deal with a significant irritation in the form of a five-year road-building project by Sanral, which started in January 2013 and is likely to continue for the next two years. We find ourselves literally in the middle of the activities. These include dynamite blasting, which means that the road often has to be closed, and our clients have to endure endless hours of stop & go.
Despite all these complications, we have developed and grown as a team and have improved our services and products. Our motto is Carpe Diem (Seize the day!), which inspires us to keep up the good work, no matter what – our clients remain our first priority. We therefore continue to offer a refreshing oasis for weary travellers in need of a cheerful stopover on the long road south – or north.