Amorentia Estate and Nursery | iinfo TZANEEN

The Amorentia Estate and Nursery does more than can be easily described in a single story. Bought by Gary and Shenah Blight in the early 1950s, Amorentia started as a macadamia farm. Today the farm is run by the Blights’ son, Howard, and its offerings have expanded exponentially over the decades. 
Amorentia Produce and Nurseries
On top of its production of macadamias, pecans, and avocados, Amorentia now includes a large, wholesale ornamental plant nursery shaded by soaring pecan trees, a macadamia tree nursery, an avocado nursery, and — most recently and most excitingly — a dragon fruit nursery.
Dragon fruit is farmed mainly in southeast Asia and is not yet a popular or well-known industry in South Africa. Although this spiky, hot-pink fruit is highly nutritious, dragon fruit flesh has a reputation for blandness. 
But Amorentia has pioneered the production of the fruit through propagation of a new, sweeter-than-normal, self-pollinating cultivar named Amorentia Sweet Dragon Fruit. Howard believes this dragon fruit cultivar could be revolutionary for South African farmers, as the plants can grow in small, high-density orchards and start yielding fruit in just two years under the right conditions. Amorentia is currently rolling out a plan to grow, market and sell Amorentia Sweet Dragon Fruit in partnership with small-scale South African farmers.
Amorentia Trees and Hedge Maze
In addition to its farming production and its nurseries, the Amorentia Estate boasts some of the largest, oldest indigenous trees in the country. South Africa’s three largest Matumi (Breonadia salicina) trees grow in a forest just across the road from Amorentia’s main office, and guests are welcome to visit the forest and stroll beneath these leafy giants. Guided tours can be arranged in advance. 
Amorentia also maintains an “Amazing Maze” made from Brunfelsia (“Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow”) bushes cultivated in the Amorentia plant nursery. Families and groups are welcome to explore the maze with prior arrangement.
Cape Parrots, Bees, and a School
Amorentia runs a number of successful social responsibility projects, including an innovative program to encourage nesting of endangered cape parrots. The cape parrot program installs special nesting boxes and “bee traps” — which house local bee colonies and discourage the bees from taking over the cape parrot nesting boxes — in Amorentia’s tall, indigenous trees. The bees are later moved into hives to produce honey and contribute to pollination of the orchards.
Amorentia has a successful school on the farm, the Thlalefa Combined School, and has converted one of the classrooms into a factory for producing honey and bees’ wax. The students are getting involved in the production process after their classes, and Amorentia will soon launch its own brand of honey to benefit the school.
Howard Blight’s visionary leadership, which is plainly visible to anyone who meets him for longer than three minutes, is constantly taking Amorentia in new and exciting directions. Howard also makes a mean pecan-and-mango smoothie.
The Amorentia Estate and Nursery is on Grootbosch Road off the R36 in the Politsi Valley, Tzaneen. Open Tuesday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call 074-146-3420 or visit for more information.

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