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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Part V - Tongaat Mushrooms in Bryanston, South Africa

Early in bed by 2:00 and rising again at 7:30 for the 2nd day of the Congress on November 21, 1985.
We had breakfast and Pieter opened the day by being the first one to lecture and as usual, showing his slides.
For lunch we drove to the Tongaat Mushroom Farm in Bryanston, where they used wooden trays as tables and we were seated on straw bales. 
It is here, where I got bitten by a stray puppy, a Rhodesian ridge back.
It gobbled up some of the meat of my kebob and when I gave it also bread, it bit in my finger!
'Biting the hand that's feeding you', as mentioned in my Newspaper Publication (link below this post).
Always interesting to be really in the field, a practical class room so to speak!
Husband Pieter sure did climb up somewhere high enough for making this photo!
He was always such an avid photographer!
Me, pondering in this Mushroom growing room at the time of harvest...
Having a peek inside the Tongaat Mushroom farm where the harvesters were picking away.
Harvester in action.
This is the end result in the packaging area where they will be wrapped and labeled.
That very afternoon, Pieter also did an interview for their Farmer's Weekly and it got published on January 10, 1986.
SOUTH AFRICAN mushroom growers face a tougher task than their fellow-growers in other parts of the world, says international mushroom expert, Mr. Pieter Vedder, who visited South Africa as a guest of the Mushroom Growers' Association.
"Mushrooms thrive in damp, dark conditions and farmers in this country must invest enormous amounts of money so as to control the climatic conditions necessary for successful mushroom growing," he says.
Mr. Vedder has been involved in the education and training of mushroom growers in his capacity as director (principal) of the Centrum voor Champignonteelt (or Mushroom School) at Horst in the Netherlands.
He was appointed director (principal) of the school at its inception in 1968 and headed it until he resigned in 1983 to take up the post of vice-president of training and development at the Campbell Soup mushroom division.
"Mushroom growing is an enormously sophisticated process. The grower is creating the ideal conditions for the growth of all fungi  and the grower has to cultivate just one fungus. Obviously the strictest attention is given to creating the most hygienic conditions possible," he says. 
Mr. Vedder is best known for his book Modern Mushroom Growing, which was first published in Dutch in 1964. An English version was published in 1978 and has rapidly become the bible for mushroom growers.
It is generally accepted that the Netherlands mushroom industry leads the world in growing techniques and yields. In 1984 the Dutch industry produced more than 94 million kg of mushrooms with an average production of 24 kg/m2.
He says: "Mushrooms are the ideal crop for the Netherlands. The crop is labour intensive, doesn't require much land and grows well in the Netherlands climate."
This is Mr. Vedder's first visit to this country and he is not disappointed in the mushroom industry here.
"Obviously growers in South Africa suffer because of their geographically isolated position  they don't have the daily contact with other growers as do farmers in Europe. However, in spite of some serious drawbacks, South Africa produces mushrooms of excellent quality."
He says the presentation and the packaging of mushrooms in South Africa compares favorably with the best standards in the world. 

The above article got sent to us on January 8, 1986 together with the black and white photos that I showed you in my previous Part IV.
On April 16 we got this reaction to the article that I wrote for the Courier Herald (see link below, My South Africa Publication...).

Fond memories of that special day!
We did also attend a Rotary Club dinner-meeting with the club of Kyalami South.
Pieter exchanged the Rotary Club's flag from Dublin, Georgia, USA for theirs to bring back with us.

Quite an experience for one single day...

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for Part VI


  1. Dear Mariette,
    So many mushrooms!!Those local women had to be proud of their work in the mushroom growing room.
    I was able to read, understanding the paper 90%!! How interesting! The weather is turning into winter here.Take care.

  2. Hello Mariette, Your articles sure do show all the work and expertise, at many levels, that go into the clean packets of mushrooms (and I daresay all else) that we buy at the store. I am sure that you and Pieter are proud of being such an important link in a quality food supply.

  3. Liebe Mariette,

    dein interessanter Post erfreut mich.

    Alles Liebe

  4. Dearest Mariette,
    wow,such a big mushroom farm! I never have seen such a big one. So lovely to see all those things, you have seen in your live! Really interesting!
    HAve a lovely and relaxed week, and a happy weekend ahead!
    Love and hugs, Claudia xo
    P.S: Thank you for your kind mail, will answer soon :O)

  5. Another interesting post, Mariette. Sounds like creating good condition is a really important in growing high quality mushrooms. Enjoyed photos, too.

    Have a wonderful day, Mariette!

  6. Hello dear Mariette!
    What a great post and very interesting indeed!
    Lovely photos with you and Pieter!
    I love your new Christmas header!
    Have a happy Sunday!Hugs!

  7. Przeczytałam z zainteresowaniem kolejną notkę jestem pod wrażeniem.Pozdrawiam serdecznie.

  8. Happy New Year!

    Many hugs from Britt

  9. Memories,i worked and lived at the kyalami farm in the mid eighties

    1. Dearest unknown,
      So, probably we have met! So good to hear something from that part of the world.
      We both loved South Africa so much.


Thanks for your visit and comment.



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