HP (Hendrik Petrus) van der Merwe is the 5th generation who actively farms on Alexanderkraal, which is the most South Western farm in the Murraysburg district. Here he farms with Afrino-Merino, Angora goats and Dexter cattle. The farm house was built in the 1800's from clay, stone, poplar trees, leather strings, grass and mud all that were produced on the farm. The shearing shed on the farm was built a century later in the 1900's.
Rageltjie de Beer's original story played out on the farm and the little house is still standing. His great-grandfather, also HP van der Merwe's brother was the moderator of the N.G Church and had to collect Paul Kruger's body in Israel with a boat. HP van der Merwe's grave is in Craddock next to the N.G church with a large monument.
HP is a Karoo man, he was born and raised on the farm and has been living there ever since: Farming is his life! The farm is a source of income for him and his family and he believes that the more care he gives to the farm and animals the more they care for him and his family. He furthermore feels that the product delivered to the public and the product on his table should be of the same quality.
The van der Merwe’s farm doubled in size since they started farming on the land. HP furthermore tries to lighten the grazing load on the land by farming with fewer animals. He feels that nature should be conserved and that land entrusted to you should be cherished to leave what was entrusted to you in a better condition for future generations.
In HP's own words: “Jy moet ‘n “Jocky” wees van jou plek, ken jou plaas kamp vir kamp”.
Racheltjie de Beer
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rachel de Beer (1831–1843) (sometimes known by the diminutive form, Racheltjie) is a (probably) fictitious Afrikaner heroine, who gave her life in order to save that of her brother. She was the daughter of George Stephanus de Beer (b. 1794). The fable goes that in the winter months of 1843 Rachel was part of a trek from the Orange Free State to the south-eastern Transvaal. During one of their nightly stopovers, the members of the trek realised that a calf called Frikkie, much-beloved by their children, was missing. A search party was formed, in which Rachel and her six-year old brother also took part. However, during the gathering dusk Rachel and her brother got separated from the search party and became lost. As the night progressed it got very cold and started snowing. Realizing that their chances of survival were slim, Rachel found an anthill hollowed out by an aardvark, took off her clothes, put them on her brother and commanded him to get into the hollowed-out anthill. She then lay in front of the opening of the anthill in order to keep out the cold. The children were found the next morning by the trekking party. Rachel was dead, but her brother had survived. It is possible that neither of the children existed, however. The history of the period is not well documented. To date no undisputed proof has been presented to substantiate any claims regarding Racheltjie de Beer. Fiction or not, Rachel de Beer is entrenched in the Afrikaner culture, which is evident by the number of streets and schools named after her. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racheltjie_de_Beer)