Irene Dairy Farm

Green Pastures in the City
- 18 December 2012 -

I've actually been to the Irene Dairy Farm numerous times before, but due to the amount of rain we have been receiving this year I was curious to see what this has done to the cow's garden.

Basically it is very green with long green grass all over the place. The cows must think they are in heaven.

Situated on Nellmapius Road, Irene, Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa, the Irene Dairy Farm goes back in history (if you want to know the full history and details, please visit ( To make a long story short: It all started in 1889, farms were sold and bought etc... The interesting bits are that Irene was the daughter of Alois Hugo Nellmapius, and he bought the farm and then declared it a township in 1902 and then sold it to Johannes Albertus van der Byl where the farm has been in the family ever since. The area developed over time and is now what we refer to as Irene, and the Van der Byl's from generation to generation have built up the dairy farm while maintaining its authenticity. .... and it is authentic.

Chatting to an old friend where I heard some news (won't share the details) and then spoke to a work colleague who told me about an operation his son needs which is going to cost a fortune, I was feeling a bit tense and sad. As things normally go with me it was eating at me slowly till the point where I needed to get out. I hopped on my scooter and headed down to the Farm.

I needed somewhere I could relax a bit and the farm seemed like the ideal place.

It being a farm there are lots of farm animals, cows, chicken, ducks etc.. Obviously is also smells like a farm. 

It was unbelievably green, I'm sure the animals were happy, they seemed to curl up in the grass to relax.

It really looks like a farm! but in the city. There are kids everywhere. Kids love animals and there are things for them to do, like swings and large open patches of grass to play with a ball. I even saw a couple of people picnicking with their kids. 

There is water troughs everywhere too. I guess it adds to the ambience, but most importantly it supplies water to the animals.

What you notice about the farm is, it is old but well looked after. I'm sure all the building aren't from 1889 but I'm sure some of them are. If you look closely at the water troughs you will notice details like it is built up from natural stone, which leads me to believe it was either an expensive recent exercise or originates from the early 1900, where people didn't have fake rocks yet.

I needed a place to relax,  I love the kids but it was a bit busy and noisy, I needed to clear my head. So I noticed a dirt road leading further down into the farm. There weren't any "no entry" signs so I started walking.

The road was lined with big old trees and had grass fields on either side, but more importantly it was quieter than the playground I just came from. 

I could still hear the cars from the busy Nellmapius road, but the green pastures and lonely road was enough for me to take a breath and just process some thoughts.

Something I never knew was that a military plane had crashed on the farm in 1922 and this plaque was setup in memory of the victims of the accident. I sure not many people get to see it, as it is down this lonely road, which suited me just fine. I would say more people should take a walk down there, but then it wouldn't be as peaceful and would turn into a dusty farm road.

Anyway, it was time to head back to the society, but I was feeling more relaxed and a little less tense. Soon there were kids again, but this time they were not referred to as little bundles of noise. It is truly amazing what a quiet walk can do to change a persons mood.

A dove was hurt, and he couldn't fly. As people got close to him he panicked and fell into one of the water troughs. Not able to fly, I don't need to tell that you a damaged bird in water is a problem, but this man was quick enough to save him. The nearby kids loved the action!!

The farm has a couple of restaurants on the premises, a conference facilities and a small shop where you can purchase fresh farm goods. I believe they do weddings and events too.

The store only takes card payments and I can understand the reasoning, but I'd lie if I say I wasn't a little irritated when I stood in the queue to buy a bottle of 300ml Coke, when I was refused my refreshment because of my real money. I mean honestly, I'm sure the fees cost more than the Coke. Irritated I left the drink behind, I could have just taken out my card and paid but it was a "principle" thing, and I guess I was still a bit tense from earlier anyway.

If you looking for a day out with your kids, or just want to have a relaxing farm breakfast, or need some fresh farm produce, the Irene Dairy Farm is an excellent choice. I would recommend it to anyone, it is truly a haven in the city. For me, I guess some thoughts need time and can't be fixed with a leisurely walk on a farm...... but it did help.

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