Your hosts, Chris & Kath, have been farming for the last 20 years, with 15 years in the hospitality industry. Chris is an experienced Polocrosse player, races off road motorbikes competitively, and is a 4x4 enthusiast. His hobby in 2-way communications has become his (almost) full-time business that now includes being a wireless internet service provider for the local community.Chris is actively involved in organised agriculture, and practises sustainable farming methods.

“Chris does wing-hunting, fishing, mountain guiding, quad- and mountain biking. If he weren’t an Isted, he’d be a (Paul) Bunyan.” Chris Marais, Drive Out Magazine Oct-Nov 2009....

Kath loves her horses and is excited about her breeding programme with Welsh ponies & Cobbs. She has been involved in tourism community projects for 11 years, and is a founding member of the Masibambane Knitting Group.
Originating from Jo’burg, where she completed her BSc in Occupational Therapy in 1996, a chance meeting during a ski holiday at Tiffindell Ski Resort in 1997 had Chris rushing up to Jo’burg to ‘service’ his quad-bikes more often than usual! Fourteen years later, with 2 beautiful children – Lauren of 9 years & Karl of 7 years – Chris & Kath are privileged to farm Reedsdell in the spectacular Wartrail area.

“…The Isted family name is originally of Viking stock. The Isteds enjoyed their pillaging forays into England so much, apparently, they moved there. Then, in 1820, as part of the original British settler group, they sailed out to South Africa. Together with the Sephtons and the Gushes, they settled in Salem near Grahamstown, before heading up to the Witteberg.  The Wartrail area, as it became known (after the clashes between Moshesh’s Basotho raiders, the settlers, Hlubi, Themba, Khoi-khoi, San and others) is dotted with little stone farm schools where various Isteds went to school.
Six generations after his family arrived in the area, Chris is a tough young stock farmer and important cog in the new surveillance system which has finally halted the crippling stock theft in the area. He also plays competitive polocrosse and races in motorbike enduros. Chris met Kath when she visited the nearby Lammergeier Private Nature Reserve, which he used to run with his mom. It was well met, as Kath recalls. As a little girl growing up in Jo’burg, she always used to tell her Dad that she wanted to marry a farmer. She and Chris run their own tourist operation today from Reedsdell, from their beautiful old sandstone homestead.
…This summer will be a busy one at Wartrail Country Club, where the farming community gathers. Besides the usual tennis and polocrosse, and gathering for the rugby tests, there are two weddings, and families as usual will be coming to visit. Cricket matches are planned, a sports day and a New Year’s Eve dance. Kath sketched this calendar as we wended our way back to Reedsdell after an early morning on the trout stream at Balloch.
I don’t know if it was the bracing air, the farm breakfast awaiting us, the lovely peach blossoms, the stupendous mountains, the friendly bleating of the sheep – or the lack of community in the city, that we are used to. But it sounded just great
.” Guy Rogers Weekend Life Sept 2005

 

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