The shelves and fridges at Pucketty Farm Stall ,off the R617 in KwaZulu-Natal, are so stuffed with mouthwatering epicurian delights that it takes a while to realise there’s no one but a large, friendly cat manning the till.
Indeed, behind the jars of creamy fudge and handcrafted chocolates there’s no till at all; a sign invites you to list your purchases in a book, add it up with the calculator provided and place your money in a plastic container. It’s quite a novelty for city slickers.
I opened the money box and hesitated beside my loot of piquant Pucketty pickles, rusks, farm eggs, roasted butternut and sticky onion quiche, smoked trout paté, the farm’s famous carrot cake and a tub of peanut-butter ice cream. The box was almost overflowing with the morning’s takings.
‘It just runs itself and works perfectly,’ says owner Serena Shaw of the honesty system. ‘There’s been the odd schoolboy prank over the years, but never a big hiccup.’
She started selling fresh farm bread from her back door on Sundays 20 years ago. The wholesome food soon attracted wider attention and today the rustic wooden stall offers a wide range of delicious local produce, much of it made in Pucketty’s kitchen by Serena, her son and his wife, who are all cordon bleu chefs.
Tuck into delicious goodies in the tea garden under the trees while the kids test the playground swings and slide or check out the farm animals.
Afterwards, pop into an art gallery exhibiting the work of 20 talented local artists. It’s no surprise that once you’ve selected a painting, you just write it up in the book, pay and take home an artwork with an honest story to it.
Meet some contented cows, taste tangy all-natural cheeses and see how they’re made on a tour at the River Glen Farm, on the other side of Underberg on the road to Drakensberg Gardens. Tel 033-701-1926, www.riverglen.co.za.
Contact details for Pucketty Farm Stall
GPS: S29° 48’ 5.1768” E29° 30’ 13.1574”