Nicole Precoudis is living my dream life.
A passionate and talented chef (formerly of much-loved restaurants Cilantro and Icon in Johannesburg), today she runs the Terra Madre Organic Farm and deli in idyllic Elgin Valley along with her family.
Flanked by her devoted mom Koula and dad Chris and an incredible team of hardworking people who help them daily, Terra Madre is all about the Precoudis family, their team and the community they jointly serve.
This community consists of families, retailers, cooks, chefs and foodies, all of whom support the Terra Madre vision: of eating only the most wholesome and freshest produce sourced direct from the small-scale, organic farmer. (Netflix Chef’s Table, take note!)
Cold-pressed, raw, 100% pure Pear Juice from Terra Madre, Elgin Valley
Ultimately, Terra Madre Farm is about a vision even greater than that – a mission to genuinely make a difference in society and in peoples’ health, while honouring and respecting Mother Earth – hence the carefully thought out name: Terra Madre, meaning Mother Earth.
(It took 8 years to carefully and conscientiously decide on the name of the farm, incidentally…)
Some of Nicole’s earliest memories are of her Dad’s passion for quality meats (as butcher and butchery owner for 35 years) and her Mom’s passion for authentic Greek cuisine, lovingly prepared.
This inspired a lifelong love of all things gastronomic in Nicole, leading her to study hospitality and culinary arts, followed by apprenticeships in restaurants in the south of France and in Tuscany, Italy, before opening her own first restaurant, 80 seater “Cilantro”, in Parkhurst (Johannesburg) in the 1990’s.
Buoyed by the success of the fully- booked Cilantro, Chef Nicole was able to bring her parents on board full-time and they became a close-knit team. A second restaurant, the 150 seater “Icon” in Greenside opened thereafter with its own loyal following, but all the while, Chef Nicole was working on a dream – a dream that one day she would own her own farm in the Cape.
For years she searched until one day fate brought her to Elgin and she set foot on what is now the Terra Madre Farm.
It was love at first sight.
Over the past 13 years, Nicole and her parents have found a home amidst the love and caring of an amazing community and all the while they have remained true to their ethos of farming sustainably, with organic integrity and with total commitment to quality.
Today Terra Madre
– grows 2.5 hectare of Royal Gala and Golden Delicious apples predominantly for export
– grows 1 hectare of olives for their own extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil and preserved olives
all in addition to:
– producing organically grown vegetables for wholesale and retail trade with approximately 20,000 vegetables growing in the ground at any given time (*)
– producing cold-pressed, single-varietal, preservative and sugar-free, fruit juices for wholesale and retail trade (*)
– producing craft Cider in the Methode Pommes Classique tradition (*)
– producing a focused, artisanal range of farm deli products (*)
(*) available online – deliveries on Tuesday and Friday to the greater Cape Town CBD and surrounds
Naturally, farming is about seasonality, with a variety of produce being available at different times of year. A major bonus for customers are the organic veg boxes, available for purchase online or at the farm. Visit the farm yourself from Monday to Saturday to harvest your own from the bountiful gardens!
Deliveries are made on Tuesdays and Fridays in Cape Town CBD, Somerset-West, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, with free delivery for orders over R600.
Shop here: Terra Madre Shop Online
As of writing in early March 2019, the seasonal offering includes a bountiful harvest of Royal Gala Apples and family-friendly, “organic veg boxes”.
Foodies are advised to follow the farm on their social media platforms (Instagram and Facebook) for regular updates on availability, and because generous specials are always popping up in the online shop!
The range of cold-pressed, single-varietal fruit juices available from Terra Madre absolutely also needs mentioning. The finest quality apples and pears are sourced and these are cold-pressed, one varietal at a time, and then no preservatives or sugar is added – nothing except a little ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which helps for colour. So, for those who enjoy eating a tart Granny Smith, or a sweet Golden Delicious, you can enjoy a fresh, wholesome refreshment featuring nothing but the juice of your favourite fruit. To preserve the juice, it is frozen, and when you’re ready to drink it, all you need do is defrost and enjoy.
Finally, all of this is available online, from a few select stockists such as the Oranjezicht Farmers Market uCook the Daily Dish and others (check web for details), or you can pop in to the farm Monday to Saturday and harvest your own veggies with the friendly Terra Madre team.
The Terra Madre operating hours are: Mon- Fri 08:00-16:00
The address is 33 Viljoenshoop Road, Elgin