Workshops 2020

Oom Johannes and me were sitting next to the fire having a chat about our workshops and have come to the decision to lower our fee for workshops, seeing that eveyone is struggling financially, as well as emotionally. Mother Nature is our greatest healer and we want to encourage people to come to Theefontein to experience the wonder of the mountains, the plains and the bluest blue skies.

We are lowering our fee for workshops and ''one-on-ones'' from R1500 to R1200 per person per day. The accomodation fees stay the same.

Send me an e-mail at if you want to visit Theefontein.

In the 18 years that I have been oom Johannes's apprentice, learning about the healing properties of Karoo veldherbs and a million other things, it is the healing power of Mother Nature that has captured my heart . Just to feel the sun on my back as we walk in the veld, or to admire the blue, bluest sky above or to listen to the myriad of songs of the many birds ( veldvoeltjies, as we call them), changes my inner landscape and I feel how nature heals old wounds to make space for new growth.

One does not have to DO something to make this healing happen, you just have to surrender into the soft arms of the two big brown mountains at Theefontein, the Man-mountain and the Woman-mountain, because they understand with an anceint understanding. They know we share the same DNA and they know how to assist us. It is in Nature that we see the manifestation of the Creator of everything, the '' the Blou dak se Baas'', as we refer to the Creator here in the Karoo.

A few years ago we realized that we wanted to share this treasure with other people and so our workshops started. In 2020 the workshops and other activities like the Story-circle weekends are going to happen on the ''ouwerf'' at Theefontein, in the old majestic house built in the late 1800's. Theefontein is the farm of Jacques and Wilna Pienaar. This huge house has room for 12 people. Here you will spend your evenings by candle light, you will make fire in the ''donkey'' ( not a real donkey! ) to have hot water for a bath and you can listen to the wind whispering in the leaves of the collosal Bluegum trees.

What does a workshop look like?

Guests start arriving from 15h00 at Theefontein and me and oom Johannes come over 16h00 to get to know each other . While we get to know one another , we have some tea under the giant bluegum trees or on the lovely long stoep, depending on the weather. The werf is surrounded by the Man- Mountain and the Woman – Mountain and we will wacth the sun set across the plains, that stretches up to the Swartberge, 200km away. On the first evening we give people time to orientate themselves and maybe walk the beautiful labyrinth before dark ,so we return to our houses on the hill when darkness falls.

The next morning we leave to go to the veld by 8 or 9, depending on what the weather does, where we indentify herbs , whilst walking slowly amongst the ysterklip-koppies. By 11.00 we leave the koppies to go to the Katjie-3-Blaarbos, where we will make a fire to braai wors and ''braaibrood'' and this meal is provided by me and oom Johannes. Here we discuss the herbs we have seen and show more herbs that grow in and around the Katjie-3-Blaarbos. Then me and oom Johannes prepare our meal and we sit back and eat our lunch, while we lisen to the birds, listen to stories that emerge from people after spending an inspiring morning in the veld and listen to the silence.

By 13h00 \ 13.30 we return to the werf where we rest until 16h00, when me and oom Johannes come to the ''ouwerf'' to give people a chance to make notes on the herbs we have seen that morning. An information-session follows on which herbs are used for which illness and how to prepare the herbs .

That evening we spend an evening under the stars and we share supper , we prepare the food together with everyone pitching in and we ''kuier'' until the first cock announces the new day.

Sunday morning we start at 8.00, so we can finish around 13.00 \ 13h30 to give people who have to travel far, time to get home in time. On this day we look at medicinal herbs that can grow in the garden and we ask guests to bring tins or any other container so that we can give people plants to take home. We also make time for guests to have an individual consultation with me and oom Johannes about health issues that they are struggling with . By 12h00 we eat our lunch that we have prepared together and by 13.00 guests can start their long way home.

Dates for the workshops 2022

  • 11 - 13 March
  • 18 - 21 March

  • 8 - 10 April
  • 15 - 18 April

  • 27 - 29 May

  • 3 - 5 June
  • 16 - 19 June

  • 8 - 10 July
  • 22 - 24 July

  • 5 - 9 August
  • 19 - 21 August
  • 26 - 28 August

  • 9 - 11 September
  • 23 - 26 September

  • 14 - 16 October

  • 4 - 6 November
  • 18 - 20 November

What does a workshop cost?

R1500 per per day
Accomodation R250 per person
The weekend is self -catering, except for Saturday lunch.
Bookings can be done by sending me an e-mail to
A deposit of 50% is payable within 10 days of confirming the booking and the balance 10 days before arrival.

What to bring

There is no cellphone reception on the farm, but we have wi-fi if guests have to make urgent calls. We have solar energy to provide electricity for people to charge their cellphones.

  • It helps to bring a torch or a headlight if you want to \ have to get up at night.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Mosquito stuff.
  • Good shoes.
  • A good hat.
  • A notebook.
  • Camera of cellphone to take beautiful pictures.
  • A beanie to wear if the nights are cold.

If you are allergic to bees, please make sure to pack your medication, because the nearest town is far.


Through the years of doing these workshops we have seen that it is not suited to everyone's taste to be in a group to learn about herbs, that some people prefer to come for a ''one – on – one'', where we take the maksimum of two people to stay on our werf on the hill with us. It is not only suited to people who wants to know more about herbs, but we also accommodate other needs people might have. The ''one – on – ones'' is perfect for people who needs space and quiet, who want to write or paint or just to rest in the silence that surrounds us here at Theefontein.

There is a beautiful little house on our werf that can accommodate people who chose to attend a ''one – on – one'', where you will find yourself by candle light at night, you will find your water from the borehole from a tap on your stoep, sweet water that comes from the Man-Mountain. We also have a longdrop, a modern Enviro-Loo, so you do not have to be afraid of all the ''spookstories'' one used to hear so much about in the old days.

We have a fridge , run with solar power, so guests can keep their food cold. We also have an option where guests can choose a catering option. We supply bedding, all you need to bring is a towel to dry yourself after washing in a small ''kommetjie'' and we suggest you bring your own pillow.

The program for people who want to learn about herbs is the same as with the workshops and if you want to come for more than two days, we discuss the program beforehand. For people who want to come to our werf to either paint, write or rest, we discuss their needs beforehand, so we can be guided by their needs.

The ''one – on- ones'' are also perfect for people who have health issues and who are in need of healing. A lot of people arrive at Theefontein with health issues that the medical profession has given up on, so in many cases we are their last resort. Oom Johannes consults with these patients and we supply herbs that are needed for the healing to take place.

The workshops dates are set, but for the ''one – on – ones'', you can choose your own date throughout the year.

You can make a booking by sending me an e-mail –

Costs for a ''one –on- one''

R1200 per person per day.
Accomodation R200 per person per day.
R200 for 3 meals per day. You can also decide to have one meal with us and cater for yourself for breakfast and supper ( we eat our main meal in the afternoon ) - this can be discussed when you make the booking.
The list of things to bring is the same as for the workshops.
Bookings can be made by sending me an e-mail at

Theefontein is a paradise for hikers, birdwatchers and star gazers

In 2019 we had our first hikers on the farm and what an exciting experience that was! The group of women that visited us called themselves '' Die Vinke '' and they have been hiking companions for years. They spent one day with me and oom Johannes in the veld identifying herbs and we had an unforgetable braai in the Katjie-3-Blaarbos. The next two days they spent hiking, doing a 14km hike along a beautiful kloof on the first day and a 5km walk the next day.

Costs for hikers, birdwatchers and stargazers

R250 for accomodation per person per night.
R200 per person for the hike.
R500 per person for a day in the veld with me and oom Johannes for 10 people and R750 for less than 8 people.
Bookings can be made by sending me an e-mail at


In 2019 we had the priviledge of having our first story-circle weekend under the big tree in the capable hands of Mari Borstlap. Tecnology has taken us to a place where we don't speak to one another any more and this story-circle weekend in October 2019 made it very clear to me how important it is to tell our stories. Within the safety of a story , you can put wounds to your words and arrive at a place where you can laugh or at least smile at your sorrow , sadness and sillyness.

Dates for the story-circle weekends

  • 20 - 22 March
  • 22 - 24 May
  • 19 - 21 June {Fathersday story-circle)
  • 7 - 9 August (Womansday story-circle)
  • 25 - 27 September

Costs for a story-circle weekend

R250 per person for accomodation.
R500 per person per day for a group of 10
R750 per person per day for a group of 8
The weekend is self catering, so we all ''gooi saam'' when it comes to meals we prepare together.

The story-circle weekend

Guests arrive from 15h00 on the Friday afternoon and me and oom Johannes come to the Ouwerf at 16h00 to get to know each other.

Saturday morning we meet at 9.00 after breakfast under the big tree and me and oom Johannes start off by each telling a short story. As the day developes more and more people share their stories until we break to have lunch together . After lunch we take time to be quiet where guests can either walk the labyrinth or rest or just sit. We meet again at 16h00 to continue the storytelling until it is time to prepare supper that we all share.

Sunday morning we meet at 9.00, after breakfast and we discuss the stories we have shared and people are welcome to bring a notebook to make notes. At 11.00 we take a leisurely walk to the fountain, to allow nature to shine into our inner landscapes. We come back from the fountain to prepare a light lunch after which guests leave around 13h00 \ 13h30 to return to their homes as good as new!

The list of things to bring is the same as for the workshops.

Bookings can be made by sending me an e-mail at

The arrival was lovely: warm, welcoming and a lovely green oasis . . . My conversations with Antoinette gave me an immediate sense of her going straight for the essence – she spoke about herbs which open your gesintheid (your visionary ability) which spoke to me very deeply. I had an instant sense of a wealth and depth of wisdom which I needed to tap into . . . Delicious food, also for me as a vegetarian . . . Loved the quiet and the magnificent stars – would love to have slept outside under the stars.
Isabelle Webb, Cape Town, Mar 2013
Eerstens is die hoogte punt vir my dat ek op ‘n “road trippie” saam met my Ma ‘n slag iewers heen alleen was. Ek was al na baie workshops of retreats op my eie gegaan en gewens sy was daar. Maar die feit dat die een in die Karoo plaas gevind het en heel in Afrikaans was, was baie spesiaal vir my. . . . Die stilte, die kos en die natuur was fantasties. Ek voel regtig geseënd om elke mens die naweek te geontmoet het. Ek sal graag elke jaar terug kom, en my boompie Karoo water gee.
Louise, Paris en London, Maart 2013
Helena, Maart 2013
Naweek was wonderlik. Ann en Charl het ook die hele pad gegaan om ons verblyf aangenaam te maak.
Jeff de Wet
Baie moeg xxx aangekom en nie geweet wat om te verwag nie. Ek moet se dat ek baie aangeneem en verras was. Die wonderlike sameseyn met elkeen. Die wonder wat ons in die naturur beleef.

Ons het baie tuisgevoel en dankbaar oor die moeite wat Ann en haar man gedoen het. Die verblyf was goed. Alles was mooi ingerug. Ek het baie veilig gevoel.

Wat my opgeval het is die manier hoe Oom Johannes and Antoinette mekaar respekteer en aanvul. Ek is baie dankbaar dat ek hierdie naweek kan meemaak.

Lorraine de Wet