De Oude Huize Yard an Eco-friendly Establishment

As our natural resources become increasingly depleted, there is more awareness about the need to preserve and protect the environment. To go this route we have implement progressive eco-friendly practices. Our efforts to run a sustainable establishment may inspire you to make your own home more environmentally-friendly!

De Oude Huize Yard sits on a 3000m2 stand in the beautiful town of Harrismith in Eastern Free State. We have scenic views over Platberg mountain. Platberg is one of the most famous landmarks in the Eastern Free State and is 9 kilometer long and 2,394 meter high.


DNHwLiuW4AEDS2j.jpg large
The view towards Platberg

We believe in protecting the earth and aims toward making travel and living sustainable. The establishment was originally built in 1860 with mud bricks. When the establishment was remodeled and restored, we reused and recycled as many materials as possible. 

Mure waarvan die pleister afgekap is die stene aan die regterkant is grondstene
The uneven mud bricks is clearly visible.

We managed to get the original building plans and the alterations were made using the old footprints of the stables and regenerated building materials. The cut sandstone was collected and re-used. We have sourced old building materials like doors, windows and ceilings.De Oude Huize Bou 2-1

It is also an extremely eco-friendly and sustainable establishment. Solar power provides the heating of the water and outdoor lighting. All bathrooms here have low-flow toilets and aerated low-flow shower heads. Non-toxic cleaning products are used and we make use of an outdoor clothesline to dry sheets, pillowcases and towels. The linens, towels and robes in guest rooms are eco-friendly and are made of organic cotton.  Only non-VOC paint is use for the property. Guests are even provided with reusable glass water bottles during their stay to avoid waste. During winter months we use chopped wood of invasive species for our fire-places. Energy-efficient lighting is used throughout and natural light is utilized instead, when possible.

Sun power water heating 
The landscape lighting is 100% solar-powered or rechargeable

We harvest water in three tanks. This reduce the daily water usage for the gardens. During water shortages the water is treated with reverse osmosis rather than chemicals for use in the establishment.


All garden and kitchen waste go to our sustainable earthworm farm. The compost and fertilizer are utilized in the organic gardens.  Here we grow vegetables without chemicals. We have planted olive, quince, figs, plum and pomegranate trees.

Hennie busy inspecting the compost in one of the earthworm containers.

Our guest dine on fresh organic produce from the our own garden at breakfast and dinner.  We also serve local ingredients and no processed food.

Our vegetable garden is under shade cloth and the raised beds were made from old wooden pallets. Sawdust has been sprinkled as a ground cover to minimize weeds and pests. We have planted only heirloom seeds. 
Stone packed gabions as boundary walls.
The workshop has been fitted with regenerated floor board doors.

Till next time

Hennie & Sandra

4 Replies to “De Oude Huize Yard an Eco-friendly Establishment”

  1. Wat ‘n fantastiese plek!

    Ons het juis nou ons groentetuin begin (lees asb net ‘n stuk grond skoongemaak), ek wil kyk of ek dit kan regrky!

    Die plan is om Karoo toe te trek (eendag) en ook ons eie groente, vleis, eiers ens te hê en ook sonkrag ens. Ek begin maar oefen by groente solank. Die idee van die bokse uit die ou pallets is fantasties, ek dink ek gaan bietjie idees steel by julle!


  2. Hi, just wanted to leave a quick note to say thank you – I have had so much fun reading your posts. We always seem to speed through Harrismith on our way down to the coast and I could kick myself for that. Wow, we’ve missed out on so much beauty. Your home is absolutely stunning and I loved reading all about the various historical sites you’ve been too. I learnt so much. Next time we drive down, I hope we take it slow and maybe even spend a night


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