Hanlie knows her onions about broccoli

Aug 28, 2022 | General

Hanlie Schultz is the leading lady and manages amongst other vegetables the 110 hectares broccoli and cauliflower produced for Tikketai all year round.

She has been appointed by the broccoli and cauliflower producer Ruben Barnard, about four years ago, to ensure that the correct irrigation programme, fertilization programme, and preventative pest and disease spray programmes are being followed.  She manages the people and the processes from planting to harvesting in such a manner that they can provide first-grade broccoli and cauliflower.

Hanlie grew up on a vegetable farm in Philippi just outside Cape Town.  Her father was a vegetable farmer, and she got her know-how and touch with vegetables from him. 

“Producing first-grade broccoli and cauliflower is our main and our quality control already starts when planting the seedlings in the field”, she says.  During the growing phase of the Brassicas, she ensures that optimal soil moisture levels are maintained, and diseases and pests are avoided or controlled. 

Harvesting broccoli and cauliflower heads at the ideal size is another critical element in producing a first-grade product.  “Tikketai has specific preference, based on the needs of their clients and the consumer, when it comes to the sizes of these heads.  One would not believe how fast these heads grow in hot weather conditions.  It is very important to be monitor the growth and the weather for the ideal perfect product”, she explains.

During harvesting it can get muddy in the field and one needs measures to make sure that the harvest stays clean and clear of the mud.  The whole process from cutting to driving it out of the land on the bin trailers needs to be monitored.

Broccoli takes about 9 to 10 weeks to reach the ideal size for harvesting in mid-summer and 12 weeks in the coldest months.  Cauliflower needs about a week longer than broccoli to reach harvest size.

Growing, nurturing and producing vegetables of the highest quality is in Hanlie’s blood and she plays a vital role in making sure that Tikketai can wholesale in broccoli all year round.