About Us - The Oertel Family
Charles and Julie Oertel are trustees of the Fijnbosch Farme Trust - an organization that seeks to preserve nature and fynbos.
Pharmacist by profession, mother of two boys, animal and plant lover on a journey of discovery of self, life, the universe and everything. I run the farm shop and handle orders and queries. I also do the research on plants and fynbos in order to answer your questions. Welcome to our site - I hope you like it.
Trained as a space physicist, spent a year in the Antarctic doing research, now a computer technology consultant, businessman and entrepreneur. Father, coach, nature lover and conservationist on the journey with Julie. The technology, graphics, scripts and site design are my work - enjoy.
- See our earlier about us page from 2001 to mid 2002.
- See our not so early about us page from 2003 to 2005.
- See our last old about us page from 2006 to 2012.
The big project Charles was embarking on for 2006 turned out to be with a fraudster. We spent a year of trauma and hardship. However, on the bright side - Charles bought a motorcycle with which to commute for the project, and this led to his starting riding an adventure bike, then a dirtbike, and now a trials bike. The other benefit was that we booked a skiing holiday in Italy for the family - expecting income from the project. When the project fell through we were already committed and had a fantastic family holiday, that was worth every cent and priceless.
- After the fire the buchu price dropped and has not reached levels that make it worthwhile harvesting.
- We visit the farm from time to time to camp and hike, but since taking up Adventure Motorcycling have been spending our leisure time seeing other parts of the country and doing other things.
When Philip finished school Charles and Julie thought of going on an adventure diversion - emigrating to Christchurch, New Zealand for a few years. In spite of everything being in our favour, in the final interview Charles and the emigration official had a falling out and as a result our application was declined.
Turns out we were both relieved to not have to leave the beauty and lifestyle of South Africa behind. Shortly afterwards Christchurch was hit by earthquakes, and to this day property in the region has lost its value. Talk about a charmed life.
- Matthew, our 24 year old son is in his final year of Property Studies at UCT. He has mostly paid his own way, after spending a gap year in the UK and working to save money for studies.
- Philip, our 21 year old, withdrew from Civil Engineering in second year and instead did a 1 year diploma in Sound Engineering. As a result he has just departed for Switzerland to work in a sound studio in Sion.
- We had started rebuilding the website in Drupal, in order to be able to maintain it better. However, migrating all the products by hand is a tedious process and is still taking time.
- Over the last few years our staff have moved on - and Julie has not replaced them as the liabilities of employing people in South Africa with our labour legislation make it too risky. Instead Julie has been doing all the packing herself.
- Julie has also started fulfilling a lifelong passion in realty by signing up with a local agency and has sold her first few houses. This means she has had to delegate some of the FineBushPeople administration to Matthews girlfriend Angela.
Where to for 2012
With both boys out of home, Julie starting as an estate agent, and Charles on a long-term retainer at Rocketseed, things are quiet. Charles has just bought a trials bike and is teaching himself to ride it. The farm is waiting for us to explore some trials trails with friends.
The new version of this website should make its appearance in the next few months.