The origins of
Ricky's Drift

Our valley is far away from any kind of commercial farming activity, factories, big roads and cities. The air is clean here and we are surrounded by pristine veldt in every direction.

Ricky's Drift is a farm set in the foothills of the Rooiberg Mountains in the Klein Karoo district in South Africa.

Founding members of the farm are Ricky Ball and Louise du Toit. Ricky bought the farm in 2013 as a sanctuary for himself and for other people suffering from chronic medical conditions.

Ricky

Ricky's Story

Ricky's life was forever changed in 2011 when he developed full blown Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. He was forced to withdraw from a world where most bodies, buildings, vehicles and even open spaces are saturated with a cocktail of chemicals. Excluded from most activities, places and events by his body's inability to tolerate even small exposures to ordinary, everyday things like soap, shampoo and laundry products, he searched for somewhere safe.

Our valley is far away from any kind of commercial farming activity, factories, big roads and cities. The air is clean here and we are surrounded by pristine veldt in every direction.

We have spent a lot of time and loving energy in renovating all the cottages on the farm ourselves. It was very important to avoid off gassing and chemicals to create a safe space indoors as well.

Finding all these alternative materials many of which have been repurposed has been very rewarding and our cottages are truly beautiful.

Louise story pic

Louise's Story

Louise brought to the farm her lifelong passion for protecting and nurturing all that is natural and wild. A committed vegan and food farmer, she too sought to create sanctuary where healing could be allowed to happen from the ground up.

The farm produces olives, herbs and vegetables and has become home to many rescued animals including our 3 horses, who were also looking for a new start and somewhere safe. The rest of the land is unfenced and left to the wild plants and animals.

Together Louise and Ricky took on the task over the last few years of renovating the cottages on the farm. Louise brought to this endeavor her pioneering spirit and ability to make a plan and all of our cottages have no off gassing or emissions.

Pam story pic

Pam's Story

Pam du Toit joined us in 2015 and decided to use her soap making skills to create body products that were safe for Ricky to use and 100% chemical free.

She began experimenting with olive oil based soaps using organic, locally grown olives. What she produced exceeded all of our expectations and we decided we wanted to share these 100% natural and effective options with other people.

Over the last few years her recipes have been perfected and we now share this quality, versatile range with you.

Pam is constantly developing new products to add to our range.

estelle story pic

Estelle's Story

Pam has now been joined by a local artist Estelle Bensch whose creativity and out the box thinking is helping to take the range forward.

A self taught artist, Estelle came from Somerset West, tired of city life, bought a guest farm in Vanwyksdorp and now running the guest farm, making soap and creating art.

eve story pic

Eve's Story

Eve is originally from Uganda and came to Van Wyksdorp to visit a friend, after working in Dubai for 4 years. With a passion for soap making she joined our team in August 2019 and has proven to be a valuable addition.

Her dream is to one day take the soap making skills she has learnt from Ricky’s Drift back to Uganda to start her own business.

Together they work maintaining quality and developing new products to add to our range. Giving people, like Ricky, and the environment more options and choice in an increasingly chemical world.

edith, andre and dan story pic

Andrew, Edith, Baby Benjamin and Dan’s Story

Keeping a farm running is definitely not a 1 woman job! We are blessed to have Andrew, Edith, Baby Benjamin and Dan living with us on the farm.

They are all from Malawi and have such a history of living of the land. Somehow this family landed in Vanwyksdorp at just the right time and joined our community.

Edith has a wonderful entrepreneurial spirit and a background in hotel school and catering. Her dream is to have a shop one day. We see opportunity for her helping us create a tea house alongside our soap factory in the future.

Andrew studied mechanics and likes mechanical challenges. He is the true caretaker of the 1000 olive trees on the farm.

Their son Benjamin is about to walk, at 1 year old, and shares his joy with all of us. There is a lovely brother sisterly bond forming between Tia and Benjamin.

Dan is our "Mr Fixit". Without him, lots would be broken. He is always there to fix any problematic situation.

troy and fam

Troy, Shane and Tia's Story

Troy, Shane and their daughter Tia initially came to Ricky’s Drift for a visit in October 2019 and immediately fell in love with the deep stillness and beauty of the area. The organic and chemical free environment that we have created really appealed to them and they embraced the opportunity to become a part of the team.

Shane is doing maintenance and new projects like converting from Eskom power to solar, upgrading irrigation system and moving the soap factory from town onto the farm.

Troy is doing the admin for the soap business and the farm and is working with and learning from Louise in the gardens.

Tia helps out where she can, making delicious treats with Edith and Ricky in the kitchen, looking after little Benjamin and helping out with baboon watch.

We are committed to creating a community at Ricky's Drift that is centered on providing sanctuary for soil, people, birds, animals, plants and for Life.

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