I have recently had the honour of being invited to collaborate with two extraodinary people in a new wellness venture called Thrive. This brand epitomises everything that I stand for…a genuinely holistic and organic approach to nurturing body, mind and soul.

We aim to share a unique tranquil, nurturing and energizing natural space by offering a variety of holistic lifestyle events in the form of pop-ups, workshops, demos and retreats. Come and experience our new farm and garden retreat venue @ Albertvale Farm near the vibey village of Bedford, in the heart of Eastern Cape garden country. There is space for peace and quiet, reflection, interaction, engaging with nature, meditation, therapy, comfort, companionship, food and so much more.


Sibuya Winter Yoga Retreat

This retreat is a collaboration with Sibuya Game Reserve and offers a comprehensive introduction to the philosophy and practice of yoga. You will have an opportunity to engage in learning sessions and discussions, practice and self-reflection all the while enjoying the pristine Eastern Cape bush and beaches from the luxury and tranquillity of Sibuya Game Reserve. The Sibuya team are ready to welcome you and treat you to game drives, bush & beach walks, river cruises, birding, kayaking and more.The retreat programme is designed so that it is suitable for novices and seasoned practitioners – there are optional daily group interactions as well as time and space to spend on your own practice in this wonderfully peaceful environment with the benefit of support and coaching should you require it.

Meals are simple, light and nutritious dishes that you can easily replicate at home for your ongoing mindful-eating and nourishment practice. The retreat menu is designed to cleanse, nourish and rejuvenate you. Recipes will be made available as a part of your package. Please let us know if you have any specific dietary requirements.

Have a look at the full programme and additional info on the Sibuya website.

Dates of retreat: 2-9 June 2018

Classical Homeopathy First Aid Course

Thrive is thrilled to collaborate with Dea Wilson of Tsitsikama to present this classical homeopathy first aid course. Participants can expect to learn about the history and inception of homeopathy, the basic principles of homeopathy, how remedies are made and the potency ranges as well as how to use 30 essential first aid remedies.

The course will be run over two weekends:  6-8 July and 27-29 July 2018

Cost per person in R 3500.00. Accommodation in Bedford can be arranged separately for those coming in from out of town.

Book soon as numbers are limited and this is a very popular course which has had fabulous reviews.

Yoga Cleanse and Wellness Series

 Re-shape, refresh & re-energise in a Friday morning yoga health & lifestyle series at Albertvale farm & retreat with Kim van Niekerk & Susan McGarvie

Starting:  2 February to 16 March every Friday morning or just pop into a session as it suits – for the detailed                    programme each morning please email Kim

Times:     9h30 ( herbal tea time ) to 12h30

Price:       R150 pp per morning or special offer of R900 if you attend all 7 in the series

The series includes an introduction to yoga as a lifestyle, health and gentle cleansing & de-stressing tool with a strong emphasis on food choices and recipes for health and detox.

  • Re-connect with the real you as you de-clutter and calm the mind
  • Re-discover the exercise and eating habits that make for a calm and  happy YOU
  • Re-energise body and mind as you speed into a wonderful 2018: the year of YOU.
  • No previous yoga experience needed as each session is carefully guided.
  • Food discussions, demos and easy, quick and tasty food making ideas with recipes
  • Each session will be a stand-alone but inevitably build on the previous one so you can invest in the whole series, or join in when possible for you.
  • We aim to personalise the sessions as far as possible to meet individual needs.
  • We will help you develop your personalized yoga and wellness home plan and lend continued support, updates and enrichment.

You are encouraged to attend a couple or more of these to get into the flow. But you are welcome to pop in anytime as each session will offer something for everyone and you will not necessarily have to have started on day one and end at the end.  We suggest you try to come to at least one of Feb 2nd or 9th and one of March 9th or 16th . And in between, the more you can get to the stronger the benefits.


FEB 2ND   Introduction to yoga as a lifestyle, exercise, health, and mindful decluttering tool. Yoga breathwork techniques. ; plus basic health food principles and easy recipes

FEB 9TH   Introduction to yoga as a lifestyle, exercise & health approach, more breathwork and mind stilling techniques AND gut health  intro : food making and recipes

FEB 16TH Yoga and pillates: breathing, asana and techniques for mind clarity and stress management. Your daily start to the day – and the foods that support this – recipes

FEB 23RD  Yoga health and the poses that support certain organs and body functions.      GUEST TEACHER – BERYL BAWCOMBE – Plus Health smoothies demo and tasting

MAR 2ND   Yoga daily routines made easy including your morning practices for clear thoughts and   meditation techniques. GUEST TEACHER – BERYL BAWCOMBE  – yoga class. Mindful food practices

MAR 9TH     More advanced yoga techniques and how to incorporate all into your new personalised lifestyle and eating plan; plus recipes. GUEST TEACHER – BERYL BAWCOMBE yoga class

MAR 16TH  Yoga as a lifestyle with what you now know … more time for personalized queries, food choices, recipes, lifestyle changes etc. Shift so you can THRIVE planning  – Yoga class

  • EXTRA: book a 45 mins treatment with reflexologist Joy Lang in the Thrive therapy room after each Friday session from 12noon onwards.

Book directly on 083 3098942

You can book on whatspapp 082 7755178 or email  with Kim for the THRIVE yoga cleanse series

Whole Hearted Living – Pop-up

More and more we are being made aware of the value of living a life that is whole hearted and connected to the present moment. Research is revealing how choosing to engage with our moment to moment experiences can improve our quality of life and our wellbeing. Join us for a day long experiential retreat style workshop learning how to really show up for your whole life so that you can improve your emotional balance, relationships, body image, stress management, eating habits, overall wellbeing and more.

Cook’s Garden Workshops – By Kim

Join Kim for two fabulous masterclasses in her edible bio-garden only 10 km from Bedford. Kim has her garden open for the Bedford Garden Festival and this event will run immediately after the festival ends. Arrive on Sunday and stay ‘til Tuesday and catch some of the festival events too.

DAY ONE: will include planning and designing your new Cook’s Garden, design styles, plant supports, natural remedies, composting and much more

DAY TWO: includes plant selection, seasonal planning, soil conditioning, herb knowledge, plant propagation and seed germination and more

Colour Your Soul – Weekend Retreat

Come and experience a nurturing weekend retreat engaging in creative colour sessions focusing on nature’s colours in drawing, textiles, dying (run by Cathy Knox) food, kitchen garden design and wellbeing. Set in the edible Albertvale farm garden near the village of Bedford, heart of the Eastern Cape garden country.

Weekend includes food demos, sunrise walks & meditation times, guided creative reflections, colour play, edible flowers and colours for health, herbal teas and collective companionable cooking and eating together. Create a personal “Thrive“ plan: leave with a tangible and sustainable plan to take what you have learned home with you and build on it.

I am thrilled to be working with two wonderful ladies:

Kim Van Niekerk is our gardening guru, cook extraordinaire and all round nutrition and wellness expert.

Kim has lived on the farm Albertvale for over 32 years. She arrived as a young BSc graduate in environmental sciences and a major in Psychology from Rhodes University.  Living on the farm inspired many new passions including cooking, growing your own food, gardening, ceramics and learning about and practicing her own exercise regimes – due to a lack of any form of gym in the area. She has practiced pilates for over 20 years and more recently has concentrated on Yoga as a lifestyle and overall wellness practice.  Fitness, flexibility of the spine and daily physical health and detoxification including gut health are a large part of her life. Kim co-founded the `Bedford Garden Festival and the Bedford Soul Food Festival.

Over the years Kim has established an organically inspired food and nature garden using many unusual herbs, remedies and concoctions for both personal and garden optimum health benefits. She has vast knowledge and practical experience of personal wellness and that of her family and has also helped many people find wellness solutions over the years. Kim’s knowledge on food plant growing, picking and use in cooking has developed to the extent she now hosts many workshops and masterclasses on the subject, some of which have been filmed for TV.  She concentrates on how to include beneficial herbs in your cooking for delicious healthy food accessible to all for daily use. The classes include a hands-on approach and picking fresh from the garden’s seasonal produce. Kim’s kitchen garden, her Cook’s garden tours, her reflective and healing garden and her English cottage garden are all part of the open gardens for the Bedford Garden Festival each year. She has also worked on 2 Chelsea show gardens and numerous other garden and park projects over the years. She is a member of the Biospot group, a registered alien vegetation controller, rescues endangered indigenous plants and has a small plant nursery on the farm. Her eco-friendly edible gardening co-operates with nature, produces healthy food and creates beautiful spaces that feed the soul. Kim also started and ran a ceramic studio on the farm for 17 years, teaching for 12 of those. The studio, in the old farm stable, is due for re-opening shortly and will be an integral part of the retreats, the workshop offering and an area to explore your creativity. Kim’s skills include: Yogalates practices, meditation techniques, daily exercise and health benefits, herbal tea making, ceramics, cooking creatively using seasonal produce, plant propagation, herbs and their uses, optimal health and wellness for the whole family, children friendly health food, travel and food, fermented foods, organic gardening practices and recipes, the edible / kitchen garden, food travel.

Have a look at Kim’s Green Gardens and follow her as the gastronomic_gardener on Instagram.

Catherine Knox is our multi-media creative associate, plant master and teacher par excellence.

Cathy believes that using our eyes to look, our minds to see, our hearts to Cathy Knox Oct 2017 white hat by Amy Coetzerunderstand and our hands to make is the surest way to inner strength and a calm fulfilled life.

She grew up on an organic farm (KZN) and is a keen food gardener whose primary concern is the health of a living soil system. She designed and manages the productive Chef’s Garden and the cottage Bio Garden at the Duke of Bedford Inn.

She majored in Fine Art at UKZN where the training was centered on close observance of nature as the ultimate source of wisdom, ideas and inspiration. She studied aspects of Shakespeare’s belief in the natural world for her MA degree (Rhodes). Fascinated by the combination of visual and verbal communication, she worked for many years as a photographer, artist and writer in the magazine and book publishing industries.

Bemused by the beauty of vegetables and the tactile adventures of food preparation, she photographs and prepares raw salads and hand-made slow bread, preferably baked over coals. She is well known as an art quilter (exhibiting internationally) and a multi-skills art/craft teacher specialising in design and colourplay.  Her classes include writing and photography, drawing, textile arts, mixed media … and artisan bread-making.

Learn more about Catherine and what she does by visiting her website.




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