Nastergal (African Nightshade berry) is a wild plant that grows only on the Highveld of Mpumalanga, part of Kwazulu Natal and the Free State.  It occurred as a weed in our maize fields and were nearly destroyed by the herbicides that we spray on the land to control weed.

Nastergal is a purple berry and the jam also has a bright purple colour. The jam is sold as an exotic and unique product because it’s not available everywhere. The natural berry is a small berry that can only be hand–picked when it’s ripe, so that’s why it’s very labour intense and also provides many work opportunities during season.

During the Nastergal season, a two month duration (February and March), the whole family helps with the cooking process.  The Nastergal jam are produced on the farm itself because these soft delicate berries cannot be transported. When picked, it must be refridgerated immediately.