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The Festival of Yellow, celebrating the canola fields

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The Festival of Yellow, celebrating the canola fields

Every year they lighten the mood and brighten the province

Last updated: 8 September 2022

The CapeTownMagazine.com Festival of Yellow, celebrates the canola season, the blooming fields of gold that cover the province every Spring. They are such a delight that we decided to start an annual celebration. So every September we tell you where to find them (and what to do close by). We unpack the story of the canola flowers and share great giveaways, thanks to support from B-well, “the canola company on a mission to help you live healthier”. 

Here are 7 things you might not have known about the canola fields.

 
 
 
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CANOLA PRODUCES OIL

The yellow flowers carry a little brown seed that helps agriculture flourish in the Western Cape – the crop that produces canola oil. After blooming into fields of gold, the flowers drop off and leave seed pods behind, which are pressed and then produced into oil. 


The fields of gold are a major attraction during spring flower season. Image: Kyle Goetsch (@kyleincpt)

THE CROPS START TO BLOOM FROM AROUND JULY 

The canola fields bloom from July to the end of September. It’s weather dependent, so if it’s warmer and drier, the canola will go into bloom earlier and for a shorter period of time. The longer the canolas bloom, the better the yield. So if you’re still seeing canolas bloom late September, then know it’s a good canola year. 


The canolas are normally at 50% flowering in August and flower till the end of September. Image: Cayley Baker (@caybaybay)

CANOLA PRODUCTS MADE RIGHT HERE

Canola company B-well produces a range of products, from cooking and frying oils, to canola and olive oil blends and mayos, and are growing in popularity because they are a premium and healthy alternative to common cooking oils. Canola oil is surprisingly versatile, too: It has a high smoking point (around 200 degrees Celsius), and because of its neutral flavour can be used as a substitute for hard fats in baking. Source: bwellfoods.co.za


B-Well produces a range of these canola products. Image: Jon Kerrin (@wherethelight_is)
 

CANOLA HAS A 28-YEAR OLD HISTORY

Southern Oil introduced canola crops to farmers in 1993, turning into a huge success story. What started with 400 hectares is today an industry of 94 307 hectares, with Southern Oil working with over 500 local producers of canola, employing thousands in the Western Cape. In 2010 Southern Oil launched B-well, whose mission is to give consumers a healthier alternative to oil-based products, and overall providing South Africans with ingredients for better living.


Southern Oil began producing for retail in 1996. Image: B-well Foods

IT’S MADE FROM NON-GMO SEEDS

All the canola crops in South Africa are grown from non-GMO seeds. “Pressed canola oil and seeds in South Africa consistently undergo GMO screening for verification purposes in adherence with requirements,” says Southern Oil. 


The canola fields are also a Western Cape agricultural success story. Image: Renaldo Pool (@renaldo_17)

CANOLA OIL IS A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE

B-well canola oil is naturally cholesterol-free, making it one of the healthiest choices for cooking. It’s also rich in Omega 3 and has the lowest saturated fat content of any cooking oil (approximately 7% lower than normal cooking oil). It’s also endorsed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


Because of its neutral flavour it can be used as a substitute for hard fats in baking. Image: B-well Foods

WHEN + WHERE TO SEE THE CANOLA FIELDS

AREA

WHILE YOU’RE THERE

Overberg

Drive past this popular padstal in Grabouw and pop into this hidden bookstore.

Darling

Visit this San cultural education centre and nature reserve in Yzerfontein.

Tulbagh

If you’re travelling on a warm day, take a hike to this tidal pool near Tulbagh.

Contermanskloof

Drive past Durbanville and taste wine in a cave or go on a picnic.

St Helena Bay

Stay over for the night at this quirky camp spot outside of St Helena Bay.

Caledon

Take a drive to Hermanus and dine al fresco with cocktails by the sea.

Gabrielskloof

Taste wine with a never-ending view of vineyards (kid + dog friendly, too).

Arniston

Explore this seaside cave in Arniston + more caves worth exploring.

Genadendal

Discover this countryside restaurant in McGregor + more new places.

Philadelphia

Travelling with friends? Play a game of paintball + braai afterwards.

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DISCOVER MORE OF THE WESTERN CAPE

Explore Cape Town for free with these 16 activities.

These stunning day trips in the Western Cape are a must.

Check out the ultimate Cape Town bucket list.

Discover 7+ things to do this weekend.

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