Newsletter 1: October 2018

October 2018

Dear Plant Lover

Dear Plant Lover

It is with a heavy heart I have to inform our customers and the plant world of Rod and Rachel’s passing (for those who do not already know).

Rod and Rachel were on a collecting trip in Northern Kwazulu Natal where they were in the “wrong place at the wrong time” and were brutally murdered.  The delay in letting the world know is that it was an international incident involving worldwide Police forces.

We hope Rod and Rachel are in a gentler place now – perhaps at the top of a mountain gazing down over unfolding hills and valleys, tranquil.  Work done, dreams and adventures fulfilled.  The world a richer place for their time spent here.

We are really going to miss their knowledge, expertise, the laughter we shared in our very close work environment.

Rod and Rachel left Silverhill Seeds to me and I would like to introduce myself….. Some of you may have already dealt with me.  My name is Ondine and I am a Horticulturist by trade and have worked for Rod and Rachel for 20 + years.  I am married with 2 children (19 and 17).  As a family we are very involved with Scouts and do lots of camping and hiking.

I have known them all my life (I was always a bit scared of Rod as a teenager)    When I was growing up my family were always in the mountains, that is where my folks met Rod and were later re-introduced to Rachel when she married Rod.  My mother knew Rachel as a young girl when she came to our family farm with her parents.

I started working for Rachel in 1998 in the seed room, counting seeds and was also given the job of packaging up seed ready for postage (as Frances did not like working with the tape dispenser).  After a year or two I moved between the seed room and the office to fill in when it was a bit chaotic.  I then moved into the office in 2012 and have been running the office since then while Rod and Rachel were on their long seed collecting trips.  I used to go collecting seed for a day here and there with Rod, when Rachel was otherwise occupied with office chores only she could do.

The business will continue running as it always has.  Anthony Hitchcock, a long‐time friend of Rod and Rachel, will be helping with the collecting of seed.  Some of the hard‐to‐find seed might take me a while to get my hands on, as I learn the locations and am able to go out and find them.  I do have to realise that it has taken them 25+ years to gain the knowledge they had to build Silverhill Seeds up to what it is today and I hope that you will all be patient with me while I continue to learn.

The office staff is just about the same – Cherrie is still in the Seedroom (21 years on and off, the last 6 more on than off!), Jenny has joined her there.  Euphonia and Darkie clean seeds for us.  The office is capably run by Kirstin (my sister) and Pat, with myself putting my “penny’s worth in.

Best Wishes

Ondine & the New Silverhill Team