Just over an hour’s drive South East from Chipinge town, you come across awe-inspiring views of gently rolling hills covered with lush green tea. Somehow the tea covered hills seem like waves rolling away, on and on and on. This spectacular view is none other than Jersey Estate. Interestingly the eastern border of the estate is, in fact, part of the international boundary with Mozambique.

Gum and wattle plantations form just over 240ha and are required simply to provide fuel to the tea factories. An additional 15ha of indigenous forest exists which is protected and left purely as conservation areas. 

Jersey started planting tea back in 1945 and has concentrated solely on tea until late 2011 which saw the diversification into coffee and macadamias. The tea is plucked by handheld machines and delivered to the factory. Jersey’s factory runs 3 lines, each capable of producing 400kg made tea per hour. Each and every stage in the factory must run precisely and efficiently to produce the perfect cup of tea.

Coffee is handled entirely differently and goes through the revamped pulpery. After drying and hulling we are left with the “green bean”, which is what is eventually roasted to create the perfect cup of coffee. 

Several rivers can be found in the surrounding district. The Chinyamakashu, Fayixanda, Nyamukunga and Gezavahle rivers all spill into the one main river, the Chinyika River. This river begins in the Chirinda Forest, (Mt Selinda), feeds into Jersey dam, spills on into Smaldeel dam, and then flows on through Jersey Estate and across into neighbouring Mozambique.  The Jersey Dam is located a few kilometres away from the estate and provides most of the water for irrigation.  The balance of the estate is irrigated from storage reservoirs with water pumped about the estate and by pumping directly out the Chinyika River at various points.

Fact check

The current Estate Manager, Sherrington Hlatshwayo has been in his current position for 21 years now. Born at Jersey, Sherrington has lived his whole life in the area. He began his career in the field some 46 years ago, working his way rapidly up the ladder and now holds the reins for what he knows as home Sherrington is not just the Estate Manager, he’s a part of the estate. 

Jersey in pictures

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