Christoffel Johannes Jakobus Gerber was the original owner of Arbeidsvreugd, or now trading as Marais Vrugte. In the 1800’s the farm was called “Tygerboschkats Vallei”.
Willem Francois Marais bought the farm from his father-in-law, CJJ Gerber, after he got married to his daughter, Sophia Gerber. None of CJJ Gerber’s sons was interested in farming.
WF Marais’s son, Christoffel Johannes Jakobus (Christo) Marais, was born in 1913. In 1943 he bought a part of the farm from his father (each brother bought a part of the original farm: Maradie and Varkieskloof respectively bought by Willie and Daan).
Christo Marais changed his part of the farm’s name to Arbeidsvreugd. In those days the farm mainly consisted of apricots, peaches and vineyards.
In 1946 he got married to Cecile Van der Merwe. Their first son, Willem Francois Marais (Francois), was born in January 1947, followed by 2 daughters, Sonica and Maranda.
Francois Marais married Isabel Theron in 1967. In 1974, after the birth of 3 daughters (Marlene, Celia and Franci), their son was born, Christoffel Johannes Jakobus (Christoff) Marais. After Christoff they had another daughter, Nicola.
In 1985, Francois bought a part of Avondson from Fanus du Toit and in 1986 he bought Arbeidsvreugd from his father, Christo. Then in 1991 he bought back Maradie from his cousin, Willie Marais and a part of Lorelei (previously part of Varkieskloof), from his brother-in-law, Piet Everson.
In 1997 Christoff Marais married Marilyn (Mally) du Toit. Their first son was born in 2000, Willem Francois (Francois) Marais and their second son, Albertus Du Toit Marais, in 2002. Their daughter, Anél, was born in 2006. Francois (jnr.) is currently the sixth generation on Arbeidsvreugd.
Since 2015 we trade as Marais Vrugte and currently produce winegrapes, peaches, nectarine, persimmons, apples and pears. We pack our own fruit on the farm for the local and export market.
In 2019, Vredehoek (previously part of Varkieskloof), has formed part of Marais Vrugte. Vredehoek guesthouses are the newly added baby to our family.