1896R. WallaceFarming Indust. of Cape Col. 58The veld lying between the first and second chain of mountains is generally ‘sweet’, and the country excellent for live-stock.
1905E.A. Nobbs inFlint & GilchristScience in S. Afr. 383The two phrases ‘sweet’ and ‘sour,’ as applied to our natural pasture land, have no connection with the usual English acceptation of the words. ‘Sweet’ implies rich land producing nutritious food whether natural or cultivated.
sweet-field, sweet-fieldsnoun, obsolete, sweetveld (see below);
sweet grassnoun phrase, nutritious grass (see quotation 1913); also attributive;
sweetveld/-felt/, /fɛlt/noun, formerly also sweet-feldt, sweetveldt, and with initial capital [probably partial translation of Dutch zoeteveld], land providing nutritious grazing; the vegetation on such land; also attributive; cf. sourveld (see sour sense 2); see also mixed veld.
1786G. Forstertr. ofA. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H.I. 250By the Sweet-fields (Zoete-velden) are meant such places as do not correspond to the descriptions given above of the Zuure and Carrow-veld.
1809R. Collins inG.M. ThealRec. of Cape Col. (1900) VII. 20That part..lying west of Storm Berg is, in general, flat, and composed of a rich vegetable mould, producing what the farmers call sweet grass in the utmost luxuriance.
1832Graham’s Town Jrnl 22 June 101 (advt)For Sale...A Valuable Farm.., in extent 1,700 morgen, two thirds of which is sweet grass.
1881Cape Monthly Mag.IV. May 306A good deal of the ground is sweet veldt, and therefore very valuable. Oxen and sheep seem to thrive in large numbers.
1896R. WallaceFarming Indust. of Cape Col. 82Animals brought from sweet veld suffer from what is termed veld sickness which results from insufficient nutrition and the hard and irritating nature of the food consumed.
1910A.B. LamontRural Reader 253Sweet veld is found on good land that gets plenty of rain, and is so called because the grasses growing on it are sweet and juicy, and well liked by stock.
1913[see quot. at sweet grassabove].
1930Friend 25 Aug. 12 (advt)The farm is fenced and divided into eight camps; Grazing — Excellent sweet veld.
1937Handbk for Farmers (Dept of Agric. & Forestry) 381The types of grass found in the Sweetveld maintain their feed value after maturity and to a large extent even after they have been frosted.
1948E. RosenthalAfr. Switzerland 128Commonest of all is..‘red grass’, estimated to grow on more than half the countryside. The old Boers called it ‘Sweet Veld,’ to distinguish it from the dreaded ‘Sour Grass’.
1957Handbk for Farmers (Dept of Agric.)II. 620The most distinctive characteristic of sweetveld is that it retains a comparatively high nutritive value through all stages of growth.
1968Farmer’s Weekly 3 Jan. 92 (advt)Suitable for dairy or cattle farm. Sweet veld.
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