Husband and Wife team growing produce on our family cane farm at Sandiford. Karl grew up on the family cane farm but was convinced he was going to be a builder (this idea didn’t last long once doing a year as a carpenters offsider). Mars grew up in Toowoomba on a small farm before moving to Tiaro. The 2 paths crossed in St George while working on one of Australia’s largest table grape farms. Karl and Mars worked doing seasonal work on grape farms for 6 years. They enjoyed the work but didn’t see farm work as a long term job and decided to study in Brisbane. After working in Brisbane city, Karl realised that the city wasn’t for him and persuaded Mars to follow him back home to Mackay and back to li ving on the farm. With the mining downturn Karl started working on the cane farm again and then with his father and Mars’s help started growing Sweet Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes and Watermelons. Karl and Mars are now happy working on the farm.
Our Sweet corn is grown in the winter cycle and we continue to try different strategies to increase yield and cob quality. We also grow heirloom tomatoes in the winter cycle, we use a couple tried and tested varieties but enjoy trying new types each year. Our Watermelons are grown for the summer period leading up to Christmas, we grow seedless and other speciality watermelons.
The majority of our produce is sold to the public direct and we rely on freshness and quality of product to sustain and increase our customer base. While Social media is a great way to communicate to our customers, being visible and accessible to the public through roadside selling and the GWFM is the best means to increase our base.
Whenever possible we do not use nasty chemicals to control potential pests and diseases, However if faced with significant crop loss we will resort to chemical use.
Its important to have the GWFN, it’s a great way to meet other farmers in the region. Having the network in place is a great way to make people aware of the regions capabilities and what is grown locally vs what gets trucked into the region.
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