Home' Smart Farmer : September 2010 Contents September 2010
minimal prices for it because of
"They want the good quality oil,
and they charge premium prices for
it, but they won't pay producers pre-
mium prices," he said.
One of Patlin Gardens' main issues
in recent times has been olive plan-
tations producing biannual crops,
where trees grow a large number of
olives one year, then very little the
Thinning the trees out when
they are having a
heavy crop is essen-
tial according to
in the correct
tions to do
Educating customers about the sea-
sonal and regional variations in the
produce it sells is important at Patlin
Pat D'Onofrias says many cus-
tomers do not understand the true
concept of a farmers' market, and
ask for produce which does not grow
at that time of year, or in the region.
"A classic example is that people
think tomatoes are in season all year
round and, although they are pro-
duced in greenhouses all year round,
they're not grown naturally," he said.
"It is important to consume what
is in season for your specific district,
because you are not only ensuring
it's not grown using artificial meth-
ods and avoiding carbon costs, you
are also getting the right nutrients
for the right time of year."
Patlin Gardens is trialling 20-30
types of garlic on-farm, to try and
educate customers that Australian
garlic is available all year round, just
not as its conventional dry form.
This means people do not have to
buy produce from overseas, which is
fumigated before it enters the coun-
Although this is necessary because
it keeps disease and pests out of
Australia, garlic is a porous bulb so
the gas from fumigation penetrates
the garlic, and in turn the consumer's
Mr D'Onfrias says a lack of educa-
tion also allows for unethical prac-
tices within the farmers' market,
where on-selling is not allowed.
"The market co-ordinators are
doing their best and are very sup-
portive, but some growers are mak-
ing the playing field uneven by
buying in produce to sell," he said.
"Growers need to learn they are
not doing anyone any favours by
cheating the system, because if I was
a consumer paying premium price to
buy from the grower and found out
otherwise, I would be unhappy."
Consumer education vital
for farmers' market success
• from previous page
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Partners in Grain in Association with Dairy SA present a
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