Home' Smart Farmer : February 2011 Contents February 2011
Smart farmers' markets
T IS still cherry time at
Ashbourne Valley Orchards.
This highly diverse fruit-
growing property, run by the
Boag family -- David and Inese
and their sons Andrew and Ross --
produces a wide range of fresh
The growing year actually
begins in December with peaches
ready for picking until the end of
January, the cherries ripening
through until March along with
other types of stone fruit, fol-
lowed by apples, pears and
quinces from February until June.
Then it's time for the endless
The property was almost com-
pletely destroyed in the first of
the Ash Wednesday bushfires,
which necessitated complete
replanting of most of the fruit
trees, but their effort and persis-
tence has paid off.
The district's rich alluvial soil is
ideal for fruit growing and the
cool climate ensures a good 'set' of
fruit such as cherries and apples,
which do not do well if the weath-
er is too warm.
The orchards now have 12
hectares under permanent netting
for maximum protection from
The Boags grow many of the
popular varieties -- Royal Gala,
Pink Lady and Sundowner apples
-- as well as favourites such as
Granny Smith, plus the more
unusual Braeburn and Bonza.
Some of their pears are exclusive
to Ashbourne Valley Orchards,
including the Charles Ernest,
Comice, Belle, Durondeau and
The Boags sell some of their
fruit to Sydney, but prefer to mar-
ket their product, along with fresh
fruit juices, through the farmers'
Last cherries of the season
Harvest time at Ashbourne Valley Orchards.
with ZANNIE FLANAGAN, CEO
Adelaide Showground Farmers Market
Floods are a
WHAT a New Year it has been. Recent floods
and cyclones have once again brought home
to us the fragile hold we have on this amazing
country of ours. After an eight year drought,
we were just beginning to feel some sense of
security with a season that promised bumper
harvests. Then the deluge began, drowning
whole towns and destroying valuable hectares
of prime agricultural crops.
In times like these, sustainability -- a word
bandied around a lot these days -- takes on
real meaning. Sustainability (the ability to sus-
tain life without putting future generations at
risk) requires us to learn from the past and
imagine a future where short-term gains for a
few are not put before the long-term interests
One idea that I have discussed previously is
Professor Randy Stringer's proposal to link
some of the wine regions of the State in a col-
lective bid for World Heritage status. For most
of last year, he and his team toured the
regions putting the idea to local councils. Last
week the councillors of the City of
Onkaparinga voted to contribute funds to the
preparation of a feasibility study for such a
bid. Their contribution was dependant on
other councils doing the same, but neverthe-
less it was an important first step and the City
of Onkaparinga should be congratulated for
The regions involved in the bid (Barossa and
Clare Valleys, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu) pro-
duce and supply much of our food and wine
for both local consumption and export.
A World Heritage listing would not only
assist the development of regional food and
tourism businesses -- thus boosting returns to
farmers -- but would also contribute to the
preservation of regional agricultural land cur-
rently under pressure from government and
developers for broadacre housing develop-
ment. These are the same kind of develop-
ments that are now suspected of assisting
Queensland floodwater take on the power of
an inland tsunami as it rolled over bitumen
and concrete, gathering volume, speed and
power and leaving devastation in its wake.
These natural disasters also show how nec-
essary it is to have our food-producing areas
spread all over the country so that when one
area is under threat, there is a good chance
another will be able to supply the food needs
of the population.
Floods and landslides in Asia have resulted
in food security becoming the number one
issue for governments the world over.
At a local level it becomes even more
important for us to be able to grow what food
we can wherever and whenever we can. We
also need a National Food Policy strategy that
will ensure each generation is handed down
the skills and knowledge of how to do so.
Cities are beginning to understand their role
in this process and are starting to think seri-
ously about how urban gardens and food
landscapes can be incorporated into city life.
This year the Adelaide Showground Farmers
Market will work with local partners
Goodwood Community Bank, Goodwood
Primary School and Unley Council to support
the growth of the Goodwood Primary School
Community Garden project. We will also con-
tinue to grow our own garden as part of our
Kids' Club program and we plan to build the
relationships between our producers and cus-
tomers by linking market farmers directly with
schools through an 'adopt a farm' program.
So far this year we have had record member
numbers and weekly customer counts indicat-
ing there is no letup in the level of support for
South Australian producers. Let's hope the
people of Queensland have the opportunity to
support their farmers by buying direct from
markets, roadside stalls or farm-gates to help
them through these crises.
markets at Willunga, Mount
Barker and Adelaide Showground.
Meanwhile, it's almost the end
of cherry season, so the next cou-
ple of weeks may be the last
chance to buy until December.
• Need to know more?
Andrew Boag 0438 438 532.
Gunns Agricultural Centre
With huge saving on:
• Creo country range • Full packs rounds
• Full packs CCA • Full packs seconds
Gunns Timber Products
North East Terrace, Kalangadoo
Phone 08 8739 2525 or 08 8739 2524
Fax 08 8739 2544
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