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Smart farmers’ market
Meadows farm flowers
DIVERSITY is the key to success
at Gooseberry Hill Farm,
Gooseberry Hill specialises in
growing flowers, potted herbs,
vegetable seedlings and a range of
The property has been in the
Page family for 35 years, and
there are now three generations
working the land - Geoff Page and
his partner Karen Parry, Geoff ’s
parents Milton and Jean, and his
daughter Peta all play an active
role in production.
“The property is 40 hectares,”
Karen said. “A large portion of it
is used for sheep grazing and hay
production, but several hectares
are used for flower production
and the nursery for our certified
A vast quantity of flowers can fit
into a few hectares!
“We worked out the other day
that we have more than 100 vari-
eties of flowers,” Karen said.
They include daffodils, jon-
quils, irises, freesias, Christmas
and Pineapple lilies, ranunculus,
callas and belladonnas, and bulbs
from all these varieties are sold
when the plants are dormant.
There are also cut flowers such as
sunflowers, alstroemeria and
gomphrena, and always a plenti-
ful supply of proteas in the winter
“The soil type varies from mid-
range loam to quite sandy areas,
so it is suitable for a wide range of
plant types - that’s a big plus for
us,” Karen said.
They also make use of mush-
room compost, and have drip irri-
The organically-certified herbs
are hand-watered using only rain
water, and varieties include a
range of mints, thymes, parsleys
and basils, oregano, rosemary,
dill, lemon grass, sage and horse-
Vegetable seedlings vary, but
according to the season, cus-
tomers will find tomatoes, cauli-
flower, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli,
eggplant, zucchini, pumpkins,
peas and beans, and there is also a
range of fruiting plants such as
rhubarb, currants, elderberry and
“We always have quite a range
to take to the farmers’ markets,”
“Geoff and I are both keen on
direct selling. Our customers
know they are getting the freshest
possible product, and the markets
provide such a cosy and relaxed
“In spring we also take produce
to some of the country shows and
“The personal contact we estab-
lish through these marketing
areas means that many of our cus-
tomers become our friends.
“There couldn’t be a better envi-
• Need to know more?
Gooseberry Hill Farm
08 8388 3296
AVOCADOS originated from the
rain forests of Mexico so, as
Ashbourne Hills Avocados princi-
pal Ted Johnson explains, they are
somewhat out of their ‘comfort
zone’ when grown in a southern
Adelaide Hills climate.
However, that has not stopped
the business from flourishing.
Ted and his partners, Tony and
David Schirripa and Grant and
Jessie Plush, established their 30
hectare avocado orchard eight
“We have about 10,000 trees,”
Ted said. “And the trees are grow-
ing very successfully now that we
have established an organic
“We use drip irrigation from
underground water, and the
fruit growth has really
boomed since we introduced
organic growing with the use
of a fish-based fertiliser.
“The credit for this huge
improvement in the prop-
erty goes to our farm man-
ager, Frank Belperio, whose
work has been tireless and
There is always a demand for
the fruit, with its well-known
excellent food value, being
high in the beneficial fats
and containing no choles-
Ashbourne Hills Avocados
are Hess, Reed and Ettinger, and
harvesting takes place from July
through to March.
“The other main avocado-grow-
ing districts are in Queensland
and New South Wales,” Ted said.
“They don’t produce crops at the
same time as us, so there is always
a strong demand for our product.
Now that the avocados have
‘acclimatised’, there are few prob-
lems that affect them.
The main difficulties are caused
by climatic extremes - frosts or
severe heat - but pests do not
cause damage because they don’t
handle the SA climate as well as
Ted says the company enjoys
selling through the Victor Harbor
Farmers’ Market and the market
at the Adelaide showground.
“We like to be able to explain
the use of our product to our cus-
tomers and help educate them in
the benefits and use of the fruit,
and we always provide a top-class
product with a money-back guar-
• Need to know
0416 207 617
Vibrant market serves the south
Ted and Vanessa Johnson with a selection
of fruit from Ashbourne Hills Avocados.
with ZANNIE FLANAGAN, CEO Adelaide Showground
NINE years ago, just before we finally opened the first market at the origi-
nal site in the Alma carpark, I thought it would be a good idea to have a
mascot – a symbol of farmyard imperialism for all who came to the mar-
ket that held the family farm in high esteem.
On my travels around the local secondhand shops and sheds in the dis-
trict, I came face to face with this most handsome, dignified and regal
rooster, with all his glory rusted in forming a patina of age and farmyard
So having been assured that he was the only one they had, I asked Ian
McBain to help transport it home, mount him on a timber block and then
put the whole thing on a trailer that we could cart around. Ian did a great
job and for right up until we moved here to the new site, ‘Sir Wilmark’ sat
proudly outside the market entrance, literally as cock of the walk.
Unfortunately, Sir Wil fell into disfavour for some years, and was ban-
ished to a local shed.
But I am extremely pleased to see him restored today to his rightful
place at the centre of the market again – a proud symbol of everything
this market means to the community.
An unsung hero of the market was our friend John Rogers, who passed
away earlier this week after his brave battle with cancer.
John was the market’s lawyer and great supporter. He helped prepare
the constitution, arranged to have it ratified and, on the many occasions
we needed a legal friend, he rarely charged a cent for his efforts.
On behalf of all the members of the market, I would like to say a public
thankyou and to offer our sincere condolences to Vicky and the girls.
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Remember unsung hero
VICTOR Harbor Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 8am to 12.30 in the Grosvenor Gardens,
Victor Harbor, showcasing a range of produce. JULIE PAUL had a chat with a couple of the stallholders.
The attractive Gooseberry Hill flower display
make Karen Parry's stall a 'must' for market
Farming the Future
Biological Solutions One-Day Workshop - Adelaide, SA
Cutting-Edge Strategies to Build Profitability While Reducing Reliance Upon Chemicals
Course is heavily subsidised by NTS in the absence of FarmReady reimbursements until July 2011.
Date: Tuesday 12th April 2011
Time: 8.30am - 5.00pm
Location: Roseworthy Campus, Mudla Wirra Rd, Roseworthy Campus, Adelaide SA 5005
Cost: $50.00 pp - Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and tea/coffee provided. Note: No refunds will be given for cancellations two weeks
prior to the seminar to cover for prearranged catering charges.
Registration: Bookings are essential and numbers are limited. Complete this Registration Form and return to NTS with payment – Fax: 07
5472 9999 or PO Box 338, Eumundi, QLD 4562.
This intensive, one day workshop is presented by Graeme Sait, a world leader in biological agricultue
and the multiple benefits linked to this approach.
In the face of the twin spectres of climate change and peak oil, biological farming is the undeniable
shape of the future and the most successful growers in every country are rapidly recognizing this fact.
Now is your chance to boost your growing skills and to increase your understanding of the new
agriculture. This course offers insights into the following:
• The secrets of building soil carbon (for which you will soon be paid)
• The multiple benefits of mineral balancing
• Reducing reliance upon increasingly expensive petrochemicals
• Gaining the biggest bang for your buck in broadacre and horticulture
• Managing pests and disease with biology and nutrition
• The importance of soil life and their critical role in your bottom line profitability
• An understanding of humates, the most exciting input in a holistic approach
• Foliar feeding, seed treatment, microbe brewing, sustainable herbiciding and other key biological
Author/educator, Graeme Sait, is CEO of Nutri-Tech Solutions (NTS), Australia’s largest biological
fertiliser exporter. NTS work in over 40 countries and have trained thousands of farmers around the
globe. The NTS Certificate In Sustainable Agriculture has become a prerequisite for farmers and
consultants seeking a secure future. Graeme has written over 400 published articles and he has
authored an internationally acclaimed book entitled “Nutrition Rules!” He is a sought after nutrition
expert at conferences around the globe and his passionate presentations are often described as “life
changing”. Don’t miss this opportunity to make the coming changes positive!
Increase Efficiency &
Soil Biology & Microbe
Reduce Reliance on
Magnify Fertiliser Inputs
Payment (full payment is required to secure your seat):
Total Amount Due (AUS): $
Note: No refunds given for cancellations two weeks prior to the seminar to
cover prearranged catering charges.
(please make cheques payable
Daytime Phone Number:
to Nutri-Tech Solutions Pty Ltd
Credit Card: VISA
Certified Organic Vegetables
Seedlings & Herbs
Cut Flowers & Bulbs
Premium Hogget & Lamb
Quality Meadow Hay
We also sell:
You’ll find us at the
& Adelaide Hills (Mt Barker)
(08) 8388 3296
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