Home' Smart Farmer : June 2012 Contents June 2012
ROWTH in niche dairy products has
continued a trend on the Fleurieu
The Bio-Dynamic organic (Paris Creek) and
A2 and Jersey milk (Myponga) labels are
prime examples of innovative developments in
Onkaparinga Council is also working with
the wine industry to make it easier for season-
al workers -- critical to the industry during
vintage -- to access accommodation options,
including budget accommodation.
They are often international travellers who
provide a strong labour pool.
The Willunga Farmers Market is one of the
best outlets in the state for locally grown pro-
duce and attracts a mixture of locals and
tourists to the historic town.
The first humans to experience the abun-
dance of the peninsula's
natural bounty were
Aboriginal people, its traditional inhabitants,
who lived off the land in the region for more
than 6000 years.
The 1830s brought new settlers to the
Fleurieu and European farming practices, pro-
duction animals, cereal crops, seeds, vine cut-
tings and long-established cooking traditions.
Rural settlements at McLaren Vale, Mount
Compass and Willunga developed a strong
sense of community and self-reliance, result-
ing in the formation of a rich cultural
Innovation puts niche products in
tapestry and with each township celebrating
its own unique history and agriculture. The
iconic wines of the region owe their status to
those early settlers.
Onkaparinga Council Mayor Lorraine
Rosenberg believes the Fleurieu's traditional
agricultural foundations are a fundamental
part of the region's future.
Together with tourism, she says the council
is committed to ensuring a sustainable future
for both industries.
"Our council region is 75 per cent rural --
one of our priorities is to preserve the natural
and agrarian beauty of the region while pro-
moting tourism activities and putting in place
long-term policies to keep our rural sector
healthy," she said.
Chief executive officer Mark Dowd agrees.
"Tourism and sustainable agriculture are
important for this council. The McLaren Vale
region is a popular destination for interstate
and international visitors -- local gourmet
foods and agricultural produce complement
our world class wine," he said.
"McLaren Vale's many winemakers and
vineyard managers are right up there with the
world's best environmental practice. They're
careful to protect the long-term health of their
land, and we find that tourism and enlight-
ened cultivation practices make a brilliant
Piazza della Valle
The Piazza della Valle is a new town square
in the heart of McLaren Vale, adjacent to the
McLaren Vale Institute Hall. It is becoming a
hub for community events, weddings, con-
certs and food and wine events.
Local business owners, winemakers and
grapegrowers that helped council make the
vision a reality.
The piazza, formerly a carpark, features in-
built seating, an outdoor stage, all-weather
pavilion, grassed area and disability access to
the street and car park.
The $2 million project was funded through
a $935,000 State Government Places for People
program grant, an $870,000 council contri-
bution and $200,000 from the Piazza della
Valle committee's sponsorship and fundraising
There are many historic homes and build-
ings in the region, with a number of National
Trust-listed sites available for visitor tours.
Many are built of local stone and slate, quar-
ried from the Willunga foothills by Cornish
and Irish immigrants.
The slate was discovered in 1840 and was
used for buildings, sheds, roofing, flooring,
fireplaces, fences, tombstones, pathways, gut-
ters and roads and -- when large slabs were
sealed together as a box -- made useful rain-
Willunga slate is still quarried and has been
widely used throughout South Australia and
interstate. This slate sign in Willunga High
Street is from the local Bangor Slate Quarry.
The Slate Museum is in the old stables,
opposite the Courthouse Museum, complete
with square slate rainwater tank out the front.
The unique museum tells of the discovery
of slate, the subsequent development of the
industry and the influence of the Cornish
quarrymen and their families on the social
and cultural life of the district.
The Heritage-listed courthouse complex
FROM Australia's finest almonds grown at Willunga to world-class
wineries and award-winning olive oil, the Fleurieu Peninsula is a
food-lovers' delight and a tourist mecca with a raft of annual
festivals, markets and events. And it takes only one hour to drive
there from Adelaide. The region's relaxed beach culture blends
seamlessly with productive farmland and superb quality produce.
LIZ COTTON reports.
The Willunga Farmers Market is one of the best outlets in the State for locally grown
produce and attracts a mixture of locals and tourists to the historic town.
d'Arenberg winemaker Chester Osborn in his
cellar in the company's winery at McLaren Vale.
Photo: Andy Rasheed/eyefood photography.
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