About Pretty Produce

Simone JelleyHello from Simone at Pretty Produce!

            WOW! What an amazing couple of years!

            We had the pleasure of winning a national Gold Medal in this year's Delicious Produce Awards 2017. It backs up the same award from last year.  It has proven to the broader agricultural and dining landscape that we are not a flash in the pan. Reinforcing most importantly that this level of QUALITY and INNOVATION with our produce can be supplied CONSISTANTLY using CHEMICAL FREE - ECOLOGICAL FARMING practices.

            Very recenty we had the terrible misfortune of falling victim to lack of ground water as our bore water dried up completely. This instigated to termination of our farming lease on Bulwinkel's Lamb Island rural parcel. All in all, the rollercaoster ride has been a driving force allowing a growth of personal resilience and also finding a way through adversity. WATCH THIS SPACE....we have wonderful news to come!

 

             'Pretty Produce' sounds superficial, superfluous and fluffy.  The reality of the grower's vision of' 'what is edible', the culture of the growers ethics in the agricultural producers thorny landscape in Australia and the wider issues of building food security with local seed banks and sustainable farming practices in sensitive communities are at the pointy end of where 'Pretty Produce' has birthed from. 

             Pretty Produce started in as an upscaled kitchen garden in 2012, supplying unusual edible leaf and edible flowers to the local community on Macleay Island, part of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. These are residential islands off Redlands, Brisbane and they exist within a marine park full of dugongs, dolphins, turtles, sharks and an abundance of other wildlife. At the ignition point, our growing practices have been passionately and specifically geared to balance with such a magnificent unspoilt conservation area like our islands.

             The development of the 'Pretty Produce' edible leaf/edible flowers product really began during 2013 when a new era of 'what is edible' hit it's straps. Full research began into all edible 'weeds', edible native plants, edible ornamental plants and tree/shrub edibles within Australia and also 'wild foods' globally. The question has been the driving force -  Can you eat the leaf??  well... why can't  you eat the flower? and vise versa. Constant and ongoing levels of research, linking with academics at Uni QLD arm of UNIQUEST and Dept Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, QLD, plus many others within permaculture (Tim Barker, Gary Donaldson - Microponics ) and biodynamic disciplines helped shape the types of plants to study, grow and offer to the restaurant market.

              In 2015,  the journey began in earnest to seek valuable 'relic' rural land on the islands to lease with mind to expanding the growing spaces. We have settled on a stunning 12 acre spot on Lamb Island. Our main produce range has developed from sourced leaf and flowers that offer firstly wonderful taste. Much care is taken to find the best flavour profiles.  Next, we look at its form.  Is it gorgeous, unusual, beautiful? Next, is it the very best it can be, sun, soil, sea and sand filtered bore water, plenty of soil health consideration = FULL PLANT HEALTH. Is this plant offering maximum nutrition to our customers? Lastly, how can our community benefit from our passion? We collect our seed and offer it to community food growing groups. We grow food for community as well as further afield. We offer support to locals wanting to be upskilled and retrained. We are also looking into developing 'work for your soul' programs for those feeling the effects of mental health and depression challenges.  However, our main aim is to build Food Security resilience and options for the future. I'm sure there are many challenges within agriculture going forward, we have had our short sharp share. However, we are so driven to find solutions for our customers and our local communities and longer term, for our children.

So please, feel free to come along with me and enjoy eating a product that is nutritious, interesting, colourful and different.

I

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