Welcome on board the merry dirt ship "Pretty Produce"

pretty produce blog1

Throughout many blurby blog burps to come, I wil be able to offer a window into a small scale agri business operations, macinations and daily dealings.  Looking at things like the weather, seasonality, tips, pests, plantings, people and also getting my produce to people who really love eating it.  Im starting small....really really small.  This is the beginning and hopefully you will come along with me whilst I get this show on the road.
 
A little bit of history on me. I have always  been in wonderment of the natural world.  Growing up on farms as a young pup, I carry gorgeous memories of looking for bullfrogs under logs, my mother taking us mushroom picking and then cooking them up with loads of butter. I have memories of being surrounded by pear, apple, plum and cherry trees. Of catching yabbies in creeks. Of freshly made bread, raw cows milk and finally the ultimate - my mums MASSIVE big vege patch.  It was full of tasty towering corn, peas, greens and the jewels in the crown - big juicy tomatoes.  Beautiful memories that I thank my parents for.

I have spent equal amounts of time in rural, outback and fully urban settings and felt comfortable flitting between them. My close family owns and operates a substantial Stonefruit Orchard near Stanthorpe, QLD.  This is a special orchard business as the fruit is allowed to ripen significantly on the trees before picking, providing maximum sugars and lusciousness.  They always get told - WOW! now THIS tastes like fruit used to taste'.tomatoe heart
 
Ive worked a few seasons for them as Ive also done some fruit picking on vineyards, Citrus farms,  a carrot farm with produce directly dispatched for export to the Middle East and an small family run organic herb farm. During these times life seemed pure, golden and happy. Simplicity of lifestlye at its best. HOWEVER..... I was not the boss, was not in the drivers seat.  I was an employee.
 
Now I not only appreciate the issues to do with consistant quality/quantity supply of produce, climate and weather pressure and economic pressures. I can see how warped our food supply (paddock to plate) systems are.  Farmers/producers have been paying rapidly escalating costs (labour, goods and services) for two decades with no substantial rise in box, bushel or tonage returns for too long it seems.
 
YES!! It is political but how are we going to begin to fix this if I cant bring up the elephant in the room straight away. Food, good food, great food is NOT CHEAP!  It costs time, resources, care and real emotional involvement on behalf of not only single farmers but also their family and friends.
 
So...ok....its a relatively heavy post for the first blog but one thing I never do is hide facts.  Any facts, regardless of gardening techniques or political systems, i will feel compelled to share! I hope you will pop in from time to time to see if Ive got my knickers in a knot....or not!

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