My great, great-grandfather purchased the farm in the 1870s and our family has farmed it ever since that time. I grew up here, left in my youth and returned to the farm a few years back. The farm is in Wandin North, Yarra Valley, an area known for a climate and soil that is conducive to growing fruit and nuts. We concentrate on taste and quality above all else – if it’s not good eating, there’s no point.
Aphrodite’s parents have always farmed, originally in Greece and then when they emigrated to Australia, starting with backyard gardens and then expanding their production when we bought the Kinglake property.
We purchased the farm in 1976, inspired to do something on the land by Louis Bromfield’s book Malabar Farm. I was introduced to blueberry farming at a public meeting in Warragul hosted by the Department of Agriculture where the findings of an overseas research trip into the fruit’s potential in Australia were presented. In 1979 we obtained 600 of the first plants to be released to growers to Australia.
Wayne is a 5th generation market gardener. Our aim is to get our great produce direct to consumer via farmers markets and farm gate to keep consumer costs down and to deliver a superior product. We’re fortunate to be based on the Mornington Peninsula, which is very close to the city, therefore low food miles, and we have great growing conditions.
We’ve always kept a garden at home for ourselves – in fact we moved from Essendon to Keilor in order to have more space for chickens and a larger garden. We started growing things that we missed from Italy when we first came to Australia, but now we like to try growing everything, to see whether it will produce for us. Growing food is natural for us; our families in Italy did it and we can really taste the difference between the food we grow and what you can buy.
My father started in biodynamics in 1965 – I was born into farming! Our farm is in Kyabram in the Goulburn Valley. Being in northern Victoria offers the benefit of lots of heat in the summer, which lends itself to a long season for tomatoes, melons and sweet potatoes to name just a few of our summer produce items.