Life branches out from Stanley farm
ANITA Mihaljevic was born in Townsville in far north Queensland and moved with her family to Beechworth as a toddler. She went to school in Beechworth and Wangaratta and started her working life in Beechworth. After a move to Perth when she was 21, Anita and her partner Andrew lived there for about 17 years where they ran a deep earth works company before returning in 2011 when Andrew’s mother became ill. The couple managed to buy back Andrew’s family farm in Stanley in 2012. The property had been in the family from 1860 until Andrew’s father sold it about 1969. What’s your job? I run a farm gate shop in Stanley where I make fruit-based sauces, jams, relishes and cordials. I also make coffee, muffins, biscuits and scones with jam and cream. We sell seasonal produce grown on the farm, including hazelnuts, chestnuts, eggs and potatoes. This year we planted a ‘pick your own’ vegetable garden and are looking to extend it for the next growing season. We also stock a range of locally-made products. Even my son Cooper gets in on the action by taking people on chicken and farm tours. What brought you to this role? It sorted of just evolved, from learning how to make jams and sauces and giving them away to family and friends and doing markets. It’s a big difference to running the business in Perth but nice to be back around family and old friends. What do you love about your job? I love it when someone tries something that I have made and says “yum” and, as my friends know, I love to have a chat. What do you do in the community? We grow and supply local produce for the
What’s the most important current community issue for you?
At the moment, it’s food quality and nutrition. It’s a real worry about how some of our food is produced these days and I am pleased to say that the majority of the food going on our plates is either grown by us or produced by other local farmers and producers.
What would you do to solve, change or improve that situation?
Education and encouraging local people to buy local produce from local farmers and producers.
What’s the most important current world issue for you? Cancer that affects so many people. If the person you’d most like to meet came to Indigo, or was already here, who would that be and what would you show them?
My best friend from Perth, Marcel. She came over when we first moved back and loved the area. I would really like to show her all the changes that we have made. What book are you reading? ‘The Whistler’, by John Grisham.
FRESH IS BEST: Stanley’s Anita Mihaljevic loves running her farm gate shop, and growing and supplying fresh, home-grown produce to the local community and businesses.
community and local businesses, and through their support it enables us to employ local young people interested in agriculture.