Life branches out from Stan­ley farm

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - WHAT'S ON -

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.

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