Try the latest miniature food to hit the shops
TO THE untrained eye, it would appear Granite Belt farmer Stewart Gow is growing chillies. But once you take a bite, instead of burning your tongue with spices, you’re greeted with the familiar taste of capsicums.
And that’s what they are, a new variety called Baby Sweet Capsicums, grown in red, yellow and orange.
The farm in Amiens is in its second year of producing the fruit, with 100,000 plants for Kalfresh over 4ha of land.
“They saw the set-up I had here and saw we had capsicums across the road,” Mr Gow said.
“They were already growing these in the winter season in Bowen and knew it was an ongoing thing that was going to take off in Australia. They asked me to be their summer grower.”
Mr Gow was the perfect farmer to work with Kalfresh, having grown capsicums for 30 years, and said there wasn’t much difference in growing the mini capsicums to those of full size, but said the small size made them more labour-intensive.
“They’re a fiddly item,” he said.
“The price I pay per bucket is quite high compared to the big ones. Because if you have one big capsicum, that’s 20 of those little ones.
“For a picker it might take a minute or so to pick a whole bucket, whereas with these ones you might only get six buckets for a whole hour instead of 60.”
The fruit is sold at Coles supermarkets as a snack for children’s lunch boxes.
“As much as they are a high-end item, you don’t waste any,” Mr Gow said.
“The shelf life on these are quite amazing, so if you buy a punnet you’re 99.9 per cent sure you’re going to eat every one of those bits of fruit out of the punnet.”
Mini capsicums are popular in the US and Mr Gow is hoping Australia will embrace them.
NEW LINE: Stewart Gow has been growing Sweet Baby Capsicums at his farm in Amiens.