Try the lat­est minia­ture food to hit the shops

Gatton Star - - LIFE -

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.

PHOTO: LIANA WALKER

NEW LINE: Ste­wart Gow has been grow­ing Sweet Baby Cap­sicums at his farm in Amiens.

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