Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE - Liana Walker [email protected]­der­post.com.au

AMIENS cap­sicum grower Stewart Gow never ex­pected to have so much in com­mon with cof­fee roast­ers in the North­ern Rivers re­gion.

But, af­ter a two-day trip with the Gran­ite Belt Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion through North­ern New

South Wales, Mr Gow and the other as­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers have seen just how sim­i­lar they all are.

The group vis­ited com­post pro­duc­ers, let­tuce grow­ers, a cof­fee plan­ta­tion, a macadamia nut farm and re­search cen­tre, blue­berry fields, pecan grow­ers and a ba­nana farm on Novem­ber 21 and 22.

“Every sys­tem has parts of it that were ap­pli­ca­ble to every other sys­tem,” Mr

Gow said.

“Ev­ery­one as­sumes you grow a cer­tain way, but you might see some­thing in a dif­fer­ent in­dus­try that is eye open­ing.”

He was im­pressed by Wardell Hy­dro­ponic Let­tuce which used older grow­ing tech­niques while still be­ing a ma­jor sup­plier to Coles.

“It was in­ter­est­ing to see you can do that with­out a lot of com­put­ers,” he said.

“They were do­ing it as sim­ple as any of us farm­ers in Stan­thorpe could have done.”

Al­though he en­joyed gain­ing knowl­edge from the grow­ers in New South Wales, he was most im­pressed by the other Gran­ite Belt grow­ers.

“Even meet­ing the other guys on the bus on the way down be­came a wealth of in­for­ma­tion shar­ing.

“There is a cul­ture of ‘that’s how we’ve al­ways done it’ and you don’t want to be trapped in that.

“The only way to do that is to see some­one in an­other area; adapt­abil­ity is one of the key things in farm­ing these days.”

The trip was or­gan­ised by the lo­cal Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries and was made pos­si­ble thanks to fund­ing from the Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties and Con­damine Head­wa­ters Land­care Group.

Mr Gow said he looked for­ward to the as­so­ci­a­tion’s fu­ture trips.

The in­au­gu­ral Gran­ite Belt Grow­ers AGM will be held at the RSL Lower Func­tion Room on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 29 at 5.45 for a 6pm start. Fol­lowed by the Gran­ite Belt Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Christ­mas party. Con­tact gran­ite­belt­grow­[email protected]


IN­FOR­MA­TION GROW­ING: Gran­ite Belt Grow­ers’ Group vis­its a ba­nana farm in North­ern NSW.

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