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Bundaberg Region Blog

Get the inside scoop on what the Bundaberg region has to offer

From farm gate to plate: Meet the characters responsible for your dinner

With its rich, volcanic red soil and perfect ratio of sunshine and rain, the Bundaberg North Burnett region has been farmed for generations, with established farming families joined by more recent additions – with more than a few characters mixed in!

Let's take a moment to chat with a few of the locals who work hard every day to keep food on tables across the country.

TinaBerries: Brilliant berries and a banker with berry good advice!


Tina and Bruce McPherson are first generation farmers of the most delectable strawberries and passionfruit you will find. They have a massive following in both Melbourne and Sydney – but we are lucky to have them stocked locally and at their farm gate at 15 Zunks Rd, Elliot Heads (in-season).
According to Tina, their strawberries are big, juicy and delicious, with the fruit destined for top tables across the country.
"I love that you know where it comes from, you can see it growing. There is nothing like (eating them) straight from the paddock."
"And if that applies to strawberries, then it applies to the capsicums, bananas, ginger and all of the produce in the area. Really there is nothing much you can't get around here," she said.
On explaining how they came to own Tinaberries, Tina explained that "there is no family history".
"About 13 years ago, Bruce and I decided that we needed to grow something on a cane farm that we bought here in Bundaberg. We were deliberating about what to grow and I happened upon strawberries. Whether economic times are good or bad, people will buy strawberries", said Tina.
"People buy strawberries for their children because they are fruit, whereas children think they are a treat. Lovers buy strawberries for other lovers - people are addicted to them. I love eating them, they look great, people get passionate about them, I love that people get excited and really want to eat them".
Tina's favourite way to eat a Tinaberry is to first dip it in sour cream. and then in brown sugar.
"Many years ago, our banker suggested it. Generally you don't take culinary advice from your banker, but it is to die for. I think it's the very best way to have them – though Bruce reckons they are best eaten "nude!".

 

Tinaberries - Tina McPherson

 

Rosengal: Where dance music and a dash of love deliver delicious beans!


The Galati family's foray into farming and bean production all started with Christmas lunch in Melbourne.
Struggling to source fresh, local beans, Rosengal farm owner Dave Galati's dad took it upon himself to find and sell beans to friends who were planning family feasts at home. Making more money in that two weeks than he had made in previous six months in their family-run café in Bairnsdale, Melbourne, he knew he was onto a winner.

"He got the beans, made some money, the rest is history. He got the bug", said Dave Galati.

The Rosengal bean brand has been a permanent fixture at Melbourne wholesale markets for a few years now, with Dave and his wife Meg Galati running the Bundaberg arm to ensure year-round supply of green, yellow, flat and borlotti beans, and peas.
The farming game, as Dave describes it, is a bit like 'chasing that big win' as his Dad found in the early days. But, Dave notes, it's also first and foremost about taste, and being in tune with what you are growing and the local environment - and being proactive.

Dave's top tips for growing good beans is to first and foremost play them dance music (he lists David Guetta as a favourite), and to truly be in love with your product. From that unusual (but apparently very effective!) advice, Dave then rounds out his approach by ensuring attention is paid to environmental changes and keeping soil healthy.
"It's like raising a child, you are so in tune with what is happening that you feel every step of the way – you have to think like the crop you are growing," he said.

With an Italian family history that runs deep and is at the forefront of the Rosengal family bean-business, the Galati family have been a long-standing tradition at the Melbourne wholesale markets.
Dave says ultimately all of his farming efforts come down to taste – a commitment that is evident when you try a farm fresh Rosengal bean!

Dave Galati - Rosengal Beans

 

 

Rosa Cattle/Tender Sprouted Meats: A farm that is mooving on up


Visiting Rob and Sarah Cooks' farm in South Kolan, just outside of Bundaberg, you view paddocks of glossy, healthy, happy cattle who are raised feasting on fresh Bundaberg grass and finished on improved pasture with barley sprouted grain. It is finishing them exclusively on sprouts that differentiates Tender Sprouted meat from any other feed lot in the region.
The farm's ethos encompasses a true paddock to plate experience, with the animals raised on the land, butchered not too far down the road and then sold in their shop – Tender Sprouted Meats in Bundaberg.
The property, which specialises in a 21-day dry-aged t-bone that is fast gathering a name for itself in Australian culinary circles, is not your average cattle farm. A gyrocopter crash while working on their previous property in the Northern Territory in 2008 left Rob partially paralyzed. Not one to give up, the family now start every day with a rigorous physio regime to get stretched and dressed ready for the days' farm work before getting their two boys, Lawson and Braxton, off to the school bus.
A bold vision and immense drive, coupled with a modified wheelchair, allows Rob to continue in an active role on the property, including mustering cattle.
What just three years ago was an organic aloe vera farm is now home to nearly 800 head of black Brangus cattle. According to Rob, they're not finished yet – so watch this space!

 

TenderSproutedMeats

Feeding the nation: The delicious Bundaberg Bowl
Bundaberg North Burnett Visitor Guide 2016

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Sunday, 16 December 2018

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