I am a Stanthorpe apple farmer and have been since I was 10 (nearing 70 years). I mostly supply apples and my famous organic apple juice. Which is just my beautiful juicy apples juiced, nothing else needed.
I mostly supply my granny smith apples and red delicious (del) apples. However I also grow other varieties of apples like summer del's, pink lady and crockton flat apples along with the most juiciest and flavoursome peaches, nectarines and pears. You'll have to come on a tour to my farm to enjoy some of these as they are usually in limited supply.
How did you get into it?
My dad was an apple farmer and bought the farm in 1946. He pulled me out of school in grade 6 to help with the farm and have been looking after our orchard ever since.
What do you enjoy about your work?
Talking to the people who enjoy and buy my produce - it makes it all worth while when I hear how much they enjoy what I have dedicated my life to.
Why is organic/chemical-free food important to you?
My dad would use chemicals on the orchard which mum and I didn't agree with. Being on the farm day to day, I noticed my health changing from being around the pesticides all day. So when dad passed, mum and I made the change to organic in 1978 and haven't looked back. My health issues also not surprisingly went away.
What challenges has this created for you and how do you overcome them naturally?
Because we don't use pesticides, some of our trees have been impacted by white ants but still produce the most amazing fruit. However I'll spray the trees with salty water, minerals and molasses to help the trees and fruit stay healthy and well.
What’s your favourite meal?
My mum was an excellent cook and there are a number of her meals I would consider my favourite like her plum steak or lemon and garlic chicken. However these days I'm quite happy to head up to the RSL for a steak salad and chips with a prawn topper. Also a big sweet tooth and can't go past one of my own baked apples served with cream.