Meet Stefano, the dedicated soul behind the abundant fields of Roma and Cherry Tomatoes at his farm in Applethorpe, Stanthorpe. Stefano is a master green thumb and is all about that organic life, pouring love and care into his juicy tomatoes.
What methods do you use to control pests and weeds? (We love details!)
I control weeds using a Whipper Snipper, a Zero Turn, a Hand Chipper for ground hoeing, and traditional tools like the Rotary hoe and cultivator on the little tractor. It involves a lot of work the old-fashioned way.
How do you build the quality of your soil? We'd love to know.
After each crop cycle, I plant rye corn and mulch it into the soil with a cultivator. I incorporate Cow manure, cow compost, Lime, Agrisilca from our ground, Seasol, Fish, and Gypsum.
How do you build the quality of your soil? What methods do you use? ie. crop rotation, no till, organic compost? We'd love to know.
After crop is finished I plant rye corn and mulch it in the soil with Cultivator. I throw in cow manure or cow compost as well as Lime. Agrisilca which comes from our ground. Alot of Seasol, Fish, Gypsum.
Do you have any of the following certifications?
Yes, I hold the Certified Organic certification from ACO.
How did you get into farming?
My parents owned a farm next door to where now I live. I grew up on the farm the second I was born. I left the farm 15 years ago and not only do I grow tomatoes, I also am a sales rep selling merchandise to farmers. So, I know a lot of products that can also help people to grow organic.
What do you enjoy about your work?
I find joy in witnessing tomatoes grow from plant to harvest. Dealing with understanding people and positive communities, makes my work enjoyable and rewarding.
Why did you decide to farm without chemical sprays? How important is this to you?
Chemicals are very expensive and deadly if not used properly. By using bio products, you know you are doing to right thing by you and your environment.
What challenges has this created for you and how do you overcome them naturally?
I have had to do a lot of trial and error. But it has all worked out in the long run!
What’s your favourite meal?
Pasta with sauce made from my rich, juicy Roma tomatoes.