Below are some words sent to us by Cameron about his family’s journey on The Pomegranate Farm. We love hearing stories from farming families and gaining an insight into farm life – we’re sure you will too!
Catch The Pomegranate Farm at Collingwood Children’s Farm Farmers Market during the short pomegranate season. Roughly May-June.
The Pomegranate Farm is located near the Barmah Forest, 35 minutes outside of Echuca in Northern Victoria. The farm is operated using Demeter Bio-Dynamic farming practices which include cover cropping, livestock rotations and applications of the Bio-Dynamic 500 preparation to help build soil health.
Anne’s dream of developing a business that produced food as medicine and gathered the family together has evolved to include three generations of family providing valuable contribution.
Anne and her sister Carmel had been discussing the potential of growing pomegranates on the farm sing the late 1990’s. Anne planted the first 300 baby pomegranates in 2004.
The Pomegranate Farm has been attending farmers markets since 2011. We started out using a tiny bit of space at the front of Mark Rathbone’s Save Our Soils Biodynamic Produce stall at Farmers Markets. We graduated to our own stall and Mark has more space again.
One of the greatest challenges we face with pomegranate production is fruit fly. Our Wonderful variety don’t seem to be affected but our sweeter Rosavaya variety appear to be fruit fly favourites. We have tried trapping fruit fly by placing baits around the perimeter of the orchard and around our home and neighbouring houses. It was nice to be able to trap some fruit fly but it in no way prevented fruit fly from burrowing into our Rosavaya pomegranates. John and Ben report that 2019 has been a much better year with reduced fruit fly infection, possibly due to a dryer season.
The farm is a small family business. It may be summarised as follows. Conceptualisation by Anne and her sisters Carmel and Bernadette. Implementation by Anne then Cameron, John & Ben. Graphic design by and product development by Cameron’s wife Laura. Harvest and Farmers Market help by Anne and John’s grandchildren Micah, Amy and Laura with additional graphic design expertise from Micah.
The three hour drive to Melbourne early on Saturday mornings is tough. As a family, we have all found it incredibly rewarding to be thanked in person by customers for producing our pomegranates the way we do. The Farmers Market community and consumers encourage us greatly and we get to enjoy meeting so many beautiful people from all over the world who have gathered to live or visit in Melbourne.
We are proud to see that we continue to be greeted with a smile from our very loyal customers who attend farmers markets in Melbourne. More recently, since Anne always had a dream of producing food as medicine, we are now proud of the fact that the National Institute of Integrative Medicine have invited us to supply our Bio-Dynamic pomegranate juice to their dispensary to help with their patients health recovery.
Nearly all our customers are directly from farmers markets or as a result of being referred to us by a friend or family member who has attended a farmers market and purchased one of our products.