A Far North Queensland family farming enterprise that started with a patch of cucumbers has grown ten-fold and diversified into a thriving paddock to plate vegetable business.
All produce grown at Crystal Creek Plantations at Rollingstone, north of Townsville, is destined for local markets with owners Kerry Boswell and Sven Fehrenbacher picking and selling their vegetables directly to local customers.
The 40-hectare farm, known locally as Rollingstone Ranch, is home to small crops like Asian vegetables, baby leaf spinach, kale, rocket, lettuce, bok choy, zucchini, cucumber, and tomatoes.
It’s 10 times the size Kerry and Sven started out with eight years ago.
“We started with a small patch of cucumbers on Sven’s parents’ farm and we’ve never looked back,” Kerry said.
The couple accessed a Sustainability Loan from the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) to purchase the land which allowed them to be self-sufficient and diversify into new crops with plenty of room for future growth.
“We needed more land and the only way we could do that is with the assistance of QRIDA,” Kerry said.
“QRIDA really helped our business grow.”
The farm allows plenty of opportunity to diversify into new crops while Kerry and Sven have plans to move into the fruit tree market in the future.
“Now we have the extra land we can rotate our crops, rest the ground longer and grow cover crops. Through that we use less fertiliser and pesticide,” Sven said.
QRIDA Far North Regional Area Manager Sam Spina was able to meet Kerry and Sven on farm and help them through the application process.
“Sam came to our home, sat down with us and helped us go through the loan application. He went above and beyond,” Kerry said.
“I would highly recommend other producers to contact QRIDA. They were extremely helpful to us.”
For more information see www.qrida.qld.gov.au or Freecall 1800 623 946.