Home' Grower : June 2010 Contents The South Australian Grower -- June 2010
IN CONTROL: Adelaide Plains
grower Ilia Antonas says
greenhouses have particular
IN BUSINESS: Marketing a good product is key to
ADELAIDE Plains grower Ilia Antonas says
greenhouse production gives him more control
over fluctuations in weather conditions and insect
infestations, which are two of the biggest
challenges in cucumber production.
Ilia and his brother George are second-
generation growers and have been in the industry
for 20 years.
Although there are problems associated with
heat during summer, Ilia says there are more
advantages to greenhouse production than
Length of the growing season is significantly
extended, and vegetables are protected from cold
night temperatures and rain. Less water is
required because more moisture is retained
inside the greenhouse.
Crops require less spraying, and greenhouses
produce a cleaner product with fewer scratches
and less wind damage.
"Cucumbers grown inside have a better
colour and are definitely more appealing," Ilia
The Antonas brothers have always sold their
cucumbers at the Adelaide Produce Market at
Pooraka. But in the past year, they have extended
their wholesale operation and now run their own
stall, selling a wide range of fruit and vegetables
sourced from growers all over the country.
"Basically, we saw an opportunity and took it,"
"You are marketing your own product, and that
is the biggest advantage. Finding a market can
be difficult at times, but when you're marketing
your own product, you know exactly where it's
going and what you're doing."
Most Antonas cucumbers end up in Melbourne,
Sydney or Brisbane.
The brothers grow Carmen cucumbers, which
Ilia believes cope better than other varieties
during warmer conditions, and consequently yield
Cucumber production is labour intensive, but
the Antonas do all the work themselves, which
includes pruning every week during warm
weather. Most of the water used in the
greenhouse is sourced from the Bolivar pipeline.
Marketing a good product is what Ilia believes
is the key to success in the industry.
"The way you present your produce and the
way you market it is the most important," he
"It's about honesty and consistency. Demand
fluctuates a lot throughout the year and you
basically just have to take the good with the
Honesty, consistency sells product
• One of the best summer
• Tolerates warm
• Excellent yield potential
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• Intermediate resistance
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• Strong, vigorous plants
• Length 35-38cm
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