Home' Grower : November 2010 Contents The South Australian Grower -- November 2010
with WALLY SPARROW
Grow SA centre good idea
MY first contact with Mike Redmond
at the Virginia Horticultural Centre
was a little raucous, as Mike
spoke to me on the phone about some
comments I had made in one of my
If I am going to have an argument with
somebody I like to do it face to face, and
not on the phone, so we agreed to meet
and discuss the matter over a coffee.
Now I must admit it had been years
since I had visited the centre and, to be
honest, like most of my horticultural
inclined friends, I really had no idea what
was happening out there and had
considered that the place had almost
slipped into obscurity.
The centre was originally opened in
1996 as an export marketing centre with
Commonwealth funds. It also became a
home for PIRSA to base some extension
officers to assist the local growers.
We all know what has happened to
government extension work in the rural
area. Food is a secondary priority to
trams, hospitals, car races and overseas
trips. As time moved on, growers in
other areas asked why they couldn't
have a similar facility in the their areas.
As the government withdrew support
for the centre operations, it was decided
to form an independent organisation that
could help and guide horticulture to
grow and develop right throughout the
State. Grow SA Ltd was born, and Mike
Redmond was appointed as CEO.
Grow SA Ltd is intended to act as a
self-funding, non-profit operation that
can educate horticulturalists, introduce
new and better systems, develop
markets and advise government on the
future of horticulture in this State.
Grow SA Ltd has four main areas of
operation. 1 -- Post-Harvest, 2 -- Member
Services and Production, 3 -- Training,
and 4 -- Corporate. Membership is free,
however, when members request base
services and training they pay.
The operation has spread its arms
around the State and has offices in
Mount Gambier, Mannum and Waikerie.
Its staff travel all over the State
conducting training courses, and are
starting to develop agronomy services.
The board consists of representatives
from three Regional Councils and
experienced industry personnel and
growers. The management group also
has a General Council and a Policy
Council to try and determine its survival
and industry priorities.
The eventual aim is for Grow SA Ltd to
work with the other horticultural
organisations in the State to present a
combined force at government and
policy level. I personally think this is a
great idea -- there is power in numbers.
An organisation such as Grow SA Ltd
could combine the great talent we have
in all the other horticultural groups in
this State. It would drastically reduce
operational costs and would provide a
stronger body to attract any available
funding for research and development.
Government would have to sit up and
take notice of it.
The strength and geological spread of
such an organisation would allow
pressure to be applied on elected
representatives all over the State.
It would provide the press with a single
contact for the combined horticultural
Combined funding would help ensure
that our industry grows, can defend land
and water rights and develop mutual
The time is not that far off when those
farmers who have any arable land and
water will be told what crops they will
grow and who will pick them up.
good runway to fly food in -- wasn't it
built to fly exports out?
A lot of you probably think I have finally
fallen out of my tree, but I think this
concept has a lot going for it. If you think
our government is going to take an
active part in the development of our
horticultural industry you may as well
ring a real estate agent and get ready to
To yell at me on the phone ring 0419
591 894 or contact me on
Virginia Horticultural Centre.
PHONE KATHY TODAY
PHONE: (02) 9606 0522 MOBILE: 0407 942 868
We have a wide range of artichoke, beet-
root, broccoli, cabbage, chinese cabbage,
cauliflower, capsicum, sweet and hot
chilli, carrot, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce,
endive, kale, kohlrabi, leek, spring
onion, pumpkin, radicchio, rockmelon,
silverbeet, squash, tomato, cherry and
grape tomato, turnips, watermelon,
zucchini and herbs for micro mixes,
We also do our best
to fulfill any request.
supplier of hybrid vegetable
and herb seeds that imports from around
the globe and deals direct to the growers.
Reduce your carbon footprint
Old Sturt Hwy Berri, SA Tel 08 8582 4077
Save chemicals by
eliminating drift and run off
Save fuel by use of
ATV's or small tractors
Save water by using spray
technology by Enviromist
*Huge productivity gains
*Spray in windy conditions
Contact Enviromist now to see how we can help reduce your input costs
Reduce your carbon footprint
Enviromist low volume shrouded sprayers
can do that for you
Links Archive October 2010 Dec 2010-Jan 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page