All hail for Kale

kale

If you haven’t heard about Kale and it’s incredible health properties then I’m not sure where you’ve been these past couple of years.

Every time I log onto Facebook or scan Instagram someone has posted a photo of their latest green smoothie, juice or salad which features Kale as the key ingreidient.

I was keen to speak to someone who grows Kale and found father and son team, Mike and Ben Prichard, who grow it on their Bundaberg farm.

They only started growing the crop early this year, as an addition to their mix of sweet potato, cauliflower, cabbage and strawberries.

Kale is actually a brassica and comes from the same family as cauliflower and cabbage.

Mike and Ben – like so many farmers I interview – have made a decision to move away from selling their produce through the central markets in Brisbane and are moving towards a farm gate model.

Ben, who has a background in information technology, has launched an online store and customers can order boxes of vegetables each week.

After speaking to farmers like this I do wonder what the future of the central markets is? Their business has slowly been whittled away as more and more produce is traded outside of the markets. Chainstores now buy their produce direct from the farmers.

Many of the growers who are opting out of the market system say they grew tired of being told by market agents that their produce wasn’t good enough and having to send it in without knowing what they would be paid. Early this year I asked Brisbane Markets CEO Andrew Young about this.

By selling for themselves farmers are changing their fortunes from being a price taker to a price maker. However the vital ingredient is throughput and for farmers like the Prichards, who are located on a busy road, the future looks bright.


The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
Sep 22 2013