Riverland fig farm thrives under grower Kate Strachan

Kate Strachan mostly produces black genoa figs but has brown turkey and white Adriatic varieties as well. Based in the well-known food bowl region of the Riverland in South Australia, Ms Strachan took over the reins of Judy and Bob Strachan's property in 2013, along with her brother. In recent months, she has taken on the business single-handedly.

While Ms Strachan credits her parents with her success, keeping up with the crop isn't easy. Her relatively small 700-tree operation produced about 24 tonnes of fruit a year.

Some of this produce lands in the fresh fruit market, while the overripe and higher sugar produce ends up in jams and paste. This includes in products produced by renowned Australian cook, food author, restaurateur, and food manufacturer Maggie Beer.

"It's quite incredible the amount of fruit that a fig tree produces and anybody who's got one in their backyard probably knows this," Ms Strachan said. "It is very labour intensive and for market we pick every tree every day. The pickers have got to be pretty switched on and they need to know what they are looking for."

According to abc.net.au, the first season of the fig harvest is currently underway and lasts three weeks throughout December. A second picking season starts in mid-January and can span through until March.


Photo source: Dreamstime.com

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