We're showcasing some fantastic Australian growers! First up, meet Wandin Valley Flower Growers...
Tell us about your business?
We grow around 40 different varieties of cut flower Alstroemeria that we sell to all over Australia. We are located in the beautiful Yarra Valley in Victoria, about an hours drive from the Melbourne CBD.
How long have you been supplying FLOWERHUB?
Tell us about your growing process - are you seasonal, how long from planting to our door?
Our Alstroemeria is picked by hand, every single week of the year. The peak of production is during spring-time, from September until December. It takes about 3 months for the newly-planted Alstro plants to produce flowers ready for picking. In a year, around 20% of the crop gets replaced/renewed. Plants can last from 5 to 20 years in the group, depending on soil condition and variety (of Alstroemeria).
What's the best thing about being in this industry?
The best thing about being in this industry is working together as a family, in our own backyard. We enjoy the challenges and rewards of farming, as well as trying new ideas of growing, and seeing new varieties of different colours and types of Alstroemeria. We love knowing our product makes people happy. As Michael says, 'If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life'.
What's the toughest thing about being in this industry?
Dealing with nature is always tricky, when it's cold you want it hot, when it's hot you want it to be cold, and same goes for dry/wet. Frost damage can be a big problem for us as it can take out a crop for 6-8 weeks (if severe enough) so we have to be vigilant and proactive in our methods to be on top of this.
Tell us about your team at work?
Our team is our family.
- Michael (Husband/Dad): The 'Big Chief', main farm manager- picks, bunches, weeds and sprays the flowers, fixes things and organises all Alstro sales.
- Fem (Wife/Mum and 2nd generation flower grower): Shed manager, main flower buncher and chief coffee maker.
- Isabella (Eldest daughter): Apprentice florist who helps on her days off
- Sophie (Second daughter): Works on the farm full time, picking and bunching flowers, weeding, thinning of crop and other farm duties.
- Gianni (Son): Also works full time on the farm, picking and bunching flowers, weeding, spraying and drenching of the flower crops, deliveries and drop offs, farm maintenance and repairs.
Where can we find you online?
Instagram - @wandinvalleyflowers
Facebook - Wandin Valley Flowers