Pete Andrew, Bendigo Fresh Farms and Bendigo Fresh Wholesalers and Growers
City of Greater Bendigo.
A third-generation business that has expanded from growing produce to also include the fruit and veg wholesale and retail markets. There are two family operated businesses working from the same site; the growers - Bendigo Fresh Farms Bendigo Fresh Wholesalers.
Tell us about yourself and what you grow?
The family story began with Bendigo Fresh Farms by Austin Phillips who back in 1955 ran a tomato farm operation in Kangaroo Flat. Austin carried on his journey as a farmer and in 1975 he purchased the property where the family farm still is today in Maiden Gully. This farm was originally an apple orchard but Ausin removed the trees, restored the landscape and trialed a broad range of seasonal produce including carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, cauliflower, onions and parsnip. Most success was had with cabbage, cauliflower, iceberg lettuce and salad onions and these vegetables continue to be grown today. Austins son, Gavin took over operations in 1984 and now Ricky, Austin’s grandson is also part of the produce growing team.
Bendigo Fresh Wholesalers has since been established by myself and my wife Rochelle and we now have Rochelle Sister, Annie on the team. We are a full family set up. We distribute the produce grown here but also support other local growers by distributing their produce too. This includes; New Eden Herbs, Cricelli and sons apples, Martins tomatoes and more.
When is your produce in season?
Our cauliflowers and cabbage grow in cooler late Autumn and winter months and our iceberg lettuce and salad onions in the warmer months.
Do you stock produce anywhere in our region?
We stock local retailers with our produce including; Castlemaine MAXI IGA, Cabbage Patch Fruit and Veg in Kangaroo Flat, Maiden Gully IGA and many Bendigo Restaurants, cafes pubs and caterers. Our weekly fruit and veg box deliveries to our customers also include our produce grown onsite here.
What is your favourite recipe using your own freshly grown produce?
Annie recalled growing up on the farm with her five siblings when all mealtimes included cabbage and cauliflower at every meal including a cauliflower soup that was on a regular rotation. However, she agreed with Pete that their favourite cauliflower recipe these days is a simple whole baked cauliflower.
Pete and his sister in law, Annie both agreed that this is their most recent favourite cauliflower recipe.