Grower Profile

​Minter Family

The Minter family has been growing asparagus in the Sunraysia region of northwest Victoria for five generations. Great great-grandfather to Garry Minter (the latest generation) grew the Connivers Colossal variety in 1927. In 1948 Bob Chaffey, son of the founder of Sunraysia, gave our family the first Mary Washington 500 variety asparagus seeds. These proved to be very successful as they were well suited to the Sunraysia climate and resulted in high yields.

In 1968, 15 acres of a Minter variety (72 and 66) were planted at Iraak, located approximately 35 km southeast of Mildura. Export shipping started in 1972 with the first export shipments to the UK. This was followed by the first four shipments to Japan in 1975.

In 1985 the Department of Agriculture, Victoria introduced Geoff Minter to the variety known as Ida Lea, which is now planted extensively throughout Sunraysia. The family’s longevity, consistency and loyalty to horticultural development in Sunraysia continues with the three generations of the family currently involved in Minter Magic production.

At the start of his farming career in 1985 Darren Minter was named top fruit grower for the state and Apprentice of the Year for the Sunraysia region and the state of Victoria. Currently Darren and Anne-Marie run 650 acres of mixed horticultural plantings. The main permanent plantings are almonds, citrus and asparagus.

Farming is in my blood. I love to farm and see it as my life. We live and work together as a family and are committed to producing quality products. Having my father on hand is invaluable and while I am prepared to try new things and implement new processes, it is worthwhile discussing these with him first. Our reputation remains our credibility. We have been supplying quality produce for decades and our customers know that. We ensure that our farm practices are up-to-date and that the quality assurance program is accurately followed, not just on farm but in the packing shed.

Anne-Marie’s favourite recipe is asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with foil and coat with olive oil. Wrap one slice of prosciutto around each asparagus spear, starting at the bottom, and wrapping up to the tip. Place the wrapped spears on the prepared baking tray and bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven and shake the pan back and forth to roll the spears over. Return to the oven and cook for another 5 minutes or until the asparagus is tender and the prosciutto is crisp. Drizzle caramelised balsamic over and serve,” says Darren Minter.