Grower Profile

​Peter and Linda Midgley

Peter and Linda have lived in the Merbein South area in northwest Victoria all their lives mainly as dried fruits growers. In 1990 after some lean years in the dried fruits industry we decided to diversify into asparagus with some encouragement from our good friend Bernie Dean who had successfully grown asparagus for several years. It didn’t take long to work out that asparagus was doing a lot better than dried fruit and as a result all vines were removed and planted to Ida Lea and UC157 asparagus.

In 1996 we built our own packing shed and started marketing our own asparagus for domestic and export markets under our company name of Pinnacle Packers Pty Ltd. Peter considers asparagus a guaranteed crop compared to dried fruit where you can lose the lot with one late frost or severe hailstorm in October, which can ruin the entire crop.

Of course we have bad days when the whole crop can be ruined with wind, dust, rain and hail and sometimes a whole week can be lost, but asparagus recovers and keeps growing. Asparagus grows very well here in Sunraysia, but does throw up its challenges especially with its thirst for water, and sometimes lack of water.

Peter and Linda love the life of growing asparagus and offer shed door sales when in production in spring (from early August till mid-November) and autumn (from the start of March to late April).

Peter's favourite recipe is 5 medium slices of asparagus, cooked 'el dente' on a slice of fresh buttered bread with the crust left on with garlic, salt and pepper and lashings of mayo.

We both enjoy asparagus on toast with butter, salt and pepper for brekky - extra special if a gooey poached egg is on top of the asparagus. We also make asparagus quiche and we always throw it in a stir-fry. Asparagus is super in risotto with a few peas in it as well – and don't forget the lashings of parmesan!”