Peter and Linda Midgley
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!”