John Ventura has lived and
farmed in Dalmore for more than 50 years. John together with wife
Jesse, son Johnny and his wife Amber make up the family business -
Ventura Manks Pty Ltd - growing 140 acres of asparagus, which they
supply to M & G Vizzarri. The family has grown a variety of
vegetables over the years including potatoes, carrots, sweet corn and
peas, but now they only grow asparagus.
“I love this area and chose to farm here because of the rich heavy black soils - nowhere can beat the climate and the soil of Dalmore to grow this versatile vegetable,” says John senior.
Growing up, Johnny had farming on the brain as well as in his blood and took every chance he had to get out in the paddocks. At the age of 17 he left school to work the family farm with his parents.
“All types of farming has its good and bad points but that’s all part of the parcel” Johnny says. Johnny and his wife Amber now have three boys - Bradley 16, Jackson 14 and Mitchell 7. All the boys love being outdoors and helping out when ever they can – just like their father did before them.
“At the end of the day when we sit down to have dinner they love to hear the stories of what’s happened that day,” says Johnny. John and Johnny are looking forward to the day that a harvester is refined and out in the fields harvesting the asparagus, and hopefully that day isn’t to far away!
For now, they are happy to share some tried, true and tasty ways to prepare and cook their favourite vegetable:
Cut asparagus spears to a length of 18-20cm. Wash the asparagus then boil until al dente. Dry off then lightly fry the spears in olive oil, drain on paper towel and then place lengthways on a serving tray. Sprinkle with Vegeta Gourmet Stock to taste and let the spears cool down to room temperature, then cover the tray with foil and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Serve straight from fridge as a snack or quick side dish.
Another way is to cut asparagus spears to a length of 18-20cm. Wash the asparagus then place in the centre of a long piece of foil (so it can be wrapped up into a parcel). Place small amounts of butter or margarine on top, spreading them out over the spears. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, chilli or any other seasonings of your choice, wrap up into a parcel and place on BBQ hot plate for 15-20 minutes or into a warm oven for 30-40minutes. Remove and open up the parcel and its ready to eat with the meal of your choice.