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Bundaberg Farmers - Australia’s new foodie rock stars


Australian farmers are currently in the spotlight, but sadly not for their amazing produce, instead hitting the headlines as drought is declared across Australia. Here's how you can help and read a balanced view of this emotionally charged issue here.

One thing is for certain, our farmers deserve our attention and one festival placing farmers at the forefront is the Bundaberg Winterfeast Festival. While many foodie festivals in Australia highlight celebrity chefs as their stars, Winterfeast showcases the local farmers as the new foodie rock stars!

While thankfully Bundaberg is not currently in a drought declared region, it's important to support all farmers and buy Australian produce, whether it be from the farm gate, local markets or supermarkets and visit our farming regions.

The horticultural industry within the greater Bundaberg region employs over 5,000 people, has a farm gate value of approx $500 million and injects over a billion dollars into the Queensland economy, impressive huh?

As consumers we are encouraged to know where our produce comes from and a tour of the region allows visitors to meet the makers and get to know the people and families that grow our favourite fruit and veg.

Here's some of the Bundaberg rock stars we met during Bundaberg Winterfeast:


Tina McPherson, Tinaberries
Disregard any pre-conceived ideas you have about farmers and prepare to be wowed by Tina, the effervescent and passionate farmer behind Tinaberries! Greeting us in her signature bright pink shirt and lip-gloss, Tina is the kind of woman you want to sit down and have a yarn with over Champagne and strawberries, naturally. First-generation farmers, the McPherson's were attracted to Bundaberg for the relaxed Queensland lifestyle, tropical climate and the region's fertile fields perfect for growing fruit and vegetables of superior quality, evident in their premium Camarosa strawberries. Tinaberries is open to the public to purchase farm fresh strawberries; indulge in ice-cream with fresh strawberries and in Aug/Sept you can enjoy a "pick your own" experience.


Anthony Rehbein, Hummock Produce/Bunda Ginga
Anthony and Kate Rehbein are proud and dedicated fourth generation farmers. The Rehbein family were originally cane farmers and have diversified over the years to grow watermelons, pumpkins, eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries and more. Anthony has also strategically diversified to grow turmeric and after a trial plot of ginger has grown into one of the biggest commercial ginger operations in Queensland under the Bunda Ginga brand.


Dave Galati, Rosengal
Second-generation farmers, Dave and his brother took over the family business when their father passed away and grow green, flat, butter and borlotti beans. The brothers have grown the business by having dual farms in Queensland and Victoria, taking advantage of different conditions and yields. Dave admitted that farming is stressful, but he's proud and passionate and is thankful that his soil is healthy, crops are healthy and his produce is healthy and in the most adorable admission, talks to his beans as a fresh crop appears saying "hello little fellas". Awww


Linda Zunker, Windhum Farms
Dedicated fifth generation farmers, their family were original settlers in the region, clearing virgin land for farming in the early 1870's. The Zunker's have continued to expand by purchasing neighbouring properties and growing quality premium grade gold sweet potatoes under the "Bundaberg Gold" brand and selling to supermarkets and wholesalers across Australia. They have recently diversified to growing macadamia trees, as the region is ideal for macadamias producing 25% of Australia's macadamias. I picked up 2kg of farm gate sweet potatoes on my trip (the most unusual souvenir I think I've ever bought) and using the recipe book Linda gave me have cooked various creative and delicious sweet potato dishes on my return! Track down a copy or visit Bundaberg Gold website for recipes.


A highlight of Bundaberg Winterfeast has been meeting the producers and hearing their unique stories. The best way to visit these farms and meet the makers is with Bundy Food Tours. Check out their website for tours and dates here.

Where to Stay
We recommend basing yourself beachside at Bargara at ZEN Beach Retreat. Browse and book here.


Are you planning on visiting a farm region soon? How are you planning to support the farmers?

Alluxia has made a donation to Buy a Bale.


The writer was a guest of Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism.

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