HFF Delegates to Learn First Hand from Local Growers

By Hari Yellina
Representational Photo by Darren Coleshill on Unsplash

On the second day of the conference, attendees of the Hydroponic Farmers’ Federation (HFF) participated in farm excursions, visiting a nursery powered by a biomass boiler and a facility that produces Chrysanthemums. Quality flowering indoor and outdoor plants, shrubs, and a wide variety of herbs and vegetables, including well-known and uncommon herbs, a variety of Hot Head Chilies, a premium selection of Tomato varieties, and a wide range of Super Foods, are all provided by Haars Nursery to Australian retailers and growers.

Retail chains are some of our top clients, according to general manager Brendan Haar. “This is what we’ve been doing for 35 or 40 years. Food for Life is one of our brands, and we also produce the Diggers Heirloom line, the Top 20 Herbs, and vegetables that people grow; like basil, coriander, parsley and a tomato range as well.” Delegates also learned about the biomass boiler, which Mr. Haar says has enabled the business to concentrate on its particular projects and powers three greenhouses on-site. He described it as “new technology, green technology, sustainable, and a shift away from natural gas.” We are quite lucky to have such a robust heating source, and the heat is terrific and steady.

The HFF Delegates were also assured by Scott Slykerman, Production Manager at Chrysco Flowers, that the industry’s future is looking up. As it always does, demand is increasing, he declared. “In terms of demand, the COVID has been beneficial to the local flower industry. Due to the increased attention being paid to locally produced goods, it good for us as a company.” East of Melbourne in Victoria, Chrysco Flowers is a year-round glasshouse chrysanthemum grower with highly automated production that can produce up to 80 kinds each week. According to Mr. Slykerman, the variety selection is constantly changing to try to keep up with trends. “We raise both the overall yield and the quality and consistency.

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