Mandy and Adrian from Luvaberry grow strawberries that taste like strawberries used to (and should) - sweet, delicious and red all the way through - as well as fingerlimes and a range of herbs.
A small family farm just up the road at Wamuran, Luvaberry integrates organic farming methods to reduce the products used on their plants. This is called Fusion Farming: they look after the farm as a whole, keeping the soil healthy and using less chemicals, which results in them growing healthy juicy red Queensland strawberries. They avoid use of conventional pest control in favour of integrated pest management wherever possible - so right now all their beautiful berries are sprayfree, they but will let us know if this changes.
Adrian is a passionate horticulturist with over 30 years experience, and Mandy is a naturopath whose keen interest in nutrient-dense foods and desire to tackle our serious food-waste problem led to the development of a brilliant freezedried product.
Get to know Mandy better here!
What does a typical day look like for you? My day varies so much. It basically starts with an alarm at 4.45 that Adrian and I snooze until it's really late at 5.05am. I get up, do a mindset meditation for 15 min followed by a big green drink and then go off to exercise. As a naturopath its important for me to look after myself so I don't lose the plot (this has happened from just being too busy). As a general rule after teens and morning rituals are completed I head to the home office followed by the packhouse usually at 11am. In between this I'm shuffling our online freeze dried orders, fresh phone orders, email enquiries, fixing unexpected stuff ups or generally problem solving and preparing marketing material for the launch of events etc, and constantly on the phone. I attend some meetings or networking events, as I'm currently working to build some new ideas with our finger limes with the support of a social enterprise that provides opportunities for those in need. In between a whole lot of other stuff that I didn't plan on. QA procedures take a fair bit of time and looking after recruitment and our live in farm staff also takes up a part of my day. It's important to build a good team Morale so checking in with them if I haven't seen them in the packhouse is important.
What do you love about what you do? Everything. I am privileged to live the way I do in Moreton bay with beautiful surroundings. Easy access to Bribie (my favourite place the off leash dog beach is my happy place with Panda). Our business enables me to be creative and work for myself. I mostly enjoy people and getting to work with the public through farmgate is fun. The most important thing is that it never ceases to surprise me how much people like to visit a farm. It has helped me value what we do and realise how lucky we are.
What would you like to see change in how people engage with their food? Coming from a 25 year naturopathic background I have also wanted to see people question what they eat. They don't think about "is it good for them and the whole processing" of food conversation. To feel full of vitality you need to eat vital foods = fresh food. I'd like to see more people abandon convenient food. This entire trend of Uber deliveries and quick food is not good for their health or wallets. Yet people will question paying good money for fresh food they have to cook themselves. A world full of foodies that care about farmers and where their food comes from is my perfect utopia 😍