RICHARD & VICKI ROSS
Location: Stanthorpe, Granite Belt Wine Country, Queensland
What made you decide to become strawberry farmers?
Richard has always loved producing food and the opportunity came forward to move to the Granite Belt and grow strawberries.
What did your introduction to strawberry farming look like?
“Drought, which we were used to, and bushfires 6 weeks after we arrived in Stanthorpe (in 2019), which we had no experience of, really made us hit the ground running, and then Covid-19 made it a tough start.”
Did you have a career before?
Richard has always been a farmer, with 5 years running his family farm in Zimbabwe, then 11 years growing cotton, hay and winter cereals in Australia.
Vicki worked in a cafe for 3 years in St George, then as an Educational Assistant for 4 years in Moree, and has been the advisor and sounding board for Richard’s work for 17 years.
What does your day-to-day actually look like?
“In the warmer months the day begins at 4.15am and ends when it ends.
In between there is picking, packing, spraying, watering, fertilising, crop checking and fixing things.
For Vicki, she makes strawberry ice cream and coffees, chats to visitors and helps them have an enjoyable time.”
Do you have a favourite product – your strawberry waffles, your chocolate dipped strawberries?
“Strawberries. I mean, a perfect sweet ripe juicy strawberry, warm from the patch is just sensational. Taste testing is a hard job!”
Do you have a favourite tool in your trade, that you just couldn’t live/work without?
“Our staff. And water. Without either of those, it just wouldn’t happen. And an eye glass, for checking for bugs.”
What do you wish everyone knew about your products?
“How much time and effort goes into producing each strawberry.”
When you’re not on the farm, what do you like to do out and about on the Granite Belt?
“Drink local wine and beer, eat cheese, and chat to local producers”
Where you’ll find Richard and Vicki…
Vicki will always be at the front counter ready to greet visitors to the farm and Richard can be seen either be on the quad bike around the patch or passing through the shop, always happy for a chat about what we do and how we do it.
Visiting Ashbern Farms
Open during strawberry season: October to May.
Open: Fridays to Sundays 8am – 3pm
Closed Public Holidays