AU: Nurture vs nature at Cowra: Bringing up baby spinach for fussy consumer market
ABC Rural: Harvest of the largest crop of baby spinach in New South Wales is well underway on the outskirts of Cowra. Grower Ed Fagan said he’s nursed the 80 hectare crop to perfect condition, ready for the convenience salad market.
After the spinach is harvested it is sent to the processors to be triple washed, but before that Mr Fagan said he’d done all he could to ensure the spinach leaving his farm is perfect. “We can’t have animals roaming across here, we can’t use manure on this crop. Everything has to be spot on because we can’t have a food safety scare come from here.”
To help with quality control at harvest time, Mr Fagan is now working on an optical sorter to attach to the harvester that will knock out anything that’s below par colour-wise. “”At the moment we are trialling it so we don’t ever have any problems with foreign bodies like sticks or Poplar leaves. There’s more and more pressure on us now to make sure no one gets a leaf in their salad bowl.”