Just outside Colac in a small valley is eighty acres of some of South Western Victoria’s most productive organic vegetable growing land, it’s also home to Joe Sgro, one of the organic industry’s great characters. Joe and his team of up to 20 workers grow half a dozen varieties of potatoes including the now rare purple Toolangi Delight, Joe also grows spinach, silverbeet, bok choi, kale, cabbage, beetroot, turnips and daikon.
Joe Sgro’s family have always farmed organically – it is just the way they farm. Joe’s, dad, Pasquali still grows peas just down the road.
We have been buying produce from Joe at the Melbourne Wholesale Market for ten years. A highlight of any trip to market is sitting down for a talk with Joe. Appearing at his market stand twice a week for the past 25 years, Joe makes the incredibly demanding task of having large quantities of produce available year round seem easy. Always up for a chat about farming and the food system, Joe has passionate views about the role local growers play in ensuring our food security.