Summer Salads “farming smarter” to improve customer produce
Father and son, Barry and Damon Atkinson, have been operating Summer Salads for four years. What began as Spinach farm, who supplied the central markets, has now turned into a niche product range, selling directly to the customer base. The family believes in farming smarter, using sustainable methods that deliver fresh high quality products. Their farm location in Toowoomba Queensland makes it easier to do this year round. The weather is “just right” without winter and summer extremes, and works perfectly with their irrigation methods.
Summer Salads grow their products in coconut husks, using absolutely no herbicides. Their irrigation never even touches the leaves of the plants. This sustainable practice makes their produce less prone to leaf disease and allows them to use virtually no fungicides most seasons. “In our system, air flows from under the tables and around the leaves,” the Atkinsons said, noting that aside from using natural bacteria for grubs and Pythium diseases, the sustainable practice keeps the produce healthy and disease free.
Their products, which include baby leaf produce, are always irrigated with spring water for better sustainability and are always vacuum cooled. Everything is hand cut which eliminates processing by machines and chemical washes. When the customer receives the produce, it is not only straight from the farmer’s hand, but also healthy and chemical free. The Atkinsons’ goal is to do just that, ensuring their customers are both happy and healthy.
Catch Summer Salads this week at Shane Stanley’s Big Top Market Fresh at Noosa Farmers Market.