Q&A with Coles Spinach Grower Belinda Adams

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

We once again asked for the hard-hitting journalistic skills of the children from the Kitchen Garden Foundation’s team. This time the kids interviewed Belinda Adams from Coastal Hydroponics, who grows Spinach in Nerang, Queensland for Coles.

Lily, 12
Do you eat Spinach every day?
Hi Lily, absolutely yes, I mainly have it for breakfast with some poached eggs or in a nice mixed smoothie, spinach is very good for you and I like to keep healthy on the inside and out.

How many kilos of Spinach do you produce in a year?
Great question, we produce on average around 18,000 kg a week, or 936,000 kg a year. Which if we compared it to an elephant, it would be 147 elephants a year, almost three a week. So that is a lot of great spinach everyone is enjoying.

Duncan, 10
What’s your favourite recipe using Spinach?
Hi Duncan, my husband cooks most of our meals and tries to put spinach in our dinner most of the time, as with teenage boys they struggle to eat their greens. My favourite would be a spinach lasagne. So yummy.

Fraser, 7
How do you harvest your Spinach?
Hi Fraser, spinach is machine harvested using a tractor with a set of blades that cuts the spinach like a haircut. It is actually quite a fast process. As the spinach is cut, it transfers up a conveyor belt into crates and is stacked on to a pallet which then comes come to the factory for processing. I have a photo for you below:

Frankie, 13
What bugs do spinach attracts, and then how do you deal with them?
Hi Frankie, lots of bugs like spinach. At different times of the year we can have bug infestations when the weather is just right and they can breed quite quickly. The most common bug is a type of moth, sometimes we cannot remove them in the paddock so we have to harvest when they are less busy early in the morning, remove them whilst harvesting on shaker belts, or when the product comes in for washing where a team of people have to pick them out manually. It can be very hard to get rid of them all as they can be very small. There are some friendly bugs, known as beneficials that eat other bugs, we encourage these bugs to breed up and reduce the population, one of these is the lady bug. So if you find a lady bug they are working hard for us.

Sidney, 12
Are there many rabbits living amongst the spinach?
Hi Sidney, we have many animals that live around the paddocks where spinach is grown. At times we see rabbits hopping around, but very rarely in the paddock with the spinach. Spinach is grown in open areas where there is no shelter so rabbits tend to stay well hidden in the wooded places around the farm.

Do you know the furthest shop your spinach goes to?
Our spinach is transported all the way up to North Queensland, from the Gold Coast to Port Douglas. Port Douglas is 21hours and 48 minutes away from the farm. We could drive to see you in Melbourne before our spinach gets to Port Douglas, and have time for dinner, hopefully spinach.

 



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