26 October 2022
Strawberry ice cream from Tinaberries (left), entrance to Macadamias Australia (centre), and farm history inside the Visitor Experience at Macadamias Australia (right)
It was time to begin the move back to southern NSW and what better way to explore some ideas then to take the scenic route via the East Coast of Australia and look at how some agritourism ventures are engaging and sharing the story of agriculture.
As I drove around Bundaberg two things stood out to me:
This reinforced that a connection is key. Once we have a connection our curiosity and interested is sparked. And once a connection is formed further connections form and spin from that. So how do we, as a wider agricultural industry, continue to form connections?
One way is to have engaging and authentic interactions through farm gate experiences. Two great farm gate experiences in the Bundaberg region are Tinaberries and Macadamias Australia.
Tinaberries is a strawberry farm 15min from Bundaberg offering fresh strawberries, a pick your own experience (in season), and delicious strawberry ice cream all year round! The family farm is beautifully set up with plenty of space to relax and enjoy your ice cream in the garden.
Macadamias Australia provides an on-site café and Visitor Experience just a stone's throw from their processing plant, and 10min from Bundaberg. Nestled in the family's original orchard, the Visitor Experience provides an interactive display on the history and story of macadamia farming in the Bundaberg region from orchard to plate. It is well set out, beautifully presented, and details the processes in growing this delicious Australian nut (which you can taste and enjoy at the complimentary tasting or café)!
Another way we can form a connection is through signs. Maybe slightly random, but as I was driving around Bundaberg, and heading further south, I was in awe at the diversity of produce grown. Some of it I recognised; sugarcane, macadamias, avocados, sweet potatoes, and strawberries. But there were other crops and trees that I did not recognise. And I wanted to know (cause I was curious). And I wondered if others were curious too. Did others drive past and wonder what was growing, and what this was that would ultimately end up on our plates? Could we simply add signs to forge a greater connection?
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Aimee Snowden is currently undertaking a 2023 Nuffield Australia Scholarship to explore immersive education and engagement models around the world.
My Nuffield Scholarship would not be possible without the generous support of Nuffield Australia and AgriFutures Australia who have invested me.
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