A 'no fruit waste' berry business is seeing success in turning its sweet, ripe fruit that is too soft or odd-shaped for supermarkets into cider, hand crafted ice cream, preserves and jams for its visitors.
As reported by ABC Rural, ten years ago Kim and Jason Lewis launched their farm-tourism venture, Cooloola Berries in Wolvi, a one hour drive north of Noosa in Queensland.
Their licensed farm cafe now opens seven days a week with hundreds of people visiting on busy weekends.
"We like to grow the amount of strawberries that there is a use for, so we minimise food waste," Ms Lewis said, as she poured brightly coloured glasses of cider from a freshly opened keg.
"Not all strawberries are beautiful enough to make the cut to go in our first quality fruit, so that's where the cider comes in.
"We take our strawberries down to a micro-brewery in Brisbane and we produce a lovely strawberry cider that has an apple base.
Diversification adds interest
Ms Lewis said this year they expect to pick about 60 tonnes of strawberries from 80,000 plants for their products, farm shop and farmers markets.
"We focus on sweetness and taste rather than shelf life, rather than the qualities supermarkets are looking for," Mr Lewis said.
"Our pick-your-own market is huge here and because we let people eat in the paddocks they tend to taste all the varieties and leave with punnets of different varieties."
Source: Jennifer Nichols, ABC Rural