Farm shop helps with cost of living

July 1, 2022 BY

Fresh is best: The Ballarat Mushroom Farm’s Tanya Lunn said they’re prepared to run at a loss to keep fresh produce affordable to their customers. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

WHILE the price of fresh food has risen due to flooding and wet weather in Australia’s food-growing regions, one local produce store is doing their best to help consumers feeling the pinch.

Ballarat Mushroom Farm’s Tanya Lunn said they’re keeping the prices of their fruit and vegetable boxes as low as they can at their Smythes Creek farmgate shop.

Ms Lunn said her family business’ priority is to “help people” and keep them fed with Australian-grown produce.

“We’re trying to run on the leaner side, and some of the stuff we’re not making any money on, we’re just trying to keep the prices and the cost of living low enough that people can still have access to really good food,” she said.

“If you’re on a budget, you can go to McDonald’s and spend $10 on a meal, but it’s not nutritious. We would much prefer to run at a loss with some of the items that we stock, and see people eating fresh fruit and veg, rather than just loading up on cheap junk food.

“We’re prepared to wear that for the next three to four months until Queensland can recover. It is only short-term pain hopefully until they can replant, and prices will eventually come back down.”

Ms Lunn said her team is also mindful that if their produce is too expensive, it won’t make its way to families’ tables and will all go to waste.

“There have been outlets selling broccoli for $19, and it was all wilted. It’s all going to get thrown out, which is devastating, and it’s a wasted opportunity to get food on people’s plates,” she said.

Ms Lunn strongly encourages Ballarat families to support their local producers, not only to keep them alive and thriving, but because the food they serve on their table will simply be fresher and tastier.

“We only stock food grown within Australia. We can’t afford to lose all our farms, because then we rely on imported products, and that’s not cool.

“At the moment we have cauliflowers, cabbages and potatoes from Springbank, and apples from Bacchus Marsh for example,” she said.

“The sooner a product is picked, from paddock to plate, the better it is for the taste.”

The Ballarat Mushroom Farm offers personalised service. Their fruit and veg boxes can be tailor made, and can also include staples like dairy, bread, meat, honey, and jams.