Know Your Farmer: Neil and Tania Richards 🍊

Know Your Farmer: Neil and Tania Richards 🍊

Jun 26, 2024

Neil and Tania Richards, our incredible citrus farmers from Gayndah, produce some of the best fruit in Queensland (in our humble opinion 😁)!

In addition to cultivating a wide variety of citrus fruit, they also run the Big Orange Cafe which is a local attraction in town. Neil and Tania are committed to farming using organic methods. There are no fungicides, insecticides or wax dips used on any of the fruit (yes that happens regularly with conventionally grown fruit!). 

Their citrus fruit is picked when ripe, so no artificial ripening rooms are needed, and it's not kept in long-term cold storage. Interestingly picking citrus when it's ripe can lead to green tinges on the skin which isn’t indicative of the ripeness, but a natural colour variation of the fruit.

What we love about Neil and Tanias' farm is the way they make the most of natural processes, and also use innovative and integrative practices to support soil and tree health and fruit production. For example, instead of using toxic chemicals to control weeds and grasses, they grow pumpkins under the trees instead! They don’t spray for fruit fly but instead have hanging vinegar traps in the trees to help keep things under control. 

During citrus season, Good Harvest make a regular 6 hour round trip out to Neil and Tanias' farm to ensure we get the freshest fruit, including mandarins (imperial and honey murcott), oranges (navel and valencia), grapefruit (pink and yellow), blood oranges, tangelos, lemonade fruit, lemons and limes.

At the big orange cafe, they also make juice, jams and sauces out of their citrus fruits along with some other delicious things for the cafe. In fact, they are famous for the best scones in town!

Be sure to load up on their amazing citrus in boxes and at markets when it's in season (typically winter is best for citrus in Queensland!), and if you're out near Gayndah, stop in at the Big Orange Cafe and say G'day! 🍊