Home' Border Enterprise : Winter-Spring 2010 Contents 4 enterprise
Farmers' markets are
a genuine opportunity
for people to stock up
on fresh, local produce.
But they are also an
important source of
income for stallholders.
● Dominic Torcaso's stall at
the Murray Farmers' Market at
Gateway Island, Wodonga.
WHEN Myrtleford farmer
Dominic Torcaso was
left with 60 acres of
workable land after the
tobacco industry wound
up, he knew he had to do something with the
"For me, there was only really one way to go
--- I had to come up with a business that was
financially viable so that I could stay on the
farm,'' he said.
"What else could I do? Otherwise I would
be shutting up the farm and just letting the
blackberry bushes take over.''
So rather than plant his usual 280,000
tobacco seedlings, he started to use the land
and hothouses to grow vegetables.
What started out as a small operation is now
growing every day.
Mr Torcaso said he was now growing 35 different
vegetables across four acres of the property.
"I am not commercial yet but I think give me
12 months and I think that I will be closer to
where I want to be,'' he said.
But he is the first to admit it has been a tough
After losing his livelihood and lifetime
occupation, many people would simply throw in
But Mr Torcaso used his determination to not
only take on a new industry but make a success
out of it.
"This is very hard work and I am doing it all
on my own, I am working seven days a week,''
"But this is what I wanted to do, I wanted to
keep the farm and keep it operational.
"Financially for me staying on the land after the
tobacco industry was wound up was the only
way to go.''
"By starting this business and growing
vegetables it means keeping the farm going.''
Mr Torcaso said Torcaso Produce sold vegetables
at farmers' markets in Wangaratta and the Hume
Murray farmers' market in Wodonga.
He said he was proud of what he had achieved
and was constantly receiving good feedback from
"I am getting really good reports from the people
that come to the farmers' markets, which is great,''
Mr Torcaso said he picked the vegetables he
sold at the markets late in the week to ensure they
"I mainly pick on the Wednesday, Thursday and
Friday to sell the Saturday, this way the vegetables
are as fresh as they can be,'' he said.
"Many of them are picked the day before.''
Mr Torcaso said he had researched the industry
himself and was keen to expand the business and
one day employ other people to work alongside him.
"I am so busy at the moment getting it off the
ground, but it has been well worth all the hard work.''
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