Introducing Catherine Velisha, it’s great to showcase a female of the great Australian agricultural tradition. Hailing from Werribee in Victoria, Velisha farms are veggie gurus specialising in Broccoli, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Spring Onion, Kale and Zucchini and grow all year long. They also have their own nursery, growing seedlings for sale and their own use.
Not only do we recognise Velisha Farms for the production of quality fresh produce for the past 36 years, but Australia does too! Check out this interview from Star Weekly:
FEBRUARY 4, 2016
ARTICLE BY ADEM SABAN. PICTURE BY DAMJAN JANEVSKI.
Evren and Aydin Velisha are third-generation Werribee South market farmers. Following in the footsteps of their father and grandfather, they hope to one day take over the family business. The 24-year-old twins spoke with Adem Saban.
Tell me about your family’s connection with Werribee South.
A: Our grandpa came to Australia in 1936 with his two brothers.
E: They started in Werribee South (around 1941) with orchards, then a dairy farm. The milk prices were really cheap so they started doing vegetables in small plots – tomatoes, beans, all that kind of stuff – and over time it eventually spread until we got the market garden.
A: Our dad started getting involved at around 11. Our grandpa was running the cows and dad was running the vegetable show. The brothers all worked together under the company, the Velisha Brothers, but they went their separate ways in the early 1990s. Our company is now E & F Velisha.
When did you guys get involved in the family business?
A: I was about 16. I had enough and didn’t like school. I dabbled in other things – tried mechanics – but ended up back at the farm. We’ve always been on the farm, helping out since we were about 12.
E: I worked on the farm part-time until I was about 19, then I became a full-timer. I stayed at school to do VCE. But we were always out there. I remember being in grade 1 – as soon as the weekends came, we’d call dad at 8 o’clock in the morning asking him to come pick us up. We were in the ute – on Saturdays and Sundays it’s all we did.
Run me through your average day at work.
A: We wake up around 5.30am and have a coffee and then start harvesting at around 6am. We already know what we’re doing a day in advance but we talk to everybody about what the plan is so we’re all on the same agenda. Set up the crew to harvest, then I go on the tractor and start working the ground.
E: The nursery is my department. I control all the seedlings there, so get plants ready for transplant or seeding, or washing trays – just general nursery work. Get all our orders ready, then get in the truck and do some deliveries. Work out when we need to order or spray.
A: And listen to dad and see what he wants.
What do you guys grow?
A: Lettuce and cauliflowers.
What do you love most about your job?
E: Just being outside – it’s always changing every day. In the nursery, my favourite part is that in the summer you can go, in six weeks, from seed to transplant to in the field. Then a few weeks later, you’ve got a crop.
A: It’s a hard question. I love driving the tractor, and seeing that change from preparing the ground. And I like watching the crops grow.
What’s the ultimate plan?
A: Take over the family business.
E: And to produce the highest quality we can. It’s not about quantity – it’s about quality