by Angela Norval
Farming is in Joe Lyons’s blood.
Joe’s grandfather was a soldier settler in Western Queensland and over the generations, the family has steadily moved to the coast in the hope of running an agricultural enterprise in a more favourable climate.
Joe is now the Lyons Farming managing director and also director of Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers Cooperative Limited since 2012, proud to represent the region’s avocado growers and drawing knowledge from his experiences in the banana, grain and beef industries for the benefit of the region.
Joe and his family have been growing avocados and macadamias in the region since 2006 and before and during that time they also grew lady finger bananas.
“We chose avocados to grow here because we believed it was an industry that was suited to this climate and we enjoyed eating them so why not share them with everyone else,” he said.
“They are not an easy crop to get right, especially during dry times like we have been experiencing in the last couple of years.”
Lyons Farming gives customers’ variety, growing Shepard, Hass and Sharwil avocados over a five-month harvest period.
Joe said Sharwil was his favourite variety because they were creamy and had a small seed, meaning more flesh and more bang for your buck.
Add to that they were developed in Queensland.
Given that Joe studied a Diploma of Applied Science at Gatton Agricultural College he is a firm believer in taking a ‘holistic approach to farm management by finding your place in an efficient and profitable supply chain’.
“As farmers we are very conscious about our environmental impacts; because ultimately it is not in our or anyone else’s best interest not to be,” he said.
“We use soft chemistry, sequest carbon in our soils and limit our use of nitrates to only what our crop requires.
“More me personally I have a deep interest in locally native plants and trees and have just planted 400 myself.”
Currently gearing up for harvest, Lyons Farming avocados will be distributed and marketed through Avolution, which is another locally-owned business, all over Australia and as far overseas as Singapore and Malaysia.
Bundaberg region locals will also be eating avocados from this region in the coming months.