NextGen Tour - The Seedling Factory
On Wednesday the 2nd of August, NGIWA NextGenners and member growers converged upon The Seedling Factory for an inside look around their production and growing facilities in Hope Valley and Olbury.
With the tour starting off at the outdoor growing area in Olbury, proprietor Ben Funnekotter led the enthusiastic group through the different growing areas, with vegetable seedlings as far as the eye could see. Producing up to 56 million seedlings per annum to many of the state's farmers, Ben spoke in great detail about just what it takes to run a nursery of such size, including irrigation management, glasshouse climate control, fertigation, and the use of automation in both his growing area in Olbury and the Hope Valley production nursery. Ben made mention of the fact that the use of automation, although having its benefits can also be quite costly and time consuming to maintain, and sometimes the 'back to basics' approach can work out for the best.
The tour concluded at the Hope Valley production facility where everyone was treated to a delicious BBQ lunch.
We would like to say a huge thanks to Ben Funnekotter and his team at The Seedling Factory for dedicating their time to help educate our members of NextGen and to Water Corporation for sponsoring the event. Also thank you to all our members who attended - our biggest turnout to a NextGen event to date!