Local food producers in the Scenic Rim
The Scenic Rim is a fruitful area filled with lakes, mountains, rich soil and large plains. Stacks of food producers are harvesting and growing everything from pecans and beetroot, to sheep cheese, free-range eggs and olive oil.
It’s a favourite for local chefs and home cooks, so pop by the Rim and pick up gourmet goods for your next meal.
Lost World & Christmas Creek area
Tommerups Dairy Farm
The Tommerups place is the ultimate farmstay experience. Predominantly a small dairy farm, the family now also keeps chickens, free-range pigs, sheep and goats. Join fifth-generation farmer Dave on the property at one of its open days, or in the on-site accommodation.
What: Milk, ham, bacon, vegies
Where: From the farm, it also supplies milk to Norco
At the opposite end of the scale, Carl and Aimee Young launched their farming business in 2014 on the family property they grew up on. Passionate about paddock-to-plate farming and consumers knowing where their beef comes from, they’ve already had to expand to neighbouring farms to keep up with demand.
Where: Buy online
Canaungra, Beechmont area
In 1995, Robyn and Paul Lee planted 500 macadamia trees – seven years later they had enough produce to sell. The farmers also keep bees to pollenate the macadamia trees and also sell jars of raw honey to shops, wineries and markets around the area. You can also stay in the onsite Greenlee Cottages.
What: Macadamia nuts, honey
Where: Canungra Valley Markets last Sunday of the month, Poppi's Wholefoods, Joseph the Green Grocer, O’Reillys Canungra Valley Vineyard, White Fruits at Rivermill, and the Rathdowney and Canungra Visitor Information Centres.
Dale grows the best spray-free spuds in the area, the locals say. His 20-acre farm has been in the family since the 1940s.
What: Potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon, pumpkins
Where: Local retailers and from the back of his truck on the side of the main road through Canungra
Di Brauer of the Green Shed
The Green Shed
Every Sunday morning, locals growers come together for a weekly market at the Tamborine Mountain Showgrounds. Drop in from 7am to pick up local organic produce.
What: Greens, avocados, rhubarb, tamarillo, chilled kefir, jams, preserves, coffee, plants
Where: From 7am, Tamborine Mountain Showgrounds
Tamborine Mountain Free Range Eggs
The girls live in a purpose-built caravan and are otherwise free to roam farmer Ryan Kingsnorth’s 80-acre property. Luna, the maremma sheepdog, keeps them safe from predators.
Where: Ryan sells to retail shops and markets on the mountain.
Beaudesert, Kooralbyn area
Towri Sheep Cheeses
Towri is the only accredited artisan dairy and cheese room in Queensland. More than 350 sheep of varying varieties live on the 300-acre property.
Where: At the farm, online and major food festivals
Scenic Rim 4Real cows
Scenic Rim Robotic Dairy
Greg Dennis installed a robotic milking system to save his fourth generation dairy farm. Milk price cuts led him to develop the Scenic Rim 4Real Milk brand and the family business now stocks in more than 200 local stores.
Where: 200 retailers around the Scenic Rim and beyond, plus farm tours
Rathdowney, Mt Barney area
The Lime Caviar Company
Finger limes are a native Australian citrus that can be found growing wild in this area of the country. Pop open one of the oblong-shaped limes and thousands of tiny green pearls will pour out – hence the caviar reference. After 46 years as a barrister, Ian Douglas and his wide Margie turned their hands to farming.
What: Finger limes
Where: All around the world – Holland, France, London, Miami, beer in New Zealand, ships online through Australia
Rathlogan Grove olives
Planted in 2002, 1200 olive trees cover the Cheevers family’s property. The olives are picked by hand and processed on site, placed in brine within hours of picking. Drop by on weekends when The Shed Café is open 9am-4pm serving home-cooked meals and baked goods made with love.
What: Olives, olive oil
Where: At The Shed Café on weekends, or at Gourmet on Gallery, 136 Gallery Walk, Tamborine Mountain
Boonah, Aratula area
Freshwater Australian Crayfish Traders
From marine biologist to crayfish farmer – Rob Hutchings launched his business in 1979 and now has a 200-acre, 70-dam property that produces about one million mature red claw crayfish each year. He no longer exports, instead delivers crayfish straight to your door – cutting out the middle man.
Where: Call Rob, he delivers in the South East Queensland area
Sue and David McMaugh of Bunjurgen Estatde
Bunjurgen Estate Vineyard
Soldier, dentist, university professor, CEO and now vineyard operator – there’s nothing too tough for David McMaugh. In 2003 he planted the Bunjurgen vines and now the 60-acre estate is known for its gorgeous pink verjuice, chambourin rose, medium dry red and barrel-aged ports.
What: Verjuice, white port
Where: Drop by the cellar door, 10am-5pm Wednesday to Sunday
Valley Pride Produce
This fifth generation farming family grows "bunched veg" – that’s the small-scale, more fiddly vegetables. Andrew Scholl bought the farm from his parents and also runs Ants Fruit Market – putting him in both the supplying and retail markets. He talks to chefs and keeps across food trends to make the most of his 80 acres.
What: Beetroot, silverbeet
Where: Ant's Fruit Market, Dave’s Deli, straight from the farm
Robert Dewar is a third-generation beekeeper with about 1000 hives on the family property. With partner Melissa they sell the bulk of their organic honey to Capilano, but you can pick up jars around the Scenic Rim.
Where: Roadvale General Store, Kalbar Bakery, Aratula Café, Poppi’s Wholefoods, Canungra and Boonah Visitor Information Centres, Wray Organics.
Scenic Rim Organics
Drop by the roadside stall of farmers Stephen and Angela Pennell to gather greens, vegetables and Angela’s homemade chutneys and jams.
What: Kale, silverbeet, pumpkin, leeks, broccoli,
Where: Sells to Brisbane markets and local markets
Kalbar, Roadvale, Harrisville area
Kalfresh packs and distributes carrots grown by a number of Scenic Rim farms to supermarkets nationwide. When Eat Local Week comes each winter school holidays, there is pick-your-own carrot day and factory tour.
Where: Kalfresh farm, supermarkets everywhere
Third-generation farmers, the Gibb Brothers Tony and Nick run operations across both their Fassifern Valley farm and another in the Toowoomba area.
What: Celery, pak choy, lettuce, cauliflower, kale, silverbeet, broccoli
Where: Rocklea Markets in Brisbane
Fassifern Valley heirloom tomatoes
Fassifern Valley Produce
Matt and Sarah Muller grow gorgeous and flavoursome green, yellow and red heirloom tomatoes at their property near Kalbar. Each week they sell a tonne of red tomatoes from their big roadside stall – pop by to grab some yourself.
What: Heirloom tomatoes, red tomatoes, potatoes, garlic
Where: Roadside stall on Boonah-Fassifern Rd, Brisbane central markets
Fourth-generation farmers Troy and Vilma Stokes grow onions and lucerne. Most produce goes to the Brisbane markets (look for the Stokes Farm label), but their children also sell the seconds from a roadside stall in front of the farm and split the profits.
Where: Roadside stall in front of farm (Stokes Crossing, Mount Mort Rd, Mt Walker)
Scenic Rim Olives
Ex-teachers Glynn and Barbara Kelly retired early, moved to acreage in the Scenic Rim and started their olive farm. With mentoring from other South East Queensland farms, they successfully produce high-quality boutique olive oil and olives. Stay at the onsite accommodation – The Grove Cottage – or see below where to buy goods.
What: Olives, olive oil
Where: Poppi’s Wholefoods, Wiss Emporium, Aratula Traders, and events Art in the Olives and the Boonah Show.