Western Australia

Albany is unlikely host to thriving banana crops

Banana crops may be more at home in tropical Queensland, but trial crops of these plants are thriving in one of Western Australia's coldest regions. The south coast of WA is known for its cooler climate and is the only place in the state to regularly record snowfalls. Despite this, one farmer has bucked the trend and has managed to grow tropical crops.

Oranje Tractor Wine in Albany grows a variety of fruit and vegetables, with bananas on the list. Co-owner Murray Gomm is not afraid to try something a little different. He said that he bought the initial plants from another experimental grower in the region and that as a farmer, Albany was a fantastic place to diversify range.

Gomm: "The thing is with Albany … it's a very liveable climate. If it doesn't go below zero [the tropical fruit] are happy. They'll take a little bit of cool weather. As a grower, I guess you look for a niche, something that you can grow down here that maybe you can supply the market early or late. I guess we were really attracted to having this abundance, this diversity."

Although the scale of his bananas is relatively small, Mr Gomm is optimistic at the potential for growing bananas on a larger scale in the region.

Source: abc.net.au

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