Joe Cammarano and his wife Maria have lived in the Koo Wee Rup area since the 1960s when Joe was working in mixed farming. In 1978 they purchased their current property and started growing their own tomatoes, cauliflowers, cabbages and zucchinis and increased the existing asparagus plantings. Since then, the family has specialised in asparagus and sweet corn.
Sons Tony and Ricky joined Joe on the family farm when they left school. Joe is first up in the morning to get to the Melbourne Wholesale Markets before 2.00am, and is busy trading as a wholesale agent. Back home, Tony looks after the pack house for all the vegetables and the export market for asparagus, ably supported by his mother, Maria, brother Frank and cousin Gabriel. Ricky specialises in fieldwork, overseeing the ground preparation, planting, irrigation, growing and harvesting.
As well as lending a helping hand on the farm, Maria cooks up feasts of asparagus for the family to enjoy after a hard day’s work. Some of her favourite ways of cooking asparagus include making a lovely soup with asparagus and eggs. She slices the asparagus finely and cooks it until tender in a tasty stock, then stirs lightly beaten eggs through the hot soup before serving. Maria also likes to steam asparagus and add it to omelettes, or pickle it to enjoy when asparagus is not in season.
The family cuts asparagus from September to December and cutting starts again in February and continues through to March. During the break in asparagus harvesting, sweet corn and other veggies are harvested at the end of January through to June.
With the birth of Ricky’s children, three generations of the Cammarano Family now get to enjoy the lifestyle on the land, as Ricky explains, “We love the lifestyle. And when asparagus is in season, we get to eat it every day!”
Farm gate sales are available so you can meet the family at the farm and treat yourself to the freshest veggies ever.