At the farm
Your herbs start their life as a little seed on broad acre farms in Queensland and Victoria. The herbs are cared for, fed and are grown organically by our dedicated group of farmers who are truly passionate about producing fresh herbs that are brimming with essential oils, which is the key to unlocking flavoursome, aromatic and colourful herbs. Years of research and work has been invested into finding the optimum conditions and care for each variety of herb. This includes:
- Selecting varieties of herbs that deliver the highest flavour yield and balance of essential oils
- Understanding what times to plant
- Using GPS guided watering and sowing
- Harvesting at the optimal time of day for the highest essential oil yield
- A focus on healthy soil and sustainable organic growing techniques
- A full understanding of crop quality
- Ensuring optimal post-harvest storage
Our farmers are the backbone of Gourmet Garden. The majority of our herbs are grown in Biloela, in central Queensland, which has the optimal growing conditions for green leafy herbs and some of the other crops like garlic are grown in the cooler climates of Victoria.
Paul & Kim Stringer
Paul and Kim, along with just one other full time staff farm at large property at Biloela. The second generation of Stringers that have farmed this land, Paul has been solely responsible for the property for the last 20 years. Their crops include parsley, coriander, dill, basil, marjoram, oregano, lemongrass, mint, chives and spring onion as well as lucin, corn and Echinacea.
Paul loves riding his motorbike through the farm in the afternoon, when the crops are being watered, and takes satisfaction when the crops are thriving. Kim’s favourite Gourmet Garden variety is the Thai Seasoning which she loves in stir fries.
Paul developed the harvester that is used to pick the herbs with minimal damage and even used the machine to mow in a field of herbs his marriage proposal to Kim (who was hundreds of feet above in an aeroplane at the time).
Trevor is a third generation farmer, who began farming his 1000 acre property in the early 1970’s. Originally growing corn and chickpeas, he diversified into herbs in the mid-late 1990’s to supply Gourmet Garden. He still share farms his property growing a range of herbs in addition to wheat, chickpeas and mung beans.
He especially likes growing herbs for their water efficiency and his wife, Joyce, loves cooking with Gourmet Garden Moroccan Seasoning in dips and adding chives into mashed potatoes.
Frank & Ron Mastroieni
Frank purchased the farm in 1952 which originally operated as a dairy farm before diversifying into fruit and vegetables and finally, herbs. Frank was born in Biloela to parents who were farmers and he purchased his own farm when he was 21 which he now farms alongside his son, Ron. They grow 11 herbs on the farm including basil, coriander, thyme, dill, parsley, rosemary and mint.
He enjoys the autonomy of farming and watching the herbs grow and sites the biggest hurdle of herb farming was designing the harvesting machinery. Frank’s favourite herb to use in cooking is basil.
At the factory
Your herbs are delivered on temperature controlled vehicles to our purpose built factory in Palmwoods on the Sunshine Coast within 8 hours of leaving the farm. From there, the herbs and spices are washed, chopped and prepped within 18 hours of harvesting though patented processes which are designed to lock in the natural essential oils to maximise the fresh flavour and aroma of the herbs. Quality is our upmost importance and the factory is accredited by a number of quality auditing bodies that ensure your herbs are of the best quality and are safe.
Consideration for the environment and sustainability is very important to us and this is reflected in the design of our factory. The building boasts the biggest of its kind refrigeration plant, which is 50% more energy efficient than a typical refrigeration plant. Rain water is harvested from the roof top, stored in four rain water tanks and used for both the fire protection and within the factory. A 40m Green belt surrounding the back of the site and equipped with walkway and some 8,000 native trees was gifted to the community.
From the Palmwoods factory, we then ship your herbs across throughout Australia and across the globe to supermarkets worldwide. Our dedicated logistics, merchandisers, distributors and supermarket partners work with us closely to ensure consumers worldwide can have access to a range of fresh herbs and spices regardless of the season. Check out our store locator and find our range in the fresh produce section, next to the fresh herbs.
To your plate
We all love the flavour of fresh herbs, they truly make a difference to any meal. But when we’re busy, let’s be honest, fresh herbs and spices aren’t always practical. Count the bunches of wilted herbs and you’ve thrown out after only a few days and we all know the hassle of garlic and chilli fingers!
The great thing about our products is they STAY FRESH FOR WEEKS so you can have a herb garden ready when you are everyday. With a handy herb pot filled with Gourmet Garden in your fridge door, you easy transform pizzas or pasta with a generous sprinkle of lightly dried basil or stir fries and soups with a big squeeze of garlic stir in paste.