If you enjoy the taste of Gin Gin & Dry’s delicious dried mango, now you can meet the face behind the yummy product – mango grower Cameron Dean.
In this guest post Cameron tells all about running a mango farm and what it’s like to run the Gin Gin & Dry business at the same time.
Meet the mango grower
Cameron and his family have 2000 mango trees which surround the Gin Gin & Dry dried fruit processing plant and their house.
They grow Kensington Pride mangos and Keitt mangos that are late in the season and have been growing for over 10 years but the previous owner planted the trees about 20 years ago so they are very well established.
What is your produce known for?
Being so flavoursome. As we pick our fruit and give it straight to the processing facility it is super fresh. Firstly, we do not need to pick it immature as it doesn’t need to travel thousands of miles to market and back to shops.
It literally gets walked to the shed with the tractor so it travels only hundreds of metres before it is processed. The fruit is always amazingly tasty and orange.
We always have a number of birds, lorikeets and rosellas, that come when the fruit is ready. They do not bother us as they mostly eat a few ripe ones that fall off the tree before we get to them and make a great job of cleaning up.
What do you love about the industry?
We love growing fruit, even though we are processing most of the time, as it keeps us informed about what other growers are going through with weather problems, flowering issues and timing of flowering and growing.
Muppi and I both met at an agricultural university as we were studying farm business management and that is where what our backgrounds are. We both grew up on farms so it is terrific to still be surrounded by a farm even though our work mostly revolves around processing the dried fruit.
We love that our kids also get to have the experience of growing up on the farm.
The Gin Gin & Dry Story
How long have you been supplying produce for Gin Gin & Dry?
All our fruit has been going into the processing plant since it first started about 18 years ago.
The devastating thing is that sometimes our trees produce very little, or like last year we had a very bad hail storm that wiped all the little mangos off the tree and then we don’t have much at all. We are blessed that at those times we know many other growers that still have fruit so that we can still produce dried mango.
What do you love most about working at Gin Gin & Dry?
We love working at Gin Gin and Dry the most because of all the people we deal with. We love the staff (we have so many great people that have worked with us over the years), we love meeting and getting to know the growers, the customers (even though being all around the country sometimes it is just email and phone relationships) and all the people who come and help us fix, install, freight and supply us with things we need.
‘The people that make Gin Gin & Dry work, are the best thing about Gin Gin & Dry.'
Do you taste test products and what is your favourite?
Yes, I eat all of them regularly – both because in the 10 years of being here I am not sick of them and also because we have to continue to make sure they are great products for our customers. I don’t have a favourite, but I really love the change of seasons and eating different fruit all the time.
Do you find there is any product waste?
We are lucky that we do not have any waste – all our mangos go into the processing plant. We also do our best to utilise the waste of the seeds and skins of all the fruit that we have by giving it to the cows and pigs.
What’s your favourite recipe or dish with mangos?
I love green mango salad. Before our mangos are ready I walk outside and pick a green mango off the tree, skin it with a peeler and then julienne the green mango. Add some bamboo sprouts and then fish sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, mint leaves, crushed peanuts over the top. I love how refreshing it is in summer and that no one can guess it is mango. I used to do this with green papaws too as I grew up on a papaw farm with my parents.
- Originally published here.
- Gin Gin & Dry are passionate gourmets and dedicated dried fruit wholesalers in Australia. Using locally grown fruit and a unique drying process, Gin Gin & Dry have no added preservatives, colouring or additives and are a perfect healthy snack alternative. They supply dried fruit, fruit powder, shredded muesli fruit mixes, sweeter alternatives and semi-dried tomatoes.
- Gin Gin and Dry exports take on the world