With Bundaberg’s rich soils, plus a wealth of family experience, it was no wonder Chris and Amanda Giles started their own horticulture business.
Giles Herbs started growing a variety of herbs five years ago with the company supplying to a number of local businesses, community members and produce markets in Brisbane and Melbourne.
“Our business is fresh herbs,” Amanda said.
“We cut each herb by hand and package it up for the markets.
“We grow chives, continental parsley, thyme, mint, sage, rosemary, dill, basil, coriander, lemon thyme, winter tarragon and oregano.”
Growing herbs on a rotational basis, Amanda said the business produced up to 120,000 individual plants each year on their 10-acre Meadowvale property.
She said each of the herbs were cut a few times, except the coriander which was pulled out with the roots intact and sold on.
“I can thank my husband for introducing me to herb farming,” Amanda said.
“I used to work in the mines so being able to work on our own farm with our family to produce beautiful produce for people it makes our hearts full.
“We hope we can continue what we do for many years as it's our passion and we love what we do.”
Working and living on the family herb farm is a full-time job for the Giles family, as Amanda said each plant needed a lot of attention.
“We have to be here all the time to water,” she said.
“If we ever go away, we have someone here to water for us.
“Herbs can be very fickle, mother nature plays a major part in them growing or not growing.”
Amanda said it was important to support local businesses and they purchased their young plants from Meadowvale Seedlings, owned by Deb Meiers who grows the herbs from seed.
Giles Herbs is a family business
Chris and Amanda said many thanks had to go to both of their parents for all the help they had received over the years.
The small family business started after Chris followed in the footsteps of his parents, Nola and Doug Giles, who are now happily retired.
Amanda's parents, Yvonne and Colin Yarnold, help on the property most weekends since moving back to Bundaberg recently.
“Bundaberg has some of the best growing ground around,” she said.
“We have so many different fruits, veggies and herbs available.
“We are very lucky to have such a beautiful place to live and to be surrounded by beaches, what more could we ask for?”
Amanda said living on the farm had many benefits for the family-of-five and all of them played a part in making sure the herbs were maintained.
“Our family of five all help out somehow on the farm, the littlest one well she just gets cute photos around the farm at the moment,” Amanda laughed.
“I feel all herbs get their spotlight as they are used in all different ways.
“We love all herbs, but our favourites are chives, lemon thyme and rosemary. And our favourite to eat is chives and mint, oh and rosemary on a Sunday roast!”