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Simply Smarter Spuds

Tasmanian potato growers the Gibson family can now boast they have not used a fungicide or insecticide on their potato crop in more than 10 years.

On their Sheffield property in Tasmania’s north-west, Mike and Judy Gibson and their son-in-law and daughter, Darren and Nicole Long focus on using all-natural alternatives to fungicides and developing higher performing varieties to get ahead of the game.

Darren Long on his Sheffield property.

Mike and Darren began experimenting with bio-fumigation more than a decade ago as a way of differentiating the business.

Bio-fumigation harnesses naturally occurring plant chemicals to fight soil borne diseases which reduces cropping rotations and boosts yields.

The family is focused on creating a profitable and sustainable business for the next generation and are passionate about bringing new varieties to market and exploring new farming practise as a way of contributing to the industry.

“We feel it is important growers share their successes and information with other growers and bringing new varieties to market and exploring new farming practices is our way of contributing to a sector we want to leave in better shape than when we started,” says Nicole Long.

MG Farms supply Coles with in excess of 1500 tonnes of potatoes each year and are the sole supplier of Moonlight Brushed and Cream Delight Brushed in Tasmania.

Creamy mashed potato & cheese bake

Ingredients (serves 6 as a side, prep 20 mins, cooking 40 mins)

  • 1.5kg brushed potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 40g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) thickened cream
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) milk
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup (40g) grated tasty cheddar
  • ¼ cup (20g) grated parmesan
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, extra, to serve
  1. Grease a 6-cup (1.5L) baking dish. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Place potato in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Cook for 15 mins or until tender. Drain. Return to pan.
  3. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until smooth. Add butter, cream and nutmeg. Mash to combine. Gradually stir in milk. Add parsley and stir to combine. Season.
  4. Spoon potatoes into prepared baking dish. Top with cheddar and parmesan. Bake for 25-30 mins or until golden. Serve sprinkled with extra parsley

This article and recipe has been provided by Coles, a proud partner of Australian Farmers.

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