Agriculture vital for Valley life
WELL before sun up, Gary Samuelsen is outside inspecting his rows of hydroponic lettuces and herbs.
It is quiet and peaceful before the sun rises at Ghost Gully Produce, situated on the outskirts of Gatton, and Gary wouldn't have it any other way.
After growing up on a farm and starting Ghost Gully Produce with his wife Kym, Gary says he couldn't see himself doing anything else.
"I like being outside, it's not easy, but you've got your own little bit of freedom getting out there and doing some hard work,” he said.
Today is National Ag Day, an industry Gary says is keeping the Lockyer Valley running.
"It's one of the biggest industries and there's a lot of small towns that rely on it,” he said.
"Imagine if no produce was ever made here, what would happen to all the truck companies because they would have nothing to cart.”
Ghost Gully Produce has been in the Lockyer Valley for almost 15 years and grows a variety of lettuces and herbs across five hectares.
Everything except washing the products is done by hand.
There's no machinery, just good, old-fashioned manual labour.
"We can't do big quantities because there is no machine aid,” Gary said.
And the turnaround is quick - it takes just three to four weeks during summer to produce lettuce.
Lettuces, herbs and spinach leaves are washed and packed before being distributed to a variety of cafes and independent supermarkets between Toowoomba and Brisbane.