THE East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days (EGVID) are back in early May this year, more bountiful than ever with a big focus on innovation, food security, collaboration, sustainability, future farmers and well-being.
Planting is well underway, with Maddies Paddock in the centre of Lindenow a hive of activity over the next few months as seed companies collaborate with the EGVID Lead Grower to get crops planted and established.
The long grow cycle crops like cabbages and some brassica varieties are being planted now, with the shorter cycle crops like baby spinach direct sown around late March early April.
Lindenow is one of Australia's most productive vegetable growing areas and since the inception of EGVID in 2014, the site footprint has doubled in size to accommodate all the seed varieties that the seed companies want to exhibit.
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EGVID director, Andrew Bulmer says the event's growth highlights the important role that Gippsland plays in Australia's horticulture industry.
"Seven out of the top ten salad producers in the country have a footprint in Gippsland - so that's a pretty clear indication of how important this region is in supplying salad to the nation," he said.
The 2020 event will be in conjunction with the Tenth International Spinach Conference.
Held for the first time ever in the Southern Hemisphere, the Spinach Conference will cover a diverse range of discussions and topics including market trends, food safety, research, climate change and technology.
The combination of the two events is expected to attract over 1000 attendees from all over Australia and around the world.
In 2017 more than 650 vegetable growers, researchers, industry service providers, government representatives, and other stakeholders participated in the two-day immersion and the event was recognised with the Hort Connections 2018 National Award for Excellence in Community Stewardship.
While most attendees in 2017 came from all States of Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands, with the international conference added to the 2020 program, overseas visitor numbers are set to significantly increase.
EGVID provides a learning opportunity for growers and industry representatives to view exhibits from a broad range of industry service providers and hear about research initiatives.
It's a proven platform for doing business and networking, whilst celebrating being a vital part of the food chain in Australia and abroad.
The small village of Lindenow will be bustling with activity across the entire week, whilst Lakes Entrance will be the host of the International Spinach Conference on May 5-6, 2020.
East Gippsland is set to benefit from the positive impact that the influx of visitors that the week of events will create for the local economy; a welcome boost after the significant drop in summer trade caused by the bushfires.
- Copy supplied by EGVID.