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Endeavour Foundation has upgraded its Bundaberg farm in preparation for a bumper crop of its popular Mother’s Day Chrysanthemums.
The service’s supported employees – people with a disability who are offered training and employment opportunities through Endeavour Foundation Industries – will this week plant a whopping 6,000 Chrysanthemum plants at the Fitzgerald Street farm, compared with 4,000 planted last year.
The plants will flower in time for Mother’s Day 2011, with proceeds from the Chrysanthemum sales to help Endeavour Foundation support more than 3,350 people with a disability throughout Queensland and Sydney.
For more than 20 years the farm has brought a smile to the mums of Bundaberg by growing Chrysanthemums – the traditional Mother’s Day flower.
Service manager Geoffrey Atwell said the additional 2,000 plants this year were necessary to meet public demand for the stunning flowers.
“We haven’t been able to meet demand for the Mother’s Day Chrysanthemums over the last few years,” Geoffrey said.
“They’re incredibly popular – we have people coming back year after year. People know they’re local and fresh and that by buying from Endeavour Foundation they’re helping support people with a disability.”
Geoffrey said upgrades to the farming process have been made to ensure premium crops.
“Last year we had a lot of wet weather so we’ve now improved the condition and drainage of the fields,” he said.
“Thanks to the donation of laser-levelling specialist Laserite, we’ve had the fields laser levelled which will resolve drainage issues we experienced last year.
“We’ve also improved lighting capacity to ensure all crops flower at the right time.” The service will grow a variety of colours and proven good performing Chrysanthemum varieties.
“We hope to break all previous records this time,” Geoffrey said.
The farm is a sea of colour around Mother’s Day each year and attracts thousands of customers, volunteers and school groups.
This year more than 400 volunteers and school students helped with the harvest, which is the biggest time of year for the service’s flower department.
Endeavour Foundation offers several services to people with a disability in Bundaberg, including accommodation, education, lifestyle and employment opportunities.
Endeavour Foundation Industries Bundaberg, which includes the farm, provides training and employment opportunities to 72 people with a disability. In addition to growing Chrysanthemums, supported employees grow and package vegetables in the service’s accredited clean room, manufacture trophies and collate mail for customers.
Jo Glover, Media and Communications Officer
Phone: (07) 3908 7257, 0429 065 440
Fax: (07) 3253 7271