Take caution growing fruit and veg

By James Bennett

The Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project office says there has been a spike in inquiries by the public wanting to grow their own fruit and vegetables in the safety of their own backyards due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project regional co-ordinator Ross Abberfield said more people were opting to grow their own fruit and vegetables, with a reported run on vegetable seed sales in recent weeks.

“With the government enacting social distancing measures together with travel restrictions advice, we are being contacted by people who want to avoid going into crowded places such as supermarkets and markets.

“Many have self-isolated and want advice on growing their own produce at home, so they can de-stress in the garden and eat their own fruit and vegetables,” Mr Abberfield said.

“For those that have extended their vegetable gardens or started a garden for the first time it is important that they are aware of the steps we all need to take to reduce the spread of fruit fly, which is critical in protecting Victoria’s horticulture industry,” Mr Abberfield said.

The answer is simple: pick, prune, protect.

Information packs are available from council customer service centres in Greater Shepparton, Moira, Berrigan, Campaspe and Strathbogie.

“If residents make the decision to grow more fruit and vegetables in their backyards, they need to know how to stop QFF infesting their produce,” Mr Abberfield said.

“This means they have to instigate their own monitoring, prevention and control activities to ensure they can have clean, green produce at their fingertips.”