Meet the grower: Joel Brockhoff

Who grows your apples and pears? People like Joel do! Get Munching South Australia!

Joel grew up on a fruit growing farm in Lenswood. His favourite memory as a kid is playing around the orchards with his cousins, and it didn’t take him long to realise that “farming was way more satisfying” than other careers on offer.

Joel and his father Peter now operate a new property in Lenswood, where he and his wife Kate are raising the next generation of happy apple and pear growers; Archie 7, Maya 5 and Ella 1.

Joel says he loves the sense of pride and satisfaction that growing some of the healthiest and most delicious fruit available gives him and his fellow growers in the Adelaide Hills.

“It comes back to knowing we’re part of a sustainable and high quality food production cycle,” he says.

Joel grows Pink Lady, Gala, Fujis, Granny Smiths, Golden Delicious, Rockit™, and a few heritage varieties that he offers at farmers markets. He also grows a range of pears including Packham’s, Bosc, Nashi and Corella.

Joel says the most satisfying part of being a grower is seeing people enjoy the fruit after having spent the whole season growing the crop. He really values the feedback from his customers.

“I want people to taste how good South Australian fruit is – Adelaide Hills in particular.”

Joel regularly attends farmers markets, allowing him to continuously communicate with consumers.

“Our region can grow really full flavoured fruit that’s definitely superior to fruit grown in marginal climates.

“In the Adelaide Hills we have a fantastic climate for growing apples, a really clean environment, good soil and rainfall and we’re close to a capital city – a lot of regions don’t have that, but in South Australia people seem to really want to support the local growers, their neighbours, too.”

Increasing costs of production and static returns are causing a squeeze on the industry and with two seasons affected by hail and downgrading fruit, growers are in a bit of a pickle.

“As long as growers are producing fantastic tasting fruit, we’re hoping that consumers can look past the odd hail mark and continue to enjoy healthy, locally grown apples, hopefully more than ever!” says Joel.

“If we can get people eating and enjoying more apples than ever, then apples and pears will be grown in the Adelaide Hills for many generations to come.”

Joel has adapted over the years to work with new technology and changing weather conditions.

He is moving to permanent hail net structures to protect the fruit from increasingly volatile weather conditions. He has also increased tree planting densities to lift his yields and improve efficiencies within the orchard – something that a range of technology levels come into play with individual tree management and the orchard as a whole.

What does Joel love about being a part of the innovative SA apple industry?

Joel says he loves the pride that he and his fellow growers feel in the fruit that’s grown here.

“It comes back to people enjoying fruit and knowing we’re part of a really worthwhile food production cycle,” he says.

When Joel isn’t working hard to produce apples and pears you’ll find him camping with his family somewhere in the Flinders Ranges or the South Coast!

So get Munching South Australia!

Pomology at Tarrawood

471 Swamp Rd, Lenswood, SA 5240

P: 0408 066 119
E: joelbrockhoff@gmail.com
Instagram: @pomology@tarrawood

Meet the growers