AU: Rijk Zwaan showcases varieties at Gatton Expo

Seed company Rijk Zwaan supported the innovation theme at the National Horticultural and Innovation Expo in Gatton in July, not just with its products but also in the kitchen. Its Lockyer Valley Growers Love My Salad Tent presented creative ways of getting consumers to eat more vegetables whilst enjoying flavours, textures and experience. 

Local chef Glen Barratt demonstrated three dishes designed especially for the event; showcasing the best of local and seasonal Lockyer Valley produce.

Hosted by Rijk Zwaan’s Frances Tolson, a number of local growers also joined Love My Salad onstage to tell their stories about life producing vegetables in the fertile Lockyer Valley.

Rijk Zwaan also held a variety trial with its full range of brassica, lettuce and spinach varieties selected for the Australian market, with a number of highlights in each of the crops.

One talking point for many salad producers and processors alike was the new Knox lettuce range; lettuce varieties that exhibit delayed pinking after cutting. 

Rijk Zwaan’s spinach crop specialist for Australia Rob Philip, presented the spinach assortment.

A standout of the trial was Goanna RZ for the midsummer time slot, with a robust dark green leaf, a strong resistance package and excellent performance in hot conditions.

Additions to the hybrid chard range showed a glimpse of the future with two follow ups to market leading red vein chard Charlie RZ, as well as a hybrid bulls’ blood and silverbeet.

As one of the first commercial hybrid silverbeet varieties it sparked interest as a mature transplanted product, with a clean white stem, no leaf disease, a good level of savoy, a great flavour and the fact that it is a monogerm which can offer significant labour savings in propagation and growing.

Alongside standard brassica varieties were several specialties that really caught the eye of a lot of people, none more so than the Romanesco cauliflower Puntoverde which has a striking appearance and fantastic eating qualities.

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