The work of three young farming brothers could be the catalyst for creating a year-round season for horticulture in north Queensland.
The eldest Pirrone brother, 28-year-old Ross, is fresh back from writing his Nuffield Scholarship report on international protected growing systems, however, alongside siblings Josh, 27, and Chris, 26, the family has been making tracks in this field for years.
Currently, the Pirrones have a 2000-square metre greenhouse growing Lebanese cucumbers in a trial at their Ayr farm — they have secured customers and are having success.
In the past they have planted, and collected data on, 32 varieties of tomatoes, eight of cucumbers, eight of eggplant and 15 types of capsicum.
Ross said fellow farmers in the Burdekin district thought the indoor-cropping venture was crazy, and were “waiting to see if we go broke”.
He joked that was a “good sign” and brushed off the criticism.