The Wallace family is gearing up for a huge expansion of their hydroponic capsicum business, a move they hope will significantly boost the operation’s capacity and bottom line.
After enduring years of low water allocations, third-generation vegetable grower David Wallace and his wife, Robyn, decided to make a change.
It was the mid-1990s and the Wallace family managed a market garden, cultivating mainly cauliflowers on their 12ha farm at Keilor, 20km northwest of Melbourne. They relied heavily on their 66-megalitre water right from the Maribyrnong River to irrigate their vegetables, but allocations were becoming progressively tight.
While the grim water situation had driven many of Keilor’s growers off the land, the Wallace family knew they wanted to stay put. A switch to hydroponic capsicums in 1996 was the decision that ultimately saved their business.