Rita Faranda Vegetables
Rita and her family have a wide range of vegetables and there is little she does not know about artichokes. These wonderful vegetables are delectable and sadly under-valued vegetable.
For more than four decades, she and her husband Tony, have grown globe artichokes on the rich, flat, red plains of Werribee South, just short of Port Phillip Bay, where they work about 12 hectares.
Regular customers flock to snap up her super-fresh artichokes, often picked just hours earlier. Wander the rows of metre-high artichokes with petite Rita and she practically disappears from view amid the grey-green foliage.
As she tells it, globe artichokes are one of the most goodness-packed vegetables on the planet, low-calorie yet loaded with health-giving attributes, including an ability to detoxify the liver.
She sells fresh artichokes (prices vary from $1.50 to $2.50 each, depending on the season) and marinated artichoke hearts in jars, along with a range of vegies including lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli.
About 90 per cent of Australia's globe artichokes are grown in Werribee South, where the first commercial crops were produced mid last century by Italian and Macedonian farmers. Artichokes thrive here because of the rich soils, coastal climate and long, cool growing season. (Vegetables Growers Association).
Come along and see what other wonderful fresh and local vegetables Rita and her family can provide you with.
You can find Rita and Marcello at Eynesbury Market on the 4th Sunday of each month.