Menu
News

Fraser coast duo grows top strawberries

FAMILY AFFAIR: Keith and Shelley Boswell, of Boswell’s Strawberries, produce some the Fraser Coast’s best fruit.
FAMILY AFFAIR: Keith and Shelley Boswell, of Boswell’s Strawberries, produce some the Fraser Coast’s best fruit. Valerie Horton

HER family has been on the Fraser Coast for more than 100 years and for the past 30, Shelley Boswell has been growing the region's best strawberries.

The laidback character loves the quiet life on the farm.

If you've lived on the Fraser Coast during strawberry season you're lucky because you have access to some of the world's best produce.

At 89 Chapel Rd, Nikenbah are the strawberry-farming Boswells.

Standing beside Shelley doing the hard yakka is her husband Keith.

Let them go without electricity and power for a week - but see how long they last, if they have to go without food.

Together they have 50,000 strawberry plants and are currently battling a lack of rain.

"It's about 12 months since we had run-off," Keith said.

Shelley said they had never been through conditions as dry as this.

And they've been farming in the region for a while.

When the Boswells first started farming, there were only about 6000 people in Hervey Bay.

People who visited the farm as kids are returning to satisfy their urge for sweet and fresh strawberries.

"Some of them have come in as kids and now they're bringing their young kids in," Shelley said.

Although life on the farm is usually pretty good for the couple, Keith is sometimes frustrated by the way consumers treat farmers.

"Most people don't give a s--- about the farmer," he said.

"Let them go without electricity and power for a week - but see how long they last, if they have to go without food. We produce a bloody good product."

Shelley describes farmers as price-takers and not price setters.

Food imported from other countries is also hurting growers across the country.

"We produce miles too much of everything for our population," Keith said.

As the price of everything else had risen, farmers' profits had not increased, he said.

"Our strawberry prices have gone down in the 24 years we've been growing them," Keith said.

The Boswells supply to Beemart in Maryborough and also sell their product at the farm gate.

"Come and buy them out of here," he said.

Plants are expected to arrive mid-March to mid-April.

Topics:  horticulture strawberries