It only really occurred to me late on the second day of the FNQ trip to get photographs of each of the farmers holding their fruit cartons, but I’m glad I got the ones I did. Thanks very much to all the folks who gave their precious time to a strange blow-in who collects lids. Thank you all for your good humour and generous hospitality, and I hope to visit you again soon (next time with a video camera).
Noel Stevenson with a stack of his SUPER BANANAS. I arrived just as the truck pulled in to collect his load. I also like the colour of Stevo’s forklift.
Ned Di Salvo and his Ned Kelly fruit carton. In this design Ned Kelly is holding up a farmer with a gigantic banana on his cart. Ned was very generous with his time considering I passed him on the road and he had no idea who I was. I pulled up and asked “You’re Ned Di Salvo, aren’t you? I’m collection fruit cartons and I hear you have one.” He replied “You want a Ned Kelly, don’t you!”
This is Dennis Howe with his fruit carton lid for the bananas he grows. It says Howe Farming “Bananas with altitude” because he’s growing them higher than the rest of the farmers down below the tablelands, and this has an effect on their sweetness. This is one of several colour versions that he has of the box. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind posing with the pink box, and he replied “That’s not pink, that’s purple.” We settled on magenta.
This Carmini Rantucci, which is one of the greatest Italian names I think I’ve encountered. Here Carmini is holding the second last lid in his possession since they have moved to a one-piece box. He kindly parted with this lid and I assured him it will be taken good care of!
Claire offered to hold the lime box of Lucy Montanger’s two cartons, the other being a lid for her families mangoes. Lucy is very proud of her carton lids but, just like the Rantuccis, they have moved to a one piece box. She is carrying the flame for the lidded box because there is more room for the art, and more opportunity to display their pride in their produce. She maintains an amazing garden with beautiful orchids so it is no surprise that she calls her produce Paradise. Ivo remarked on the drive in “Italians and their gardens.” It was very amusing.
Ginina, Jessica and Louise Bugno stand in front of one of their orchards with their three cartons. Ginina holds the lemon and grapefruit carton, Jessica holds the lime carton, and Lousie holds their alternative carton, which has JDL written on it, the initials of the three children in the family. Bug’s Citrus is one of the all-time favourite fruit cartons that has featured in the Cartonography project, and involves two bugs holding aloft a piece of citrus fruit each. Bugno (actually pronounced boon-yo) is a play on the most common mispronunciation of their name. Claire and I spent ages chatting with the Bugnos and we had a great time!
On our visit to Sandy Creek in Dimbulah, Ivo Klarich introduced us to Joso Hrkac, and his daughter, Chloe. While we were there Joso asked Chloe to see if the neighbours had some cartons too so she set off on a quad bike and returned shortly after with a couple. It was great to see her zooming about here and there all in the name of fruit cartons. We hung out in Joso’s packing shed and had a cup of coffee and talked about the fruit and some of the challenges and rewards of farming. This is one of their last remaining lids as they too have gone the way of single piece cartons, and generic cartons, as Joso prepares to get a new carton made.
Tony Bozzo shows us his single piece carton, Kinky Fruitz. Tony had us in stitches talking about the story behind the name of his fruit carton, describing the papaya fruits as bi-sexual, and therefore kinky. It is essentially true, as pawpaw need a male and female fruit to produce the papaya fruit do not have this dependence.
We dropped by to Emma and Eddie Toffanello’s place and they showed us their two cartons, one designed by who else, but their daughter. Eddie was one of the few farmers who embraced the concept of the fruit carton collection (everyone else required a little taking around!) and was super proud of his carton, his family and produce.