Tosoni Farming, Top Pack Mangoes, Dimbulah (Far North Queensland)
Lisa Tosoni wrote to us after our visit and her notes are illuminating and fascinating:
‘Mango Madness’….. mango harvest season…..it just might send us crazy for a few months during November to March each year…but we just love the lifestyle, love the farming way, love the family connection! Here is a snip-it. We are a family farming company in Dimbulah FNQ. Originally our (….adult children now Frank, Chip & Giannina) parents Antonio and Elisabetta Tosoni came over by ship at as quite young adults from Italy, to begin a new life and new adventures in Dimbulah. They then began working within the tobacco industry. They worked hard on the land like so many of the immigrants during those years. They raised a family with the 2 sons taking on the original farm, expanding and growing premium mangoes and limes. From humble beginnings to building a great family business years on. The original farm of that our parents started and cleared the native land by hand…..back breaking work! to grow tobacco and start growing mangoes as a hobby over 40 years ago to now establishing 3 farms growing and packaging premium mangoes and limes. Two brothers, Frank and Chip have successfully established a brand name that is well known at the Southern Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Markets, “Top Pack Mangoes & Limes from Dimbulah FNQ”.
Orchards are of approx 22000 mango trees and 1100 lime trees, there was one small block down near a natural spring that was great for our 3 head of cattle, but the boys decided that why not put in a few more 4000 mango trees, apparently they found a day between Saturday and Sunday to do it! The mangoes are like little babies, they are nursed from flowering to fruiting to picking and packing all the way to Sydney Markets. We are passionate by tending to them all year round (in between fishing trips up north, in the off season! that’s where the men are now!!)
The weather is always a challenge, anyone working on the land will agree. Last season saw our most abundant, most fantastic looking mango crop face wild wind, hail, rain and extreme sunshine. All of these factors inflicting physical damage to the fruit! But as hard as it got we all had to wake up the next day and start again! That’s farming!
Staff is our biggest challenge though, being so far out/one of the more remoter fruit farms in this direction. Quality and quantity of workers is an ordeal every season, and then to get them to stay for the entire season after all of the training and inductions etc is another high hurdle! We do the very best we can under all of these circumstances, it often means very early starts and late nights, running on reserves, but seeing the results in the cartons ready to be loaded into the trucks off to the markets each day is a magnificent reward and sense of proudness. It is very demanding time when a Kensington Pride Mango is ready on the tree, it is most certainly won’t wait for you, the weather, workers or anything, it needs to be picked, packed and off to market asap. But that is why the are the best tasting/flavoursome, best looking original mango that is desired and seeked in the supermarkets.