Grower / producer
Born and raised on a family vegetable farm, Damian loves salads. ‘My favourite salad is rocket drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt. I love that peppery after-taste. My sweet and sour salad blend is a mixture of radicchio with baby cos leaves.’
As a 3rd generation vegetable farmer, Damien Rigali only employs staff who are passionate about farming, ‘When I interview people, I determine whether they have a genuine interest in farming and that way, I am surrounded by people who share in the farms best interests. Together with my father, older brother, 2 cousins, a brother-in-law to be, we all focus on the nutritional value of the plant as it all starts from the field. We concentrate on baby-leaf soil production and have worked hard to ensure a consistent year-round supply for our customers,’ said Damien.
The family business started when Damien’s father, Elia, purchased 5 acres in Wanneroo, just north of Perth in Western Australia in 1989 and began growing vegetables. Ten years later, his son Daniel joined him on the farm, followed by Damien a few years after that. Today, the Rigali family grow gourmet lettuce, baby leaf, rocket, spinach and herbs at their two properties in Wanneroo.
‘Growing up on the farm, I regularly tinkered around on the farm machinery, fixing what I could and I enjoyed getting dirty. After school, I completed a mechanical apprenticeship and now I apply that knowledge to the farm equipment and to every aspect of the farm to improve efficiencies, for example, irrigation savings,’ said Damien.
‘What I love most about the farm is the lifestyle and the challenge. Every day is different. I enjoy the challenge of analysing what impact the weather will have on the crop, how much fertiliser and water the crop requires – it keeps my mind ticking and I love the challenge! I’m just not interested in routine farming.’
Recently, I have been helping with the local schools program as a lot of these kids don’t know where their food comes from. They come out here on the farm and get a feel for it. I also go and help them with their school farm plots.’
'I'm very happy to be part of Love My Salad and I reckon it will help more people enjoy salads.'