Location63 Bungower Road, Somerville, VIC, Australia (Show on map)
'I love salads because they are good for me. They make me feel good and I enjoy making them’, says Paul Gazzola from Gazzola Farms Pty Ltd.
Third generation Gazzola brothers Paul, Colin and Andrew are grateful to their grandparents, who met by exchanging letters by post while Matteo was in Melbourne and Amabile was in Italy. They married shortly thereafter by proxy then Amabile arrived in Australia in 1935. “They greeted each other with a kiss through the Customs wire fence that separated the two when they first met face to face. From that first kiss, they were inseparable until their death” says Paul.
This dynamic duo overcame significant obstacles in starting their lives together and their vegetable farming legacy in Australia. Their moving love story represents the strong foundations of this family farm and their love of the land. Today, the Gazzola boys farm 900 acres on the Mornington Penninsula, specialising in broccoli, celery, lettuce, cos Lettuce and asian vegetable production.
“Dad still takes pleasure in getting out on the farm. He enjoys growing vegetables so much that he has three raised garden beds in his backyard, all full of vegetables” says Paul.
“Every night for dinner, we have either a big bowl of salad, dressed with homemade wine-vinegar, oil, salt and pepper or a large serve of steamed vegetables. The best thing about coming home after being away is enjoying a big plate of vegetables straight out of the steam oven. The steam oven keeps the vegetables sweeter, more flavoursome and our 3 kids love them. There are always lots of vegetables on our dinner table”.
Paul's tips for keeping lettuce fresh for longer: immerse the separated leaves into icy cold water, gently wash, spin dry and keep in the crisper or a sealed container, away from moving cold air that dehydrates leaves.