Farms to open gates

Kim CousinsCountryman

Two farms in the Gidgegannup area will open their gates on Sunday, May 27, to welcome visitors interested in finding out more about cattle and fruit farming.

John and Julie Gardner, of Sunnyvale Droughtmaster stud, moved to Gidgegannup 15 years ago from Kojonup looking for a change.

"In Kojonup we were in sheep, cattle and cropping," John said. "But we decided it was time for a change and came here to focus on bull breeding and cattle production."

Topping the Narngulu bull sale five years in a row, Sunnyvale Droughtmaster stud is well known for its quality bulls.

John, who is familiar with all aspects of farming, will be sharing his extensive knowledge on the Droughtmaster breed and answering any questions that arise.

"I chose Droughtmasters for their low maintenance, ease of calving and versatility," he said.

"They are the third largest breed in Australia and known down south for their good quality meat.

"On the day we'll have some cattle yarded and I'll talk a bit about the breed and operations."

For those feeling fruity, Jim Dawson is once again taking visitors on tours of his jujube and fig orchard.

Previously in the sheep shearing industry, Jim got into growing exotic fruit while looking for something a little easier to farm.

He was the first in WA to grow the increasingly popular jujube, also known as red dates or Chinese dates. Eaten regularly by Chinese, jujubes are put into tea and seen as a superfood.

The trees live for up to 300 years and produce fruit even in the first year.

Buses will depart from inside the showground at the Gidgegannup field day from 10am on the hour and transport is free for field day attendees.

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