Invitation to 2012 Karragullen Expo

Countryman

On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank our sponsors for their support throughout the year.

The horticultural industry is facing many challenges, including the lack of rain this season, the withdrawal of insecticides in the fight to control Mediterranean fruit fly, the importation of apples from the eastern states and the pressure applied by major chain stores on reducing grower returns.

These challenges have taken the gloss off of our industry and have resulted in a diminishing grower base.

The committee extends a warm welcome to exhibitors participating for the first time and we would like to acknowledge our regular exhibitors who have supported the expo for many years. We would also like to thank the six participants who reside on the east coast for attending.

The expo enables exhibitors to display the latest in technology and innovations, information and advice. The 50 displays in the pavilion range from fruit sales and wine and food tastings to handy products and community organisations.

The 2011 Karragullen Expo drew our largest crowd in years and this year we aim to go one better.

This year's cooking demonstration by Emily Primrose, from 11am to 12.30pm in the Lance Morgan Pavilion, focuses on cooking with local, seasonal produce. In addition, the successful Crunch'n'Sip will be a major attraction on the oval, with 600 fruit sample bags to be given to school children.

The heritage display has been expanded this year. Special thanks to the Illawarra and Pickering Brook Heritage Societies for their time and effort in promoting the history of the district, which goes back to 1890.

The heritage display draws a large number of expo visitors who are keen to share their memories of the local area after seeing the photographs on display.

Other must-see events include presentations in the Elders-sponsored hall by 6PR's Sue McDougall on creating a vegetable garden and Peter Coppin on growing fruit trees in confined spaces and pots, fruit fly control and pruning.

In addition, horticultural expert Terry Friemond will discuss how to successfully grow avocados and the Cancer Council's Sally Blaine will offer advice on how to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables.

The Department of Agriculture and Food WA will also be on hand to provide information on all aspects of horticulture.

We were blessed with magnificent weather last year and we are hoping for the same this year.

Finally, I thank the committee and volunteers for their time and effort in setting up this event.

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