Ronald Ostrofski
Ronald Ostrofski

PHOTOS: Ron The Fruiterer selling big

FOR those who may remember Con the Fruiterer, Agnes Water has its own.

His name is Ronald Ostrofski, owner of Ron's Fruit and Vegetables at 193 Anderson Way, Agnes Water.

Ronald Ostrofski  and his massive fruit and vegetable patch. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design
Ronald Ostrofski and his massive fruit and vegetable patch. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design

Mr Ostrofski's business is going, as Con The Fruiterer would say, "bewdaful", because the coronavirus pandemic had increased sales nearly 10-fold.

Wonderful veggie patch. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design
Wonderful veggie patch. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design

"Right now with the coronavirus around, I'm getting a very big heap of customers," he said.

To cope with the rush of demand, Mr Ostrofski's shop offers online orders and delivery.

Customers are allowed to see the shop under the two at a time coronavirus regulations.

"We are probably getting 300 customers a week here now," Mr Ostrofski said.

The dam that irrigates the fruit and vegetable patch. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design
The dam that irrigates the fruit and vegetable patch. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design

"It's an open-air shop and we've got a little vegie shop with no walls and it's just like a big gazebo and people just come and pick their own (fruit and vegetables)."

He started the business in 1995 and now sells $2000 of produce a day, as opposed to $2000 a week before coronavirus.

Ronald Ostrofski serving a customer. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design
Ronald Ostrofski serving a customer. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design

The list of seasonal produce Mr Ostrofski grows are bananas, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, cucumbers, lemons and limes, nectarines, oranges, pumpkins, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon (many varieties), zucchini, lettuce, eggplant, bok choy, wombok, chillies, beetroots and beans (varieties).

Other produce he grows are rocket, basil, parsley, kale, corn, eschallots, squash and spaghetti squash along with lychee.

He also has bee hives and sells his honey.

Corn fields. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design
Corn fields. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design

His assistant is Paul Nunnerley, who he had met 20 years ago, and the pair became good mates.

"It's all on trickle irrigation and it's all grown on white plastic and the trickle system is underneath that," Mr Ostrofski said.

His 'fruit and vegie patch' covers 2.6ha - all watered from a dam that is at capacity from recent rain.

"I have 1500 strawberry bushes and we let everyone pick their own right through the season," Mr Ostrofski said.

Fresh food produce. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design
Fresh food produce. PICTURE: Kim Cooke Photography & Design

It was hard work at the start when Mr Ostrofski dug up some 1000 tonnes of rock before he installed all the underground irrigation.

"In that time I built a house and the whole lot by myself," Mr Ostrofski said.

His shop is open 8am - 4.30pm each day except Monday.

RELATED STORY: Post hope over a cup of tea

RELATED STORY: Drawing a lime in the sand, farmer sows seeds of innovation



BIRD OF THE WEEK: Elegant black swans and where to find them

Premium Content BIRD OF THE WEEK: Elegant black swans and where to find them

This week Allan Briggs talks about the Black Swan and where you can find them in...

MINE MILESTONE: Club takes deep dive into golden history

Premium Content MINE MILESTONE: Club takes deep dive into golden history

Members of the Bundaberg 4WD Club Inc have had the support of the mining venture...

Property boom: The suburbs reaching staggering prices

Premium Content Property boom: The suburbs reaching staggering prices

Is your suburb on the list of crazy sales?