Retired farmers reunite over passion for produce
BEFORE running his expert eye over the fruit and vegetables on show, retired farmer Alan Steinhardt took the chance to catch up with a bunch of old mates.
It was his first time as a judge at the Ipswich Show but he is no stranger to the event, having entered his produce there for decades until he gave it up four years ago.
Mr Steinhardt joined a small group of fellow farmers swapping stories and jokes over morning tea who, just like him, have a long association with the show.
"We've been exhibitors, all of us, for many years,” he said.
"It's all a bit of a idle chit -chat, (talking about) how we're going and what we've been up to.”
Once that was over, it was then time for him to complete his official duties.
Mr Steinhardt farmed for most of his life in Marburg before selling up and moving to Walloon seven years ago.
"I grew up in the farming business in my early days and like everybody else milked dairy cows,” he said.
"Everybody grew pumpkins, corn, sweet potatoes and we had a few pigs.
"That's where this more or less started. These days dairy farmers have disappeared and they're no longer growing these crops, like different varieties of pumpkins.
"Only the dedicated old fellas still grow these things and compete, it's very hard to get the young ones interested. They've got other things on their mind.”
He made his name on the show circuit with his Queensland Blue Pumpkins, which earned him plenty of blue ribbons over the years.
Moving from the family farm hasn't stopped him growing his trademark pumpkins.
"I've got a pretty big back yard so I'm still going with the vegies,” he smiled.
"I still grow my bush of blue pumpkins, I've got one at home now. I've got eight good pumpkins on there at the moment.
"You could say I specialised in them a little bit.
"It's what I've done all my life.”