David and Pauline have paved a way on the island by some serious hard work and determination. David came to Flinders Island in early 1984 as a contract plumber. He then convinced Pauline to move to the island in 1998 with their two boys, Jason and Gavin. Their third child Zane was born soon after. They started by leasing a block of ground to grow capsicums and new potatoes, which were sent back to Woolworths on mainland Tasmania. With a wealth of knowledge in vegetable growing, David supplied the local Flinders Island market with lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and tomatoes. They also supplied a high end restaurant in Sydney with Kipfler and Pink Fir Apple (potato varieties) for a year however this proved to be a challenge to make ends meet because of high freight costs off island. David recommends any up and coming island producers to find a high value, high return niche product that stacks up to the freight component. These days there are better government subsidisation schemes for exporting off island.
David and Pauline purchased their first farm in 2003 and have been growing their farming operations ever since. Running Angus cattle, growing fodder crops and about 25 tonnes of Desiree, Coliban, Kennebec and Nicola potatoes for the local supermarket that supplies the community all year round.
For Flinders Island potatoes go to Walkers Supermarket or call them on 03 6359 2010.