Reedy Creek Nursery

Reedy Creek Nursery is a commercial propagating nursery, owned and run by Mike and Gayle Quarmby in the south eastern Limestone Coast area of South Australia. Reedy Creek is 20km south of Kingston. The core business at the nursery is in native plant production for re-vegetation and forestry. Grape rootling / grafting production and seedlings for various industries are also cultivated.

The nursery was built at Reedy Creek to utilise the abundant underground water supply and the proximity to the Green Triangle horticultural areas of the South East of South Australia. The facilities include sophisticated propagation and production hot houses, with the seeding capacity for up to 140,000 seedlings per day.

When Mike and Gayle decided to create the philanthropic Outback Pride project, they realised that a way to generate outcomes for remote indigenous people was to use the commercial base at Reedy Creek to develop and fund this emerging industry. Reedy Creek Nursery has the skilled staff and facilities to support the enormous amount of research and development required for the Outback Pride project.

Together with the work at community level, there has been an equal amount of research and development undertaken back at Reedy Creek in the areas of:

  • Species location mapping and best provenance selection;
  • Propagation systems developed from both seed and cutting;
  • Life cycle analysis and commercial cultivation systems developed;
  • Identification of commercially viable species;
  • Harvest and post-harvest research on all produce;
  • Skills development and training of participants at community level and at Reedy Creek Nursery;
  • Value adding of raw ingredients; and
  • Market network including state Indigenous distributors.

The systems are developed at Reedy Creek for the propagation and cultivation of the bushfood plants, which are planted in the communities. This has resulted in a coordinated planting program for the supply chain and guarantees the best plant selections are used at all times. The produce from community gardens returns to Reedy Creek to be value added, before being dispatched to indigenous distributors throughout Australia.

To facilitate the long term industry growth for indigenous communities, Mike and Gayle have always made available the Reedy Creek facilities for work experience and specialised horticultural training in bushfood cultivation.

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Mike and Gayle Quarmby

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