For just on 30 years the Benefield family of Halfway Creek, have delighted many rose lovers with their beautiful, perfumed roses.
Benefield’s Rose Farm owner Matt Benefield said that around five years ago he began growing Chrysanthemums, to cater for the Mother’s Day market.
“I have always grown my roses, but the demand for Mother’s Day was so strong, that I never had enough roses,” Matt said.
“Mother’s Day is the end of the season for roses, so I started to grow Chrysanthemums and I’ve never looked back.
“We have around 20 different varieties, but we lose a lot because many of the varieties come out too early or too late, so there is a lot of wastage – every year is different.
“It’s only a very short period, so we’ve got a bit of a job handling what plants we have to get them picked and packed in time.
“Because they are all grown out in the field, I don’t have any control over them, so it’s all up to mother nature.
“We usually produce between 1000 – 3000 bunches, which is all local trade.
“I’ve had a lot of florists from everywhere between Nambucca to Ballina come to me this year as there is no imported flowers due to coronavirus, so they have been in strong demand.
“I have never had so many florists knocking on my door to buy them – it’s a first.
“Chrysanthemums are usually a pretty easy crop to grow, but I’ve had to water them this year by hand because it’s been so dry,” he said.
Benefield’s will be selling their Chrysanthemums at Grafton’s Christchurch Cathedral grounds – where the farmers markets are held, on Friday and Saturday from 8am – 4pm or until sold out.