GREATER Hamilton has traditionally been known as sheep country and alternatives for land use in the area are few and far between, but local farmer and Grange Garlic managing director, Wayne Schild, has forged a path with his family business to succeed with a crop that has little local history of being grown in commercial quantities.
With the active support of the Southern Grampians Shire, he identified a gap in the minced garlic market and through research and a determined attitude, is at the threshold of making it into a flourishing enterprise.
On his Croxton East property, the crops he grows directly for on-site processing are an answer to what he saw as a noticeable gap in the market, but his journey to having a high-quality product he can market and sell has been laborious and a substantial contrast to his work history.
He grew up in Hamilton and delivered The Spectator as a paper-boy, was a student at Good Shepherd College and later had a stint at shearing “for a number of years”.
He then moved to Melbourne working as a paramedic and started a timber recovery and earthmoving business, Sawnrite, “salvaging available trees that had come down in the outer eastern suburbs and Dandenong Ranges and putting them to good use”.