Sunday, August 28, 2011

They're 'running examples' of healthy eating

Image from Go for 2&5.

THE dark look on a kid's face in response to the direction "Eat your spinach" is one of the indelible images of parenthood.
Mums and dads throughout history have happily tortured their kids at meal time; it's probably a payback that has come through many generations.
The public health officials who spend money promoting good dietary habits must also have suffered this acceptable form of child abuse when they wanted jellybeans and received a celery stick.
The connection of a good diet with health and fitness, however, is not the invention of an advertising executive plotting a million-dollar campaign.

CONSIDER this case history: About 30 years ago a newlywed couple chose the Redlands as the place to have their family.
He had a background in horticulture in the Lockyer Valley; she was from a family of growers in Rockhampton.
The couple opened a fruit and vege shop, and the Cleveland business served them well as they raised their two sons and daughter.
The business moved to Victoria Point about a decade ago, then into bright new premises as the retail development gained pace.
Burgo's Fruit Barn in Victoria Point Lakeside is now one of the 'iconic businesses' in the retail precinct, and Gaye and Glen Burgess have kept all their enthusiasm for their enterprise.
Their children, Scott, Nathan and Katie, are now in their twenties. Gaye is proud of their health and fitness focus and that they all absorbed her message about a good diet.

NATHAN, aged 21 and 198cm tall, is the full forward for the Redland Bombers AFL side. Scott, 23 and 200cm, is in the Queensland volleyball team.
Gaye says Katie is not in competitive sport at present but is "very much into gym and fitness".
The trio, in fact, are running examples of a good diet.
About seven years ago the Burgesses installed a juice bar and for several years have offered 'performance-based' smoothies suiting health and fitness programs.
"We can make special smoothies for people who want to bulk up and others that can help in weight reduction," Gaye says.
"All the juice is fresh from the shop and squeezed at the time. That makes us different from the juice bars where it comes out of a bottle."

BURGO's recently advertised for a juice bar operator and received about 30 applications. The appointment is important; a big event is set for Saturday, September 3.
In partnership with the neighbouring fitness centre, Legal Muscle, Burgo's will launch a new smoothie, Real Results, with free product samples and advice from a personal trainer.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this column has appeared in The Redland Times.

Monday, August 22, 2011

We're growing, not just going

Here's a column that missed my posting duties after it appeared in The Redland Times some weeks ago:

A FUNDAMENTALIST minister and author is credited with creating some inspiring phrases about self development.
"Don't go through life, grow through life" – a quotation attributed to the late Eric Butterworth – must be one of the most profound seven-word collections in the history of the language.
It appears here today because the progression of life reflects through every edition of the Classifieds. A browse on any page reveals the many ways people are in fact "growing", rather than just “going”.
We have all heard quite enough of the "moving forward" philosophy thanks to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, but the mantra at least cut through the mist of everyday life and reflected some deeper thinking.

THE Classified pages are full of people who are "growing" and "moving forward" – they are doing things and making some cash, which always helps in any journey: like that of the Ormiston widower who realised he wasn't giving any attention to the greenhouse in the corner of his yard and listed it for sale.
"I am on my own now and I didn't have much interest in it," he said. "It needed some TLC."
The greenhouse – with his wife's plant collection, including orchids, making a package – sold to the first caller for $500.

AT VICTORIA POINT, grandmother-of-seven Lesley Coey was still waiting for a buyer for the double tubular bunks and innerspring mattresses she advertised for $400. Lesley said she had bought the bunks only about one year ago for more than $700.
Lesley and husband Rod came to the Redlands from Townsville in 1988 after Rod was transferred in his job with tyre firm Goodyear, with which he worked for 32 years before retiring about four years ago.
The Coeys spend a lot of time with their grandchildren and are selling the bunks in a rearrangement for a granddaughter who will live with them.

AT CLEVELAND, mother-of-two Sue Fitzgerald has been especially busy since the birth of her second daughter Amy, five months old. Sue sorted out a collection of baby goods that were surplus to their needs and placed a for-sale notice.
Sue and her husband Jason moved from Canberra seven years ago.
"We thought we would try something different and come to live in the Sunshine State, and we have never looked back," Sue said.

ALL THIS shows the proud heritage of classified advertising – helping people "grow through life".
The Classifieds have been around a long time and will keep doing their job for a lot longer. Nowadays you can also browse the Classifieds online (follow the prompts at And jobseekers can visit the new employment network

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

Seedlings grow a business and an industry

Image from Highsun Express.

SOME leading-edge innovation has been ensuring the Redlands' horticultural traditions do not become just memories of the older generations and words in the pages of history.
The sector certainly has been shrinking as urban development has grown on the fertile red soil but growers who have adapted have not simply survived the challenges but prospered.

IN the new order, the Skinner family has stood out among the quiet achievers. Brad Skinner is the head of Highsun Express, which has been supplying wholesale nurseries with flower seedlings for the past quarter of a century.
He represents the third generation of the family business but it's a far cry from the small crop operation that his grandfather, the late Charles Skinner, set up on the Ormiston site after moving from Biloela in Central Queensland.
Charles' two sons, Bob (Brad's dad) and Geoff, stayed with the small crops for many years after Charles died.

AS the urban development increased, the family's land holding reduced but the concentration led to a new focus on flowers and the development of a new niche in the supply chain.
Brad says Highsun picked up from a US trend for specialist propagators to supply the flower seedlings to wholesalers who traditionally had done their own seed-to-seedling operations.
"For the wholesalers, it means basically outsourcing the hard stuff," Brad says. "We were the first to go commercial and develop this sort of business in Australia."

THE system targets "long growing-time, high-failure and difficult-to-grow crops".
In the industry, the single seedlings are known as "plugs", and Highsun has certainly been plugging hard, now producing between 30 million and 40 million seedlings a year.
Highsun opened a second nursery at Cabarlah, near Toowoomba, in 2004.
The company has a workforce of about 70, including about 15 at Carbarlah.
The company has advertised for casual workers; the busiest season of peak production runs until late November.
The ad has emphasised the fast-paced environment and the need for a keen eye for detail but said experience was not necessary as successful applicants would receive training.

FROM time to time, Brad gets to see how his 'babies' have grown into television stars as the plants have featured on the gardening shows.
Last year the nursery joined a spring promotion for the Big Red geranium, after its release by European seed giant Syngenta. This spring, the feature product is Garvinea, a gerbera from Dutch group, Florist.
Highsun also supplies cutflowers, annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs but solely to wholesalers and does not make direct sales to the public.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this column has appeared in The Redland Times.

Brewery plan bubbles along

Image from

BEER lovers in some swank eateries – as well as pubs and clubs – will soon toast Redland City as the home of a range of premium brews, if all goes to plan for pastry chef-turned-brewer Jeffrey Fleck.
Jeffrey has applied to the authorities to increase production at the Shore Street West, Cleveland, “micro-brewery” he set up last year.
Approval would be a step toward putting Red Bay Brewery products on tap beside the 'big name' brews.
The brewery's annual production limit would rise, allowing product delivery in commercial kegs.
The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation placed a Public Notice advertising the licence application.

JEFFREY is already known as a pastry chef who took his knowledge of yeast to a new level after he developed a trade in more than 200 beer styles.
He says a love of beer runs in his family; when he was a boy he helped his dad brew in the family home at Bankstown in south-west Sydney. Naturally, when Jeffrey got old enough, he also helped drink it.
An apprenticeship at East Sydney Technical College as a pastry chef almost 30 years ago started his first career which took him into retail management and resorts but he tired of overnight shifts and hot ovens.
Living at Mount Gravatt with his wife Saori, Jeffrey looked at his options and found a North Queensland boutique brewery for sale.
"We gutted it of all the equipment and set it up here (in Cleveland)," he says. "But it was a long hard process of jumping through hoops to get all the approvals and the work done."

RED Bay Brewery's current licence allows it to sell 50-litre batches, the equivalent of six cartons, in each order, Jeffrey says.
He estimates a $20 a carton saving for customers who seek an equivalent to popular premium brews.
But Jeffrey says he can even cater for customers with a taste for lesser known upmarket beers.
He counts among his achievements the development of his own brews, including a Japanese-style full malt lager, a "big flavoured" pale ale and a gluten-free brew, for which he is seeking endorsement from the Coeliac Society of Australia.
For the latter, Jeffrey says he sourced a US malt with a maximum gluten content of 20 grams per million.
"I've had the beer independently tested and it has less than 3 grams gluten per million," he says.
Watch for the launch of the brand name that Jeffrey hopes to announce soon.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this column has appeared in The Redland Times.

Elkhorns, staghorns hold happy memories

Image courtesy fellow Blogger, AfricanAussie.

A BLISSFUL bayside retirement reflects in the glorious green foliage of the giant staghorns that have grown in a certain Victoria Point greenhouse.
The plants represent many happy years during which a couple in their senior years could relax in a comfortable home near their family and favourite fishing spots in Moreton Bay.
A For Sale notice offering the plants said "cheap" but they have been treasures for the 77-year-old woman who has nurtured them.
"My husband bought them from the roadside when we moved here 22 or 23 years ago," she says. "They were only tiny then, but now they are beautiful big ones. They're the largest I have ever seen."

FINDING a new home for beloved elkhorns and staghorns is just one item on her busy agenda this week.
At the weekend she will move from her house and into a Cleveland unit, which is too small for the giant epyphytes.
She will tell her husband about the move but he will not understand. That is the sadness that surrounds the tragedy of dementia.
"My husband started to suffer from dementia about 10 years ago and has had a stroke," the woman says.
"I have settled him into a nursing home at Wellington Point. When I visit him, I have to travel 16 kilometres each way from here.
"I have no alternative but to move closer, and this house is too big for me alone."
The bay fishing was one of the main reasons the couple retired to Victoria Point rather than the Brisbane suburbs but that ended for them soon after the onset of the disease.
"He came to me one day and said he couldn't go out in the boat anymore because he couldn't remember how to come back in," the woman says.

DESPITE all the suffering, she remains stoic and is thankful for all the support from her daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons, who she says have been marvellous during the stress of the past few years.
She knows they will all rally around to help with the heavy work tomorrow.
The woman says her family is grateful to know her husband has the security of a home where the staff care about their patients.
She also thanks the Wynnum and Cleveland respite centres for their support.
Alzheimer's Australia says an estimated 269,000 Australians have dementia.

"WITHOUT a significant medical breakthrough, that is expected to soar to about 981,000 by 2050," the organisation says.
"Each week, there are 1500 new cases of dementia in Australia. That is expected to grow to 7400 new diagnoses each week by 2050."

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this column has appeared in The Redland Times.

Concrete and glass lifestyle crumbles

BEN Johnson's mind was far from the inner-city concrete and glass during the three and a half years he spent as an office worker in the Brisbane CBD.
He was thinking maybe of his childhood in a farming district near Wagga Wagga, NSW, where he had grown up in a big family with seven brothers and sisters.
Until he had headed north to experience Queensland life, Ben had always worked in outdoor jobs such as tree lopping, agricultural machinery maintenance and some general farm work.
He now admits he felt totally out of place among the business suits in the big city and realised he had to get back into work that would get him out in the fresh air and sunshine, and give him more control over his life.

IMPETUS for change came when he met Michelle Brush on June 12, 2006. The couple married on the same date in 2009 and have settled in Birkdale.
The husband is now the owner of a business with a rather catchy name, Hard Yards Landscaping Services and Property Maintenance, and he says he's enjoying life a lot more.
The business harks back to the many happy days when Ben joined his eldest brother Troy, working on farms near their Forest Hill home.
Ben also recalls how the brothers hunted rabbits and caught yabbies and fish.
Troy was the first to move to Queensland about 13 years ago as an air force engineer at Amberley; Ben followed him about six years later.

THE pair now share the "Hard Yards" tag, with separate businesses, Troy operating in the Ipswich district and Ben mainly in the Redland City suburbs.
A regular advertiser in the Classifieds, Ben has been busy during the fine weather this week handling a rush on quotes as householders have set their winter maintenance schedules.
Nothing – well, almost nothing – is as exhilarating as the whiff of dirt as the spade turns on a sunny winter morning but even the keenest home gardeners find some jobs too big or nasty, and seek help from someone like Ben, toughened by a life on the land and able to do the "hard yards".
His business specialises in fencing, lawn mowing, building retaining walls, trimming trees and other any other chores that need a strong back and an experienced hand.

TROY has added a Dingo to his machinery inventory but Ben still does his own digging.
As he digs his mind is now far from the city and focusing on the months ahead and a very important coming event. In September, Ben and Michelle will celebrate the birth of their first child.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this column has appeared in
The Redland Times.

Tragedy ends Moreton Bay dream

Image of Wellington Point jetty courtesy BayJournal.

HALF a century ago, a family from Brisbane's southside would cram into their car for weekend trips to the bayside.
They would stop at the farms to buy fruit and veges for the week ahead and often ended up at Wellington Point to enjoy the fresh air and salt water, have a picnic and catch a few fish.
The kids would sleep soundly in their landlocked suburb after such idyllic seaside experiences, dreaming about one day living on the bayside.
The dream came true for Terry Nixon. One of his fondest memories is walking out to King Island at low tide with his brothers and sisters; nowadays he lives just a few streets away.

IT is about 15 years since Terry realised his Wellington Point dream. For the past 10 years his mowing run has paid his bills.
However, a tragedy is bringing his bayside lifestyle to a shuddering halt. Terry's elderly dad is ill with cancer and the son is winding up his affairs and packing his belongings to move to northern NSW.
"I want to spend some time with him before he passes on," Terry said yesterday. "The doctors have told him he has only between two and six months to live."
Terry advertised his mowing run for sale in The Redland Times. The response in less than one week astounded him.
"I must have had about 10 or 12 calls; it was a hell of a response; the first guy who called looks like buying the business," Terry said. Negotiations continued at time of writing.

TERRY said the response had confirmed his long-held belief in local businesses and markets supporting each other.
Terry the mowing man is known throughout the Redland suburbs, including Cleveland, Ormiston, Alexandra Hills, Victoria Point and Wellington Point, of course.
The news of his father's illness has made Terry uncertain about his own future and whether he will move back to the Redlands.
He said he had enjoyed his decade in the mowing business, which he had established, and it had helped to keep him fit, but he doubted he would have the energy to start another.
"I am getting too old," he said. "I am in my sixties and I have just about had enough."

THOSE seaside trips of long ago have had some lovely sequels as Terry has watched his own kids and their kids splash in the Moreton Bay shallows.
With about half of his nine grandchildren living in Redland City, Terry will be a frequent visitor to the region he loves.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this column has appeared in The Redland Times.