Many Northern Rivers locals would know the name Monty’s.
Their eye-catching stall with its colourful dried fruit flats, fruit ice blocks and ice creams, jams and fresh strawberries, is a local landmark on the Tweed Valley Way at Tumbulgum and a familiar sight at local markets around the region.
The Montgomery family have been farming in the area for many years and specialise in growing some of the best looking and tasting strawberries you’ll ever come across.
David Montgomery puts an incredible amount of work into his fruit, working from pre-dawn to sunset on the farm he and wife Sue run at north Tumbulgum.
“I’m out in the paddock virtually all the time,” he said.
Even with so many years of farming under his belt, David says he’s continually learning and always striving to make the strawberries better for his customers.
“We have some pretty fussy customers. My aim is to please.”
“If they’re putting them in their mouth, I want to be knowing they’ll be coming back real quick to get another one. That’s what keeps me going.”
He says customers often come to him saying they can no longer eat strawberries from anywhere else.
“I say, ‘well you’re in surprise for the following season because it just gets better.’”
Wife Sue is responsible for the other colourful goodies on the stall, including the dried fruit flats, ice blocks and ice creams, which are a huge drawcard for kids.
The dried fruit flats, which come in a range of colours and designs, are made from pure fruit, Sue explains, including their home grown strawberries and mangos, as well as other fruits like passionfruit, pineapples and blueberries.
“They’re all pure fruit with nothing else added.”
“We puree and then dehydrate.”
“The designs were created to be attractive to kids and get them to eat fruit. They’ve become very popular and they go all over the world with tourists.”
Kids also love the pure fruit ice blocks, which come in flavours including strawberry, mango, banana and passionfruit, and the ice creams made from pure fruit with cream, condensed milk and a touch of vanilla added. For a real treat, there are choc dipped frozen strawberries and mangos.
There are also take home jams, made from whatever is growing in the farm, including a very popular strawberry jam.
- Find Monty’s at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday.