Greg and Cecilia Diaz-Petersen found love in the rosella.
Greg and Cecilia Diaz-Petersen found love in the rosella. Boni Holmes

Rosella farmers want to put Woolooga on the map

THE cook and the farmer found love in bringing the brightest red fruit from the farm to the fork.

Cecilia Diaz not only found love with the rosella but fell in love with her supplier, farmer Greg Petersen and together have built a successful business.

For the third year Cecilia better known as CC for her jams and preserves of CC's Kitchen and now-husband Greg will hold their Big Rosella Festival.

The couple have close to 5000 rosella bushes at various stages on their 100 acre property and have already picked 1.2 tonne since harvest began in January.

CC said this time last year we didn't get any rain until March 30, had picked 10kg by the end of February and lost about 500 bushes.

Already almost 200ml has fallen on the farm making for a bumper crop.

 

Greg Petersen with a tray of fresh, handpicked Rosellas, headed to the kitchen for wife CC to create into anything from jams to cordial.
Greg Petersen with a tray of fresh, handpicked Rosellas, headed to the kitchen for wife CC to create into anything from jams to cordial.

"My husband's family has been growing rosellas for more than 30 years and it was how we got together," CC said.

"I didn't even know what a rosella was.

"When we held the first Rosella Festival we increased our crops to 2500 plants.

"Now from the plants I not only make the jam but I make cordial, iced tea, jelly, chutney, chilli sauces, pickles and more.

"I found the rosella so versatile."

 

Cecelia Diaz-Petersen with rosella plants at the Petersen's Farm in Woolooga.
Cecelia Diaz-Petersen with rosella plants at the Petersen's Farm in Woolooga. Peter Hughes

CC wants to share her discovery of the rosella and put the Woolooga farm on the map.

More than 300 people came to the Woolooga farm for the first festival in 2016 and it is growing in numbers every year.

CC's father-in-law, who is a builder, made the giant 3 by 3metre rosella that sits on the roof of their road-side fruit and veg stand.

 

The big Rosella is easily visible along the Woolooga - Bauple road.
The big Rosella is easily visible along the Woolooga - Bauple road. Peter Hughes

"The rosella is high in vitamin C and essential minerals, it comes from the hibiscus family and has been known to reduce cholesteral and high blood pressure," she said.

"In some countries they use it in chutneys and use the leaves as they are high in antioxidants and vitamin C.

"We make a cordial where when you drink it chilled you become energised."

Rosellas are just one of the many vegetables grown on their property including a variety of tomatoes, cape gooseberry, chilli, okra, bitter melon, snake bean and gem squash.

The Big Rosella Festival set to be held for the third time on May 12 with live cooking demonstrations, tours and fresh produce.

The festival will be held at Petersen's Farm, 2 Reilly Road, Woolooga from 9am-2pm and cost was $5 per person, children under 12 free.



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