19 January 2024

Riverina Made: Jeremy Hagenback tapping into Mother Nature's nurture for beautiful blooms

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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man in field of flowers

Jeremy Hagenback of Karrindee Blooms. Photo: Karrindee Blooms.

Who are you and what is your business? My name is Jeremy Hagenback and my business is Karrindee Blooms.

Where did you begin? The business was started by my family in 1986. We had a broadacre farm and my mother was a green thumb and she always wanted to have her own business. We planted 16 acres (6.5 hectares) of 52 different varieties of protea, leucadendron, leptospermum and Australian natives. They are all part of the same genus. We planted just under 15,000 plants and for the next 20 to 30 years we sold them commercially; wholesale to Amsterdam, Tokyo, NSW and ACT.

The business was shut down in 2008 and in 2015 I re-established it without irrigation, just relying on Mother Nature. Since then I’ve kept the supply mainly direct to consumer rather than wholesale. But I still do have a number of wholesale customers.

What do you produce? When the plantation was at its best, we grew 52 different varieties of Australian and South African natives. Now I would have somewhere between 20-30 varieties. A number of varieties have seen better days and are no longer with us. I rely very much on Mother Nature’s kindness.

freshly cut king proteas in a ute

Karrindee Blooms’ king proteas. Photos: Karrindee Blooms.

What do you sell that makes a great gift? Posy or a flower arrangement that is reasonably priced. I don’t profess to be a florist. However, a lot of these flowers speak for themselves. I have very reasonably priced bouquets for all occasions.

READ ALSO Riverina Made: Joanne Lloyd’s black garlic is Wagga’s gourmet treasure

What would you make if you could do anything? Continue doing what I do and spend more time propagating the plants and getting into nursery operations. But with one person working, you don’t have enough time to do so.

How would you promote the Riverina? It’s one of the food bowls of Australia. We produce amazing meat, vegetables and wheat. It’s a melting pot of ethnicity. The amazing influx of refugees to our region makes it pretty unique as well. The Fusion Food Festival we have every year should be promoted far broader than just the region.

plants and flowers

Karrindee Blooms started with 52 varieties of Australian and South African native plants. Photos: Karrindee Blooms.

Coolest local thing you’ve ever bought? My wife bought me an interesting figurine for one of my birthdays. I think it’s ceramic and a very elegant figurine lady sitting in the garden.

Where’s your favourite place for a cuppa? Meccanico. My daughter is a barista there.

Who is another local producer you admire? Junee Licorice Chocolate Factory. Both Coral and Neil are incredibly good people and amazing entrepreneurs. They’ve literally taken something from nothing and made it one of the most iconic things in the region.

READ ALSO Riverina Made: The candle-making evolution of Billy and Bear, from curiosity to handmade success

Learn more about Karirindee Blooms.

Region Riverina is committed to celebrating our local producers and creatives and encourages everyone to buy locally.

If you’re aware of someone who’s making something amazing, let us know!

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