Peter Schreurs and Sons Vegetable Farm was established by Peter Schreurs in 1964.
Peter migrated with his family from the Netherlands in 1954 at the age of 15, landing at Station Pier in Melbourne Australia.
At the age of 16, Peter began working on a vegetable farm owned by Henry Mounsey in Moorabbin on the then outskirts of Melbourne. It didn't take long for Peter to discover that he had a real passion for vegetable growing, and his boss Henry, seeing Peter's enthusiasm, began to teach him all he knew.
At age 19 Peter had saved himself enough money to be able to put a deposit on 20 acres of land all the way out in Cranbourne. Peter would visit this land every chance he could for the next 6 years planning how he would turn it into a productive vegetable garden.
By 1964 Peter had managed to buy some basic equipment and left the employ of Henry Mounsey to start growing vegetables on his own.
Finding things difficult supplying potatoes and lettuce into an already over supplied market, Peter then took the advice of his former boss to start growing small but regular plantings of celery.
What started as small amounts of celery soon grew to become tens of acres of the best celery the market had seen.
In the mid 1970's Peter made the decision to take his attention away from the vegetable farm and spend more time with his wife and handicapped daughter, to engage in a rehabilitation program for her. As the celery crop was taking up all of his time, this he then had to cease.
In an effort to downsize his business Peter grew savoy cabbage and parsnips during the winter months and potatoes during the summer.
With Peter's passion to grow only the best quality produce it didn't take long for the demand for savoy cabbage and parsnip to increase to a point of maximum production. This forced Peter to concentrate on producing as much produce as possible off his original 20 acre property, and in turn surprised many with the truck loads of produce that would arrive in the market every week.
Peter made the decision in 1984 with his eldest son Mark, who had just completed school to purchase an adjoining 14 acres of land in which they could both expand the cabbage and potato crops.
Having now 34 acres of land to produce off allowed Peter to supply a greater quantity of quality vegetables into the market. Very soon Peter's younger two sons, Darren and Paul also took an interest in joining the family business.
In 1985, neighbour Goodrich and Talbot who grew leeks among other things, decided to sell up their farm, suggesting to Peter to consider taking leeks on to supplement his other crops. So in 1986 Peter Schreurs and Sons grew their first crop of leeks.
With 3 sons now keen to follow in his footsteps Peter and his sons started to look for a larger property to base their operation and in 1989 found a 300 acre property in Devon Meadows that would be ideal.
Peter Schreurs and Sons purchased, Royston Park in Devon Meadows, which was originally a cattle grazing property that offered free draining, fertile soil with good water sources.
Work began promptly to build a water storage dam, yard for future sheds and about 60 acres of irrigated land.
The first few years were very difficult. In October of 1990 the dam was completed after working through a very wet winter, and there were no significant rain periods for the next summer, so the first crops were grown with almost no water. As history shows, this period was a time of economic recession and with a few crop failures thrown in, the business faced some enormous challenges.
The key to surviving this period was having trading partners that would stand by you, and in 1994 the Peter Schreurs and Sons began to strengthen. Having learnt from the experiences of the last five years enabled the business to then diversify and expand into other vegetable crops.
Many crops have been tried over the years such as tuscan cabbage, baby carrots, baby cabbage and bok choy, some discontinued as they were not viable, or they didn't fit in with crop rotation and work operations.
Leeks became the main crop following success in the interstate and export markets, and so, investment into the machinery to produce leeks more efficiently followed.
In 2000 a further 100 acres of adjoining land was purchased and 2001 saw the construction of our new packing and pressure cooling facility.
Peter Schreurs and Sons now focuses on 6 main crop lines which are, leek, kohl rabi, baby cos, cosberg, baby wombok and radicchio