THE East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days (EGVID) are on track to be another award winning event.
Once the official lettuce has been cut to declare the event open, it's two days of non-stop activity, trials and presentations in Lindenow, where the vegetable industry gathers to see the latest in innovation in the sector, to network and to learn.
What happens in the lead up is a leap of faith and a whole lot of collaboration, and in rough calculations it adds up to about 55 more days of weather watching, more than 2500 man hours in the field, 5000 litres of water via various methods of irrigation and collectively about 1500 head hours of planning, meetings and discussions from the organising committee.
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At the centre of all of this, amongst the science, planning and research, there is the age-old growers leap of faith that the 10,000+ seedlings planted to represent the many different varieties of vegetables, will grow, thrive and peak at the exact planned time - May 7 and 8, 2020.
But as photos, video and feedback from previous years prove, the faith, planning, research and just plain old hard work certainly pays off as the site comes alive with exhibitors, displays, colour and movement, and the sleepy village of Lindenow is full to the brim with visitors from all over the country and beyond.
A bountiful two square hectares of brassica, baby leaf and more is impressive and insightful for the trained and naked eye, providing a brilliant platform where the conversations of today become the collaborations of tomorrow.
Old friends reunite, new friends are made, and it brings the industry together in one spot for two valuable days as more than 650 vegetable growers, researchers, industry service providers, government representatives, and other stakeholders gather with Australia's top ten seed companies to showcase their new, favourite and innovative varieties for growers and the industry at large.
Held every three years, this year's event has seen some new challenges.
EGVID director, Andrew Bulmer, said the ongoing disruptions of the first quarter of 2020 have certainly created some cause for concern.
"Whilst not directly impacted by fire fronts in the Lindenow growing district, the bushfires in East Gippsland made for a very intense start to the year, and now the Coronavirus has introduced another layer of adversity around how it may affect both our international and domestic guests planning to travel to the Tenth International Spinach Conference," he said.
"With a rapidly changing travel and public event landscape due to COVID-19 - the organising committee is monitoring the situation very closely, and we will continue to update our position as the pandemic evolves."
- If you're planning to attend the East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days Industry Networking Dinner on May 7, you must pay for an entry ticket at www.trybooking.com/BIMXL