DESPITE a limited mango season this summer, the Tuckers are proving that quality beats quantity.
Peter and Julie Tucker grow mangoes and table grapes at their property outside of Mundubbera in the North Burnett region.
The couple have been selling their mangoes on a south Queensland circuit, travelling to Dalby, Oakey, Warwick, Chinchilla and Roma.
Mr Tucker has been making the trip west to Roma and Chinchilla for nine years now, and selling in Dalby for 13.
In spite of this season's light crop, the Tucker's mangoes have been selling out quicker than ever, with their incredibly popular Roma stall emptying in just 45 minutes one week.
Mr Tucker said the Kensington Pride variety, also known as Bowen mangoes, tended to be temperamental when it came to consistency.
"We've got a very light crop this year. That's just the habit of Kensington Pride mangoes, they are what we call shy bearers," he said.
"You might get three or four years of good crops and then you'll get a bad one, there's just something inherently in their makeup.
"It seems to be universal and it quite often happens in all the different regions in the same year; this year it has been light all the way through, in the Northern Territory and all through northern Queensland too.
"You really can't set your watch by it, you never know what's going to happen."
Flying foxes, fruit piercing moths and stem-end cavities are all issues that mango growers encounter when picking and selling ripened fruit, but Mr Tucker said it is worth the battle to sell mature, flavoursome mangoes.
"Why our fruit is popular is that, it might not look the best, but it has flavour," he said.
"The problem with selling ripe fruit is that you have a lot of problems that other growers don't have who pick all green.
"That's why a lot of growers have gone away from picking ripe, because of the labour costs and also the disease and pest problems associated with ripe fruit."
The Tuckers also grow table grapes, specialising in the black muscat variety.
Their grapes are sold through the central market system via an agent in Brisbane.
Mr Tucker said their grapes were successful due to the niche market that they had tapped into, being the only Queensland growers to sell that variety of table grapes through Queensland central markets.
"There's a lot of the older generation who love black muscats, they think there's nothing else like it and they don't like some of these newer seedless varieties," he said.
"We also sell one seedless variety as well, red flame seedless.
"We sell 1000 to 1500 cartons a year to the market in Brisbane."
In what seems to be an unlucky year, the Tuckers' experienced record rainfall during harvest time which greatly impacted their grape yield for the season.
"We lost a lot of the grape crop this year due to wet weather," Mr Tucker said.
"We had thirteen inches in three weeks. We've been growing grapes for 37 years and we've never had any sort of rain like that at harvest time."
Now in semi-retirement, the Tuckers are gradually scaling back their operation, with plans to cut back from three-and-a-half hectares of grapes to two this year, as well as one hectare of mangoes.
Mr Tucker said he and his wife enjoyed living in the Mundubbera area and being a part of its booming agricultural community.
"Our area up at Mundubbera is very diversified now in the horticultural industry. It's a prosperous little town.
"We've got the citrus which was the mainstay of the area, but in the last 30 or 40 years they've branched out into table grapes and mangoes, as well as blueberries, there's a very big blueberry operation there.
"There's also pecans and avocados that are starting to take off in the district too."
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