Planting by the Moon Tips

  • Giuseppe Chessa and his parents own a fruit farm north of Brisbane, and in the past have specialised in growing persimmons and figs. However, a year ago, Mr Chessa decided to plant dragon fruit and is now converting large parts of the farm to grow the spectacular fruit on a commercial scale. "None of us have an idea or clue about where the idea to grow dragon fruit came from," Mr Chessa said. "But it has been a lot of work, a lot of stress and a lot of headaches. Giuseppe's mother, Pina Chessa, started the farm with her husband 35 years ago, and in that time has experimented with many different crops. "We are doing persimmons at the moment and figs, eggplants, zucchinis, tomatoes, sweet potato, we have done a lot," she said. "Hopefully this will be the last lot of experimenting. I'm not young anymore!" Although the Chessa family said there were many unknowns about the dragon fruit venture, they had some family farming techniques they hoped would guarantee its success.
    "We plant when there is a new moon, so that is when we planted the dragon fruit," Mr Chessa said. "There are a few rows we planted where nothing took, but where the new moon crop is they are already a metre and a half high. I don't know why but they grow better. We plant during the night when a new moon is coming."