The district offered a number of advantages including flat land, permitting easy cultivation and the erection of glasshouses, light sandy topsoil that could be readily worked, a mild climate with limited frost, and a plentiful supply of underground water. Such was the attraction to the area that it not only drew experienced market gardeners but also a large number of new migrants form Central and Southern Europe who entered into the business in the 1950s and 1960s. In addition, work was available in the nearby factories at Elizabeth and Salisbury thus enabling new settlers to earn a wage while establishing their market gardens.
The development of the Virginia area as Adelaide’s leading market gardening centre occurred rapidly. By 1961 over 450 acres in the council were being cultivated for horticultural produce, approximately half of which were potatoes. Development continued during the next decade, and by the mid-1970s over 2500 acres were devoted to the production of vegetables in the Munno Para council area – the vast majority of this land being located in the Virginia-Angle Vale district.
A wide range of crops is grown, including potatoes, onions, carrots, lettuces, cauliflowers, cabbages and celery. The main glasshouse crop until recent years has been tomatoes which were sent to interstate markets in Melbourne and Sydney.