HORTICULTURE sisters are doing it for themselves in the Women in Horticulture Yarra Ranges co-operative.
WinHort YR was founded 10 years ago to improve the skills and confidence of women in horticulture.
It encourages women to take more leadership roles in community and business.
From discussions around a dining table in the Yarra Valley in 2002, the group has grown into an institution.
Members celebrated the group's 10th anniversary last month with a dinner at Bulong Estate winery in Yarra Junction.
Member and Victorian Farmers Federation horticulture group manager Lis Blandamer said WinHort had given the women the opportunity to tackle roles they would not have before.
"Those women have taken their skills and joined water advisory panels, councils and agribusiness advisory groups and taken leadership positions in industry associations and on boards," Ms Blandamer said.
WinHort YR holds several functions throughout the year, including the annual International Women's Day dinner.
The group hosts workshops and training in communication skills, creative problem solving, supply chain management, occupational health and safety and productive marketing and trading relationships.
Members also have worked on becoming more technically savvy to boost market opportunities.
But these women don't stop there. They play an important role in the community, helping out after disasters such as Black Saturday.
With the help of sponsors, members organised pamper days that allowed more than 60 women some relief as they recovered from the tragedy.
Founding member Alison Brinson said the group provided support that growers from family farms could not find anywhere else.
"It's been a fantastic network of women in horticulture and has given us great training opportunities we wouldn't have had on our own," Ms Brinson said.
Co-ordinator Carolyn Burgi is a stonefruit grower from Wandin, and is the only tree-fruit grower in the group.
The 61-year-old said WinHort YR was interesting because every member grew different things.
"We bounce off one another and these ladies really know where they're going with their careers," she said.
The group has about 30 members.