Hand’n’Hoe Macadamia Farm sits on the Comboyne Plateau on The Mid North Coast of NSW. Surrounded by pristine rainforest the property has two untouched spring-fed rivers running through the middle of it, profuse with yabbies, frogs and fish. Most of its 600 acres is natural rainforest, and about 40 acres is taken up with macadamia trees. A variety of fruit trees are also spread throughout the property. Closer to the house is a healthy vegie garden and free-range chickens, which help sustain David and his family, while their energy comes from a very sophisticated solar power and energy storage system.
Having trialled many different trees, growing macadamias was the most suitable commercial option that would thrive in their local ecosystem. They have 6 different varieties, 2 of which are their main types. The trees are grown to permaculture principles, which are grown in amphitheatres throughout different paddocks among the natural vegetation. Snakes, owls and the local wildlife manage the pests, and the place is rife in native and European bees, fireflies and other wildlife. Herbicides and pesticides have never been used on the property, so there is no impact on the soil, rivers, trees and local vegetation. All produce on the farm is certified organic.
PROCESSING THE MACADAMIAS
Accessing the farm is an adventure in itself, as the roads need consistent upkeep. This limits the processes that can be done on the farm, and therefore some need to be outsourced locally.
The HARVEST. Everything is harvested on the farm by hand. Many locals and visitors from around the country and overseas help in this process. It’s a time of sharing and learning, exchanging ideas and meeting like-minded people.
De-HUSKING. All de-husking is done on the farm, usually within 24-48 hours after harvest.
Macadamia SPREADS. All of the macadamia spreads and butters are made naturally on the farm.
PRESSING the OIL. Currently this process cannot be done on the farm. They use an experienced macadamia oil presser who understands the need to maintain the organic integrity and quality of their oils.
Labelling and PACKAGING. The labels are made externally using natural papers and inks, however all the packaging is done on the farm.