What’s NEW at the Market this Week?
Late edit: EGGS AGAIN! We welcome Fabian Fabbro and Jodie Vicaars of Woodland Valley Farm to the market this week with their delicious pastured hen eggs. Why are their eggs so great? As Fabian and Jodie said “the hens days are jam packed pecking, scratching and creating wonderful dirt day spas in shady hide-aways. They also love selecting from a fresh smorgasbord of bugs, insects and pastures as they move around daily. In addition, we serve up a nutritionally balanced soy free mash daily and provide a constant source of fresh water to ensure the optimum health and happiness for our hens.”
What’s NEW at the Market this Week?
Macadamia nuts are back this week. YEAH!!
It really is an achievement especially with the prolonged dry we have been experiencing these past 6 months.
Did you know Nudgel Nuts macadamias are grown in the picturesque fertile valley known as “The Pocket” in Billinudgel. The property covers 200 acres and also runs beef cattle and a herd of elite alpacas – all contributing to Ian McRae’s farming style where he uses environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices with minimal exposure to pesticides and other sprays.
Growing the tastiest macadamia nuts is tricky but Ian from Nudgel Nuts has perfected the process and we are lucky to have the BEST flavoured and freshest nuts here at the Market.
Today I’d like to give you a glimpse into the business of macadamia nut farming so make a cuppa and relax while you discover the intricacies.
Most importantly you have to grow the trees – there are years of forward planning in this and Nudgel Nuts first trees were planted in 1997, more followed in 1998 and 2000 plus further plantings, with the most recent being in 2005.
Once established and this can take from seven to ten years if grown from seed but if grafted they are more reliable and ready to produce within a few years.
Like all farmers every year you hope for the perfect weather. For macadamia’s weather is critical at the time of flowering so that they set fruit. You also hope for enough rain throughout the growing season – especially when dam or river water is being pumped to the orchard and it runs low.
After 6 months with the perfect weather and careful orchard maintenance the nuts are mature and ready to harvest. They will fall to the ground when ripe, encased in a green outer husk that is removed and discarded.
Ian dehusk’s these nuts within 24 hours of harvesting – this is best practice. So with 700kg to dehusk (well that was last year’s bounty in the first photo) – that is a lot of dehusking!!
Once dehusked you need to get the moisture content in the nut down from approx. 20% to between 2 and 5% with a carefully regulated temperature and humidity controlled environment. This takes about a week.
After that you crack and sort nuts from the shell and then roast for about another 3 days before cooling and packaging. The maca’s are then ready for us to enjoy.
Being early in the new season there is not yet a full supply of the full Nudgel Nuts range but we are happy to have any!!
We really appreciate the hard work and effort our farmers invest to give us the best and freshest produce.
And that is why we say “know your farmer know your food
What’s GREAT this Week?
Do you love to try the unusual? Then we have some less well known veggies for you right now. They are bitter melon (the green gourd in photo with Sylva picked with some citrus) at Sylva Lining Organics. It has amazing healing benefits so if you are keen to try it check out some great recipes for these and okra at the Bio Organic Farm Stall) on www.sbs.com.au/food/ingredient/bitter-melon
Stallholder Changes this Week:
BACK THIS week: Nudgel Nuts and in case you missed them last week One Organic seedlings.
ABSENT due to seasonal variations:
- Narbey’s Best Avocados – returns June – sadly later than ever due to a poor season again.
- Tweed River Pecans will reappear at Spice Palace in April
- Barefoot Farm – returning May
- Blueberry Fields – season has ended – returning July
Entertainment: Phil and Tilley