Greenlee Farm is a family-owned and operated property nestled in the foothills of the Darlington Range, Canungra, in Queensland’s beautiful Scenic Rim Region, with its boundary on the Canungra Creek.
We have chosen to grow macadamias as our main crop since the climate in our valley is ideal for them. The annual growth cycle of blossom, nut growth and harvest ensures that there is plenty of activity all year round on the farm.
Bees are an integral part of the pollination process for growing macadamias so there has been a natural progression into beekeeping activities.
Greenlee Farm endeavours to be ‘clean and green’ to ensure that all of us have a sustainable future. Several years ago Greenlee Farm embraced biological farming methods. This includes the use of beneficial insects to combat macadamia insect pests such as nut borer and fruit spottting bug. Prunings and husks are recycled to produce compost to improve soil.
Products which we grow on our farm are nurtured by the family to assist with your good health.
All About Macadamia Nuts
It is believed that long before Australia was mapped by European explorers, Aboriginal people would congregate on the eastern slopes of Australia’s Great Dividing Range to feed on the seed of two evergreen trees, one of which they called ‘Kindal Kindal’.
In the 1850’s these trees were noticed by a British botanist Walter Hill and by German botanist Ferdinand Von Meuller, who later became the Director of the Botanical Gardens of Brisbane, Australia. The two men were struck with the majestic beauty of the specimens found growing in the rain forests of Queensland. A distinction was made between Macadamia integrifolia (smooth shelled) and Macadamia tetraphylla (rough shelled) which also produces a nut that is edible, although not as good for roasting as Macadamia integrifolia. The genus Macadamia was named after a prominent scientist of that time, Dr John McAdam.
Growing & Harvesting
Production of macadamia nuts, the only Australian native plant crop that has been developed commercially as a food, is centred in Northern New South Wales and South eastern Queensland. These areas provide the rich soils and high annual rainfall needed to promote maximum growth.
Macadamia trees grow to heights of 12 to 15 metres. They have shiny dark green leaves, and bear sprays (racemes) of long, delicate, sweet-smelling white blossoms. Each spray of 40-50 flowers produces from 4 to 15 ‘nutlets’ which will eventually ripen into nuts.
The nuts grow inside a hard, woody shell, which is protected by a green-brown fibrous husk. In its natural state a macadamia tree will have flowers, nutlets and mature nuts growing simultaneously, for much of the year. The nuts fall to the ground between March and September each year, depending on the variety, and are harvested by pin wheel harvesters at regular intervals.
The fibrous outer husk of the macadamia is removed within 24 hours of harvest to reduce heat respiration and facilitate drying. The husk material is usually recycled as organic mulch, and the ‘nut-in-shell’ (NIS) is then processed at Greenlee Farm.
Careful drying is a critical step in macadamia processing to maximise shelf life and quality of the end product. At harvest the nuts have a moisture content of up to 30%. Drying can take up to three weeks and reduces the moisture content to around 1.5%. The kernel shrinks away from the inside of the shell and allows the shells to be cracked without damaging the kernel.
Although the macadamia is native to Australia, processing of macadamia nuts began slowly with early enthusiasts cracking the nuts by hand. The first commercial macadamia processing plant was not established until 1954. Modern machines have been developed to crack the tough shell of the macadamia without damaging the precious kernel within.
Macadamias are a high energy food and contain no cholesterol.
The natural ‘good’ oils in macadamias contain at least 78% monounsaturated fats, the highest of any oil including olive oil.
Research is showing that monounsaturated fats can assist in lowering blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Monounsaturated fat – in particular oleic acid and palmitoleic acid found in macadamias – helps protect against cardiovascular disease by lowering total cholesterol and increasing the level of HDL or good cholesterol. Health Professionals say these are all important for good health and well being.
All about Honey
Evidence from cave paintings shows that humans have been hunting for and collecting honey for 10,000 years. It has long been used on its own, and in many foods and beverages for sweetening and flavoring. Honey even has a place in religious symbolism, and is referred to in the Bible numerous times. The particular flavor of honey is based on the source of the nectar.
Probably the most outstanding thing about honey is its close proximity with nature. In fact you can’t get much closer. Sugar today is usually a highly refined product with many of the original nutrients stripped away. Artificial sweeteners contain dangerous toxins and have no place in the human body. Honey, conversely, is a pure and natural food in perfect balance.
Honey also contains small but significant amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As part of a nutritious diet their contribution has the potential to play quite a significant role in maximising health and wellbeing.
At its most basic, raw honey is a healthy source of energy due to the carbohydrates it contains. The carbohydrates in honey supply energy, strength, and endurance, and cut down on muscle fatigue.
Most microorganisms have a hard time growing in honey due to its low water activity. It is often used as a healing remedy and has numerous health benefits that scientific research continues to uncover.
Honey is an amazing natural substance, and there is no wonder it has been so widely used for so many thousands of years. It is receiving plenty of attention due to its natural healing abilities.
The benefits of honey as a great soother for sore throats, laryngitis, and pharyngitis have long been known.
When paired with cinnamon, honey can help in relieving indigestion, arthritis, bladder infections, and even bad breath. Some people claim that honey can slow hair loss.
- When topically applied, honey used as a salve can safely and effectively treat diabetic ulcers, canker sores, bleeding gums, and eczema, and can be used when topical antibiotics are not well-tolerated.
- Honey mixed with apple cider vinegar has long been used to sooth stomach aches, to ease constipation, and to treat migraine headaches.
- Combined with lemon, honey is able to make the body’s available fat stores more usable for regular bodily functions. Other benefits of honey are that it is cholesterol free, and some believe that it keeps cholesterol levels under control.
Buying locally grown, raw honey not only supplies you with the goodness of honey, but supports your local beekeepers and local agriculture and economy. The benefits of honey are not just for health, but local economies as well!
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If you are interested in purchasing Greenlee Farm products please contact us by phone or email.
Why not arrange a stay at Greenlee Cottages and experience the beauty of the farm and orchard first-hand.
Greenlee Farm is a proud member of Eat Local Scenic Rim's Accredited Locavore program.