GO NUTS ABOUT AGRICULTURE WITH THE FENCEPOST
EXPECTING a yield of about 60 to 70 tonnes of pecan nuts this year, Michelle Chicken is looking forward to a bumper season and lots of pecan pie.
Boyne River Pecans is a family owned and operated farming operation owned by Lindsay Chicken and his daughter and son-in-law, Michelle Chicken and Boyd Paton.
Ms Chicken said their property was located on the banks of the Boyne River at Mundubbera and long hot summers and short cold winters made it ideal conditions for pecan production.
“The climate here seems to be perfect for pecans and whilst our irrigation requirement is possibly higher than other producers in the higher rainfall areas of northern NSW, our drier, hotter environment has an enormous advantage as we require no chemical use for insects, pests and moulds,” she said
“Currently, we are selling nuts at our roadside stall to travellers and locals alike.
“I put a small ad on Facebook and the result was overwhelming, with orders coming in daily.
“This was very exciting for us.”
During the past six years the Chickens have invested in the long-term potential of the industry and this year expanded the operation to double its capacity with a further 5000 trees planted.
Ms Chicken said bulk nuts were sold to Stahmann Farms in Toowoomba who value added the product and sold under Stahmann’s label Riverside Nuts which were sold direct toWoolworths, IGA and Aldi Stores.
“A small portion of nuts may go into China and Vietnam, however there are not enough producers to fill domestic demand at this point in time, let alone export on a large scale,” she said.
“However, this year we have started selling our own nuts under our own label, Boyne River Pecans, directly to consumers straight from the paddock to their pantry with our own on-farm small scale cracking and kernelling facility.
“This is where we would eventually like to take our business long term.
Michelle Chicken We are selling nuts at our roadside stall to travellers and locals.
BUMPER SEASON: Kieran Stokes drives the harvester that picks up all the pecan nuts from the ground.
Back packer Kate Downing and Debbie Crouch are sorting the best pecan nuts in Mundubbera.