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Carol Kunert and Mike Burston, King Val­ley Wal­nuts, Myrrhee, Vic­to­ria North-east Vic­to­ria is one of the main wal­nut-grow­ing ar­eas in the coun­try. Carol Kunert and Mike Burston planted 4000 trees on their 170–hectare prop­erty in Myrrhee in 1996. They chose sev­eral va­ri­eties: Howard and Chan­dler, which have thin shells that are rel­a­tively easy to open, as well as Fran­quette, an older French va­ri­ety renowned for its keep­ing qual­i­ties. Wal­nuts are har­vested in au­tumn, but there is also a se­condary spring har­vest of green wal­nuts, which are used for pick­ling and mak­ing wal­nut liqueur. The trees lose their leaves in win­ter, which is the time for prun­ing and fer­til­is­ing. “In sum­mer, we make a hell of a racket, de­fend­ing the trees from birds; a flflock of cock­a­toos can dec­i­mate the en­tire crop,” Carol says. She de­scribes the taste of a fresh wal­nut as sweet and crunchy. “If it’s bit­ter, the nut is old and the oil in it has turned ran­cid.” Buy King Val­ley Wal­nuts on­line, or from one of the many farm­ers mar­kets Carol and Mike at­tend. (03) 5729 7527; king­val­ley­wal­nuts.com.au

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