Com­mit­ted to chest­nuts

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Front Page - By KYLIE WIL­SON

AS au­tumn nears, the time for fresh, ripe chest­nuts is al­most upon us.

In or­chards across the North East, par­tic­u­larly around Stan­ley and in selected pock­ets of the alpine re­gion, chest­nut trees are laden with spikey green blooms as the nuts ripen.

It’s a sight which ex­cites Andrew Hall, who said leav­ing be­hind the bustling, high pres­sure world of mer­chant bank­ing for the idyl­lic Stan­ley or­chard he and wife Joy call home was one of his best ever de­ci­sions.

“The job was killing me,” he said, re­laxed and fo­cused on one of the trees which will help his or­chard yield be­tween 70 to 90 tonnes this year.

The property is con­tin­u­ing to evolve, with a large me­chan­i­cal har­vester, 100 tonne cool room, and the re­plant­ing of sev­eral acres of trees an in­vest­ment the for­mer banker ex­pects to deliver a nice re­turn.

Andrew said the rich his­tory of chest­nuts was an as­pect he found par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing as a grower.

“It’s a good prod­uct, it has an in­cred­i­ble his­tory and has kept gen­er­a­tions of Euro­peans alive,” he said.

“It’s a very hon­est way of mak­ing a liv­ing… and the or­chards are beau­ti­ful.”

PHOTO: Wendy Stephens

TREECHANGE: Hus­band and wife team Joy and Andrew Hall in their chest­nut or­chard near Stan­ley.

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