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