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TAS Country : April 5th 2012
8 Tasmanian Country Friday, April 6, 2012 Grower family goes nuts about some good, fresh produce We're very fussy about what we put into the bags because we want to get a reputation for really good- quality nuts.' ---HAZELNUT GROWER LISA FRENCH From Page 3 ''That's the biggest reward and one of the things we enjoy most about it, when people acknowledge how good our nuts taste and we know we are supplying a quality product,'' she said. Hazelnuts drop from the trees as they mature over about eight weeks. Mr French uses a new mech- anical harvester, bought last year, to sweep the nuts together and vacuum them up into a storage bin on the back of the machine. Once harvested, the nuts are cleaned to remove any stones and debris and dried for about 60 hours at 30C. Mrs French said hazelnuts left in the shell and kept in a cool room or refrigeration stored well. The Frenches crack and roast only enough nuts to fill orders as they come in. Mrs French said this en- sured consumers were get- ting a top-quality product. ''We're very fussy about what we put into the bags because we want to get a reputation for really good- quality nuts,'' she said. ''At the moment hazelnuts are not something that people generally buy on a regular basis, but we're hoping that once people taste ours and how good they can be, that will change.'' The French family sells some of their nuts to choc- olate makers on the main- land and also sells four different hazelnuts prod- ucts into the local Tasman- ian market. They are in the process of establishing a website and customers will soon be able to order their nuts online. Mr French said they planned to have farm-gate sales and supply specialist retailers as well. They use one particular nut variety for their pre- mium range. Sold in 100g resealable bags, these nuts are cracked and lightly dry-roasted and have the pellicle removed. They are ideal as a healthy snack. They also sell 250g bags of fresh-roasted hazelnuts with most of the pellicle removed, which are ideal for eating or cooking or chocolate making. Raw nuts, which are popular for adding to cere- al mixes, cooking or just for eating, are also sold in 200g bags. The Frenches also pro- duce a hazelnut meal, which is nuts ground into a fine powder and can be used as a substitute for some flour in baking, coat- ings for meat or in recipes that normally use almonds or almond meal. Mrs French said hazel- nuts had health benefits including good levels of polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats, vit- amins E, B12 and folate. All the nuts are pro- cessed and roasted by hand on the farm. The Frenches are also in the process of building a new processing facility, which will include a crack- ing machine and new kitchen. Mr French said the cracking machine would help improve ef- ficiency, especially as the volume of nuts they pro- duce increases. The processing facility will enable them to buy in nuts from other Tasman- ian growers if required. Mrs French said eventu- ally they would like to establish a cafe at the farm and also run farm tours. ''We're in a really good location here, it's a lovely area and we think it's something a little bit differ- ent that people would find interesting,'' she said. For now, however, the French family is concen- trating on completing this year's harvest, which Mr French said had been fairly smooth. ''It hasn't been any- where near as wet this year so the nuts we have harvested have been good quality,'' he said. Hazelnut trees generally have one heavy crop fol- lowed with a lighter crop the next year, so yields this season have been down slightly compared with last year. Mr French said pro- duction was increasing as the trees matured. This season they hoped to harvest up to five tonnes of nuts. ''It's been a learning curve and we've certainly made some mistakes along the way,'' Mr French said. ''We know we can grow very good nuts here in Tasmania though and we think that value adding is the best way to go because we can control the whole process right through.'' The Frenches' website is expected to be operating by the end of April and any- one interested in finding out more will be able to visit www.hazelnuts tasmania.com.au News Climate change funding A TOTAL of $100,000 fund- ing for a range of new projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions has been announced by the Minister for Climate Change, Cassy O'Connor. Recipients include: Greening Australia for reducing the climate im- pacts of drought and fire in Mount Nelson. The University of Tas- mania, for a project study- ing vector-borne disease in Tasmania under climate change. The Local Government Association of Tasmania, for work monitoring and interpreting changes to the coastline. The University of Tas- mania's Institute for Mar- ine and Antarctic Studies, to increase the reporting capacity to detect shifting marine species and the development of a qualitat- ive score card. EXCEPTIONAL TRACTOR AND LOADER DEALS! MF5430 -- 90hp with Loader www.masseyferguson.com.au Massey Ferguson is a worldwide brand of AGCO Corporation Great deals on Massey Ferguson 5400 tractor and loader packages. The all new MF5400 series offers: -- Superb power to weight ratio -- Unique styling enhances visibility for loader work -- New design delivers exceptional ground clearance. The MF5430 and loader at 90hp, complete with front-end loader, 1800mm bucket and third service can be yours when ordered in April 2012. Contact your local dealer today to find out more about this great tractor offer. $87,890* FROM *Prices include GST. Offer expires April 30, 2012, while stocks last, for delivery in May or June 2012. Photo used for illustrational purposes only. Some options pictured are optional extras and are not included in the offer. Refer to your local dealer for specifications. Save up to $13,000* Tasmania Farm Equipment A RURALCO BUSINESS PTY LTD DEVONPORT • SMITHTON • LAUNCESTON • HOBART www.tasfarm.com.au 1800 682 276
March 29th 2012
April 12th 2012