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Macadamia Farmer Harvest 10 Tonnes by Hand

Macadamia Farmer Harvest 10 Tonnes by Hand

2022-07-18

Article by: Hari Yellina

In contrast to most growers, David Flinter manages his commercial organic macadamia farm. In fact, he thinks he might be the only farmer who choose to hand-pick the millions of nuts that are cultivated on his land each year. Mr. Flinter’s farm, which covers 240 hectares and includes more than 3,000 macadamia trees, is tucked away in the lush upper reaches of the Manning Valley on the New South Wales Mid North Coast. According to Mr. Flinter, “all we do is based on permaculture sustainable agricultural techniques.” “We planted six distinct species of macadamia trees, allowing us to pick them by hand in staggered waves. “This process is incredibly labor-intensive, and we rely heavily on travellers, so I’m not aware of anyone else using it.”

Once the nuts have fallen to the ground, the traditional technique of harvesting macadamias is to gather them with special-purpose tractors. While Mr. Flinter claimed to adore the outcomes and satisfaction that hand-picking his crop brought him, he acknowledged that this season had been especially difficult without the regular availability of backpackers to assist with the harvest. A group of approximately five family members and friends helped Mr. Flinter with the harvest this year; many of them put in 12-hour days. Janna King, Mr. Flinter’s companion, remarked, “We think we’re crazy.”

“To remove the nuts, we have rakes of various lengths. We pull the nuts down onto the tarps or from underneath the trees, where we are, and then we pull them to crates. Because much of his acreage was too steep for machines to access, Mr. Flinter claimed that manual harvesting was preferable for his land. Additionally, he thought it would prevent harvest-related harm to his nuts. The methods we employ for harvesting are a direct reflection of the calibre of our product, he claimed. More than 200 stores in Australia are supplied by Mr. Flinter, who also sells his goods at numerous farmers’ markets.

According to Mr. Flinter, farming and living sustainably have a positive effect on the environment. In a creek that passes through his land, NSW National Parks recently found a group of highly endangered Manning River turtles. They discovered four female Manning River turtles, all of whom were carrying eggs, he said. The turtles were thought to be around 80 years old by the park keepers. He continued, “I did ask them how we keep them [the turtles] here and they just told to keep doing what we’re doing. “To retain that sustainable farming lifestyle, this sort of thing is one of the reasons I moved up here as a teenager.”