Nutty for macadamias
Picture: Robert Duncan

There are not many commercial growers of macadamia nuts in WA but Baldivis grower and owner of MacNuts WA, Nicholas Dobree and his wife Lyndy, are leading the way with the super-food known to lower cholesterol and reduce coronary heart disease, as well as provide abundant monounsaturates (the good oil), essential vitamins and dietary fibre.

The macadamia nut season runs from April to September in Baldivis and, with the trees currently in full flower, Mr Dobree was keen to share them with Fresh readers.

"The trees produce the most beautiful flowers around this time (September to October), and the scent is incredible," says Mr Dobree, who established his 14ha farm more than 20 years ago and processes about 40 tonnes of locally grown nuts per annum, including that of many smaller South West growers.

"We are probably one of the largest producers in WA and are the only ones to have a full-scale processing plant. The trees take around seven to eight years to mature before they are ready for commercial production, and they'll go on to produce nuts for around 50 years," he says.

Mr Dobree says the macadamia nut tree is an Australian native, not Hawaiian as some still think.

"The trees originate from northern NSW and southern Queensland," he says.

"The tree was introduced into Hawaii following the Second World War and for a while Hawaii was the world's largest commercial producer. That mantle has now been taken over by Australia, as it should, which now exports worldwide."

The Dobrees offer group tours of up to 10 people by appointment, but the farm is open to the public at weekends between 10am and 5pm.

A cafe sells freshly baked macadamia nut cookies and the on-site shop sells everything from 2kg bags of unhulled nuts (you need a special nutcracker to eat them, $12 per bag) to natural and dry roasted nuts in various flavours, chocolate-coated nuts, 100 per cent nut spread (with 50 per cent chocolate and honey combinations), macadamia nut oil, macadamia honey and even cosmetics and skin care "made by a lovely lady in Margaret River", according to Mr Dobree.

Natural macadamia nuts come in 200g ($8.25) and 400g ($14.85) bags and products can also be purchased online.

Visit the farm at 213 Doghill Road, Baldivis.

Or go to macnutswa.com.au to find out

more.

Fresh and MacNuts WA are giving away a hamper full of macadamia goodies such as nut spreads, roasted nuts, oil and body products valued at $150. To win write your name, phone number and address on the back of an envelope and send to: Fresh MacNuts Competition, GPO Box 2910, WA 6800. Entries close at 5pm on Thursday, October 24 with the winner drawn the same day and contacted by phone. The winner will need to collect the hamper from the MacNuts WA farm in Baldivis. Employees of _The West Australian _and immediate family ineligible to enter. Entrants' details will be used for marketing. See WAN privacy policy at the west.com.au/ privacypolicy.

The West Australian

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