Dobree’s nutty business

JACQUI O'LEARYSound Telegraph

The macadamia plantation harvest at MacNuts in Baldivis is in full swing.

Owner Nicholas Dobree is busy in his orchard preparing for the 13 tonnes of macadamia nuts he is expecting to harvest this season.

Mr Dobree and his wife Lyndy planted the trees when they bought the Doghill Road property 20 years ago, when there was not a single tree .

Today, there are more than 3000 on the 12ha orchard.

“If you can stay long enough to watch the trees grow, it really is a marvellous thing,” he said.

Mr Dobree said if 10 per cent of their trees produced nuts this season, they would have masses.

“The macadamia trees are slow growers compared to most trees and you would expect to get nuts off a four-year-old tree and it would be enough for your consumption,” he said.

“For a commercial quantity, you are looking at seven to eight years — that’s why we are one of the biggest, if not the biggest orchard in WA.”

MacNuts has the only full-scale processing plant in WA and not a single part of the macadamia nut goes to waste.

The kernel is the most important part, but the husk is crumbled for compost and the shell is pre-packaged to be sold as fire kindling which burns green and clean and is also crushed once more for garden beds and mulch around the trees, Mr Dobree said.

They have fresh nuts 10 months of the year and Mr Dobree was attracted to the macadamia industry because of his love for the nut.

MacNuts also retails macadamia products including spreads, roasted nuts, oils and body-care range.

Mr Dobree said the future looked good for his business and macadamias were a small but lively industry he loved being a part of.

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