About Adelaide Hills Fresh Chestnuts

Adelaide Hills Fresh Chestnuts was conceived in 1985 when Sally Robbins purchased her farm property at Forest Range in the scenic Adelaide Hills. Originally an apple orchard, the property was quickly transformed into the foundation of Sally's vision of a chestnut grove with the initial establishment of about 200 chestnut trees in 1986. More plantings followed over the years with a substantial diversification in 1987, when about 200 hazelnut trees were added.

A section of the farm was set aside for Sally to develop her interest in non-mainstream horticulture and experiment with the production of avocadoes, feijoas, mulberries, pomegranates, figs, nashies, tamarillos, white sapotes and heritage apple and pear varieties.

With the passage of time, years of hard work and the arrival of three children (Tess, Pip & Joh), the original vision flourished into a picturesque orchard and the family run business: Adelaide Hills Fresh Chestnuts.

For many years, harvesting was a family affair with Tess, Pip and Joh, grandparents, extended family and friends all lending a hand in the orchard and packing shed. A turning point was reached in 2003 when production eventually exceeded family capacity to hand harvest, prompting the purchase of a Tonutti Nut Harvester and a transition to mechanical harvesting of the chestnuts and hazelnuts. The commitment of Adelaide Hills fresh Chestnuts to quality and freshness was enhanced by the ability to harvest larger quantities and substantially reduce the 'orchard to plate' time frame.

Whilst a small scale producer in comparison to interstate nut growers, Adelaide Hills Fresh Chestnuts is one of a handful of chestnut and hazelnut growers in South Australia and the largest producer in the region, originally supplying the Pooraka Wholesale Market.

In 2010, in response to frequent requests for direct from the grower sales, Adelaide Hills Fresh Chestnuts opened its farmgate to the public. Chestnut and hazelnut lovers can now enjoy a scenic drive in the picturesque Adelaide Hills to our Forest Range farm shed (only 30 km from the GPO), where they can sample different varieties of chestnuts, hazelnuts and various 'unusual' fruits in season, collect free recipes and information brochures and enjoy tastings of home made cooking using seasonal produce. (Check out Where to Buy for opening times.)

Realising the importance of communicating with consumers and providing varietal information and advice about the storage, preparation and use of our produce, Adelaide Hills Fresh Chestnuts welcomed the opportunity to join the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market in 2011, where we can now be found every Sunday during the nut season.

Adelaide Hills Fresh Chestnuts will continue to produce quality chestnuts for our valued, discerning chestnut lovers, however having accomplished the dream of establishing a sustainable farm enterprise based on organic growing principles, we are now working towards further farm diversification and look forward to offering customers a broader range of farm fresh produce under the banner of Adelaide Hills Fresh Chestnuts.

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