In 2021, Simon and Kate Goodhew moved to Queensland after purchasing a beautiful macadamia farm not far from where wild macadamias are still found in ancient rainforests. Their 33,000 trees are equally at home on their 165-hectare property and provide endless hours of climbing for their four young children.
Hailing from a background in cotton farming, this husband-and-wife team works seamlessly with the seasonal cycles of their mixed orchard as they adapt their specialised knowledge to macadamias. The farm has had many caretakers since the late 80s when the original plantings were made, making some of the trees over thirty years old. Newer plantings include a range of newer varieties, creating a successive advantage in pollination and cropping. ”We have so many varieties to help with pollination; it mixes it up and keeps the bees happy. Harvest is also spread out because the trees aren’t dropping at exactly the same time,” they said.
After a busy harvest season, Spring is the family’s favourite time to rest, plan for the next crop and literally, smell the flowers. “You hear the hum of the bees and there’s a sweet smell in the air from the flowers, when everything’s coming back to life”. Fortunate to live and work in a diverse biosphere, the Goodhew’s are also close to some of Queensland’s most spectacular natural wonders, including Fraser Island (K’gari), national parks and the Great Sandy Strait. “There's always something to do on the farm, especially on the weekends. But we've got to make sure that we get out and explore. So, Simon's always out fishing with the kids. We take kayaks out onto the dams, put yabby traps out and go motorbike riding around the farm. I could not imagine raising our kids anywhere else.” Kate told us.
While transitioning from one crop to another can be challenging, the Goodhew’s have taken it in their stride and supply Freedom Fresh Australia with quality macadamias that are grown with love and as little human interference as possible. “It's a big picture thing - the summary of it all is ‘less is more’ and taking our knowledge of the soil, plant health, the insects and applying that to macadamias. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel. You’ve just got to do it well - that's the secret.”