David Flinter started Hand’n’Hoe in 1997. He bought the property years before when he was only 19 years old. His vision at that time was to create a sustainable lifestyle through permaculture and sustainable farming, and he spent 2 years living in a tent clearing pockets of land and felling selected trees by himself. David built his first dwelling where his children were born, and then the house where he lives today, using only very basic tools and the wood from his farm.
Since the early days, David’s vision became clearer and more focused as the community became a large part of his work. He is passionate about building people’s awareness about clean food and where it comes from; he works with people from the local community on his farm and they support him and his sustainable farming practices. David supports Farmers Markets and he and travels long distances to make his certified organic macadamia products easily available and accessible to everyone.
David is determined to produce locally and sell locally, and therefore provide multicultural Australia with his best quality products. Consequently, Hand’n’Hoe does not export, and this is integral to David’s sustainable farming philosophy.
Sustainability is integral to all aspects of David’s life and he lives his truth in that he maintains a sustainable lifestyle and runs a sustainable business. He certainly hopes this is conveyed in his message and is reflected in his products.
Having trialled many different trees, growing macadamias was the most suitable commercial option that would thrive in their local ecosystem. They have 6 different varieties, 2 of which are their main types. The trees are grown to permaculture principles, which are grown in amphitheatres throughout different paddocks among the natural vegetation. Snakes, owls and the local wildlife manage the pests, and the place is rife in native and European bees, fireflies and other wildlife. Herbicides and pesticides have never been used on the property, so there is no impact on the soil, rivers, trees and local vegetation. All produce on the farm is certified organic.
PROCESSING THE MACADAMIAS
Accessing the farm is an adventure in itself, as the roads need consistent upkeep. This limits the processes that can be done on the farm, and therefore some need to be outsourced locally.
The HARVEST. Everything is harvested on the farm by hand. Many locals and visitors from around the country and overseas help in this process. It’s a time of sharing and learning, exchanging ideas and meeting like-minded people.
De-HUSKING. All de-husking is done on the farm, usually within 24-48 hours after harvest.
Macadamia SPREADS. All of the macadamia spreads and butter are made naturally on the farm.
PRESSING the OIL. Currently, this process cannot be done on the farm. They use an experienced macadamia oil presser who understands the need to maintain the organic integrity and quality of their oils.
Labelling and PACKAGING. The labels are made externally using natural papers and inks, however, all the packaging is done on the farm.