Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published February 14th 2018
Enjoy taste-testing of Australia's organic Pecan Nut
On a recent bus tour to Moree, I visited the 'Trawalla" Stahmann Pecan Nut Farm. The original Stahmann Farm was established in Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1932 by Deane Stahmann Snr, where the family planted more than 100,000 pecan trees.
Deane Stahmann Jnr. migrated to Australia in 1965 with an ambition to create the first commercial pecan manufacturing plant in the Southern Hemisphere. Firstly, he began planting in Gatton, but shortly after moved to the flagship property of Trawalla near Moree in New South Wales. His dream was to create a new industry in Australia.
On the 29th April 2008 and after thirty-five years of operation the Stahmann Farms Inc. was sold to two long-term employees Matthew Durack and Jeff Dodd. Today, trading as Stahmann Farms Enterprises Pty Ltd, they actively market pecans in Australia and the South East Asian Markets.
Quilt hanging on the wall of Moree Tourism Centre depicting Moree's industry (Author's Photo)
From March each year tours to the Farm can be booked and purchased through the Moree Tourism for $30.00 Adults and $20 for children under 14. The total time taken for the tour is three hours and includes taste-testing of the pecans, morning tea and a tour around the city of Moree. If you are interested in these tours, it is best to check with Moree Tourism as there are no set days that the tours are held, with times differing from week to week.
The land on which Trawalla is situated is some of the deepest and richest in Australia, good rainfall supplemented by water drawn from Gwydir River and low pest pressure which is a climate well suited to growing Pecan Trees.
The Pecans at The Stahmann Farms comprise of two varieties – Wichita and Western Schley. Planting is done by scattering the trees between the rows so cross-pollination can take place. This happens around September. The nuts are fully formed by February with harvesting commencing in May. The trees are deciduous and therefore the leaves turn yellow-orange in autumn and are completely leafless in July. Harvesting is done by a mobile shaker which moves between the rows of trees. Mechanical harvesters collect the nuts from the ground, which are de-husked on the farm before being shipped to Toowoomba for storage and shelling. The pecan products vary each harvest due to the quality and size of the kernel. The Farm does not process peanuts or any mix of product that contains peanuts or that which has come into contact with peanuts thereby guaranteeing their product to be completely peanut-free.
Moree is a major agricultural centre situated on the banks of the Mehi River, amidst rich black-soil plains. Like many other Australian cities and towns, Moree shares its name with a small community in Northern Ireland in the County Tyrone. The earliest descendants to the Moree area were the Gamilaraay or Kamilaroi people who spoke one dialect of the Pama-Nyungan languages. Unfortunately, this language is no longer spoken with the last surviving Kamilaroi person passing away in the 1950s.
There is much to see in Moree and the staff at Moree Tourism can give you advice and brochures on events happening in the area; when they are on and where they can be located. When next in Moree, go there first to obtain the latest up-to-date information available.