Border Mail Article

Thanks heaps to the great team at The Border Mail. Eliza and Matthew put together a fantastic write up on our chestnut orchard. For links to the PDF go to http://www.growlerscreekgrove.com.au/new_links.html

Roasted Ruby Tuesday Chestnuts

Roasted some fresh Ruby Tuesday chestnuts tonight ….they were picked today so virtually straight from the tree. It’s best to leave the fresh nuts in the fridge for a couple of weeks to allow the sweetness to develop and the nut to shrink so they peel easily.

We roasted some standard Ruby Tuesday chestnuts in our oven, using the fan grill setting on 230 degrees for the first 10 minutes then reduced the heat for the last 20 minutes….the idea was to give them a blast of heat to make the nut shrink quickly.

Well it worked….they peeled really well…whole nuts virtually popping out of their shells. Pretty good for fresh nuts….that blast of intense heat really works.

The nuts were tasty and had a sweet nutty flavour which will develop over the next couple of weeks. Looking forward to trying them again in a couple of weeks.

Photo is of large 1 Ruby Tuesday…stunning nuts!


De Coppi Marone Seeds

Matilda turned 6 today and planted her De Coppi Marone chestnuts…..with the attentive assistance of Harry and ‘Tiggy’ (the Cheetah).

These nuts will sprout in spring and Matilda will help select the best seedling to be nurtured and protected so that it grows big and strong. Her chestnut tree will be grafted to De Coppi Marone in a couple of years to ensure that it crops true to variety.

In about 7 years time we should see the first nuts off Matilda’s chestnut tree, so she can enjoy her bounty when she turns 13.


Magical Toadstools

Cooler nights and recent rain has seen an explosion of fungi in the orchard. A proliferation of different mushrooms and amazing bright red toadstools with white spots have literally appeared overnight

The toadstools add an extra blast of colour and life to the orchard, making you feel like your in a fairyland each time you wander past.

Matilda and Harry love the toadstools….it’s the fairies home. 

This magical fairyland adds another element to harvest…..’Mum don’t stand on the fairies home’! Can you imagine, walking through the grove in sturdy boots trying to avoid standing on the toadstools while collecting chestnuts among the toadstools. 


The toadstools first appear as small white balls just popping out of the soil. They then grow and form a red ball with white spots.

The toadstools continue to grow ….the red ball flattens and the intensity of the colour fades.


Each year more toadstools and fungi appear….it’s a sign of healthy happy soil.

Roasted Chestnuts

At last we have enjoyed some of our bounty. Hot roasted Bouche de Betizac organic chestnuts for dinner, enjoyed with a local cool climate Cabernet. It’s a must; match good food with good wine! The Italians have known this for generations!

Those spiky husks are there for a reason….to protect those precious tasty chestnuts.

Chestnuts have a unique flavour, each variety is slightly different. 

If you have never tried chestnuts then you don’t know what you are missing out on…..it’s hard to describe but they are so moreish.

The nuts we enjoyed tonight, Bouche de Betizac, are large nuts with that classic chestnut sweet nutty delicate flavour and a creamy texture. Like all chestnuts they are low in fat, have no cholesterol and are gluten free…. what more could you want!

Chestnuts they are tasty and good for you.

Chestnut Health Benefits


Organic Chestnut Seeds

Our grove is organic, so we avoid chemicals, focus on soil health, improving organic matter and caring for our trees, soil and native grasses. When we need to plant a new chestnut tree, we start with a seed….one of this years chestnuts. Harry and Matilda are planting their own trees this year. This photo shows Harry has planting several Bouche de Betizac nuts. They will sprout in spring. The best seedling will be pampered and protected from the rabbits and wallabies. It will be grafted in 2 to 3 years time and  should be producing chestnuts in 7 years. It’s a bit of a process, patience required, but worth it, we end up with a strong healthy tree….it has a tap root that has never been disturbed.

So in 7 years time, when young Harry is 14, hopefully he will be picking up chestnuts from underneath the tree that he planted!

Growlers Creek Grove

Scruffty the chestnut hound

Scruffty, our resident head of security is now our official snake spotter. He was barking on Wednesday, I glanced down the driveway couldn’t see anyone coming so continued grading chestnuts. I then noticed Scruff slowly walking backwards up the driveway (in stalking mode)…it was a snake coming up our driveway…well done Scruff!