Barenuts - in a Nutshell
Husband and wife team Michael and Jodie Cameron aka Barenuts Farmer Mick and Farmer JoJo haven’t always harvested nuts for a living – two years ago, they took a tree change and threw in their corporate jobs to become macadamia nut farmers and haven’t looked back since.Content information
- Jul 16, 2017
“We’re pretty sure most of family and friends thought we were nuts leaving our well paid jobs but we are much happier and obviously busier than before, yet so much more time-rich,’ Jodie said.
The Barenuts Macadamia Nut farm resides on 90 lush acres on the Fraser Coast, in South-East Queensland, just east of a town called Bauple – home of the macadamia nut, or Bopple Nut as it is known to the locals in the area.
Born and bred bush boy, Farmer Mick grew up at an organic wheat farm in South-west Queensland so he has the farming side of things down pat while Jodie, an ex-media advisor + foodie looks after all things Barenuts.
“We are still pinching ourselves at just how lucky we got getting into the industry at just the right time,” Jodie said.
Barenuts was born 10 years ago by the previous owners of the farm. Michael and Jodie took over their customer base and some of their product lines, then got busy in the kitchen creating their own range of products.
“We have recently completed a refresh of the brand to make the look and feel of the products a little more us,” Jodie said.
All of the Barenuts products are handmade in the fully certified gluten free kitchen at the farm including a full range of gourmet dry-roasted macadamia nuts, macadamia nut butter and macadamia nut oil, as well a full range of gluten free and vegan macadamia nut treats.
“The Barenuts philosophy is to keep the ingredients as totally bare as possible so we grow some of our own herbs/spices including Kaffir Lime and Lemon Myrtle which I bake then grind to flavour the Barenuts Bush Tucker Blends.”
They use home-grown, local, organic and Australian wherever possible because we like to support local and nothing beats the freshness that Australian natives can provide.”
Barenuts products are vacuum sealed to lock in freshness from paddock to plate and all orders are made to order so you can take comfort in knowing that a whole lot of love and passion has gone into every single Barenuts product before it leaves the farm.
“Barenuts is currently one of Farmhouse's most popular sellers, so we must be doing something right,” Michael said.
The orchard comprises of 2000 mature trees and a nursery of around 3500 baby macadamia nut trees which will be planted in Spring 2017. The farm consists of three different varieties of macadamia nut trees, which means they all flower and drop their nut at different times so harvest usually runs from around April through until September.
“The idea is to get the baby trees into the ground so we can be self-sufficient – our goal is to have 10,000 trees but given a macadamia nut tree takes around seven years to produce nut commercially, it feels like a very ambitious dream at the moment but we are hopeful we can get there, with a lot of hard work of course,” Michael said.
The nuts are harvested using a mower attachment similar to the machine that picks up golf balls – the nuts stick into the tooth-like comb and then sent into an auger that dispenses them into a bin on the back of the mower.
“We de-husk (remove the outer husk) at the farm before sending them to the local Co-Op which consists of several growers from Queensland and Northern New South Wales – our nuts are cracked, then we undertake the value-adding at the farm.”