Updated: Oct 16
After 38 years of regeneratively farming beef cattle, Ron Caccianiga knew he needed a change.
The drought had taken its toll and, while farming had been in his family for generations, he wasn’t sure if it was in his future.
Together with partner Mel, he began to scope out other business options.
Falling in love with macadamia nuts
The pair were on their way to consider a B&B property near the Glass House Mountains when they stopped for a pub lunch in a country town. After lunch, they were drawn across the road to check out the real estate agent’s window. That’s when Ron saw an advertisement for a macadamia farm and announced that farming macadamias was what they were going to do.
From that moment on, the couple were fascinated by these native nuts. The more they learnt (and more they tasted!), the more they fell in love.
It took them three years to find the property in the NSW Northern Rivers that would become their home. They found a farm with two thousand young trees planted, room for another two and an half thousand, and two spectacular pink-flowering macadamia tetraphylla trees. Ron and Mel spent four years developing thIs property into a modern orchard. Inspired and supported by the dynamic, eco-friendly practices of the macadamia industry, the pair had soon purchased a second block of land on the coastal flats and developed the property, planting out a further ten thousand macadamia trees.
They were developing ideas for products based on what they had learnt about the unique properties of the macadamia nuts when it began to rain. And rain. And rain.
Hardy trees and healing nuts
After three successive rain events over a period of four days, the worst flood in modern Australian history inundated Lismore and surrounding areas in 2022. Ron and Mel’s trees, on the coastal flats property, most no older than 24 months, were completely submerged for more than a week. They held out a glimmer of hope while the waters cleared. After all, macadamias are resilient trees used to the extremes of the Australian climate. However, they still lost 80% of this orchard.
As tenacious and hardy as the trees they love, the couple replanted 8,000 trees, most of them by hand.
Despite the gruelling work, their passion for the nuts and their amazing health-giving benefits didn’t wane.
Once they started developing products, they simply couldn’t stop the ideas from flowing.
From botanical moisturisers and serums to flavoured culinary oils and seasoned macadamia crumbs, the pair can’t seem to stop dreaming up ways to use their beloved ancient nuts in modern ways.
Visit our shop now to discover the amazing product ranges for kitchen, bathroom and beyond.