TAKE A PEEK: Eltham Valley pecan nut growers and producers James Payne and Julie Rhodes with a sample of their produce.
TAKE A PEEK: Eltham Valley pecan nut growers and producers James Payne and Julie Rhodes with a sample of their produce.

It?s been a long road for nut farm Tree change begins to bear fruit for Eltham couple

By NERIDA BLOK

JAMES PAYNE and Julie Rhodes are going nuts over their tree change.

The couple yesterday celebrated the first commercial sale of pecan nuts produced and processed on their Eltham property.

Their coup comes hot-onthe-heels of Lismore City Council's decision on Tuesday night to allow them to process additional nuts purchased from nearby growers.

James, whose family has farmed at Eltham since 1870, said they planted 350 pecan trees on their property in Boatharbour Road nine years ago.

It has taken eight for them to reach the production stage.

Keen to make a living from their new venture, the couple last year invested $170,000 to build the first pecan nut processing plant in the region.

To date they have been able to process nuts produced only on-farm.

The good news, however, comes with a costly sting.

"We're very happy we're able to get nuts in," Mr Payne said. "But now we have to pay for the upgrade of 100 metres of road."

Mr Payne said they had considered the significant resident objections relating to noise expected from increased traffic along Boatharbour Road.

He said they would only have deliveries between 10am and 3pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. "And we won't do it in huge quantities," he said.



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