Messina Hazelnut Farm - Seymour VIC
Have you ever eaten our white choc hazelnut, our gianduia, or our choc hazelnut spread? They are all made form the hazelnuts grown on our farms.
In 2016 we embarked on our hazelnut growing project and bought our own hazelnut farm in Seymour, Victoria. The now has farm has close to 7500 trees, and is home to vegetable plantations and beehives too, which supply Messina HQ with produce.
Location: Seymour (VIC) – 1 hour north of Melbourne
Home to: Close to 3800 mature trees and 2500 new trees planted this year
Why don’t you just buy your hazelnuts in? We used to buy them all in from Cortemilia in the Piedmont Region of Italy, but after much research we found some amazing varieties we could produce in Australia. We tested different ways of roasting and preparing them and realised we could potentially produce an even better product than we do currently. And so began the challenge of Hazelnut farming. Since embarking on our hazelnut 'mission' 7 years ago, we now supply as many Australian grown hazelnuts from our own farm as we can, plus top up our supply from farms growing the same variety of hazelnuts we grow on neighbouring farms in the region.
What varieties do you grow and how did you choose? We did a lot of research based on climate and suitability for the region of course, but we also did huge amounts of taste testing. Not just the raw nut, but we trialled different roasting techniques, a variety of recipes and used each in a number of products. In all sorts of things including gelato, pralines, nut pastes, chocolates and our own version of nutella. After eating our weight hazelnuts, we decided to grow 4 types of hazelnuts to give us our preferred flavour profile.
The Tonda Di Giffoni, the Lewis, TBC 20%, and the Barcelona.
We use the Tonda Di Giffoni to make our own hazelnut paste, and the other varieties pollinate the trees.
How long until we get to try some? We’re using a proportion of the nuts now, but we are planting tress so we can supply as much as we can for our hazelnut needs. We use our own hazelnuts in White Choc Hazelnut Gelato, Gianduia gelato, and panned nut additions and in our Choc Hazelnut Spread 'Messinatella'.
Is your farm organic? We’re not organic, however currently do not use any pesticides. Since taking over the farms, we have done a lot of work on the permaculture of the soil, making it the best it can be and turning it from dry dust into beautiful regenerated soil. Both out farms use the no-till regeneration method, which has proven to be a great success and meant we can eliminate all pesticides, chemical fertilisers, and is a helps prevent natural erosion in the soil.
We also have our own Dairy Farm Numurkah, which supplies dairy milk for all our gelato. Read about it here
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