Situated amongst the towering Karri trees and perched on a hilltop in Deanmill, just a 5-minute drive from the Manjimup township, sits One Oak Estate, a one-of-a-kind macadamia and truffle farm. Run by husband-and-wife duo, Melody and Daniele, along with their three young children, Arielle, Isabella and Leonardo, who left behind their city life for a tree change in the pristine Southern Forests. Their 30-acre property is home to an established macadamia orchard and 1,500 inoculated oak and hazel trees, planted by family when they first relocated four years ago.
Even though they have only been farming since 2017, what they lack in generations of experience, they make up for in their eagerness to learn and proven ability to produce a sought-after quality product.
Whilst the couple wait for their oak and hazel trees to come into fruition over the next couple of years, they have turned their focus to value adding macadamia nuts and building up their One Oak Estate brand.
Through trial and error, they have perfected the roasting and salting of their macadamia nuts. You only have to ask any one of their many customers and they will tell you how amazing the products are.
This quality didn’t go unnoticed, as the couple were approached by the prestigious Ritz Carlton in Perth, and One Oak Estate Macadamias are now stocked throughout the hotel’s mini bar. A fantastic achievement.
Melody doesn’t shy away from a bit of hard work and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. Macadamia harvesting and processing can be very labour intensive, encouraging the couple to streamline processes. They are all about working smarter, not harder.
Not only was it the perfect combination of excellent growing conditions, high rainfall and quality soil that attracted the family to the region, but also the welcoming community. Melody and Daniele have felt nothing but supported by other growers in the area as they made the transition from city to country. Reinforcing that the Southern Forests is made up of genuine down-to-earth locals producing genuine fresh local produce.
Once One Oak Estate’s greatly anticipated Black Perigord Truffles come into production they expect to be harvesting just shy of the industry standard of around 1 kg per 10 year old tree. Their energetic dogs will have a couple of years of training before they are put to work over the winter months seeking out the aromatic truffles.
Daniele’s favourite way to enjoy truffle is in a Havarti and sharp cheddar cheese toasted sandwich with a heap of shaved truffle. Simple but tasty. Melody says you cannot go past adding a sprinkle of macadamia crumb on some good quality French vanilla ice cream.
Melody and Daniele are proud to be members of the Southern Forests Food Council and have the Genuinely Southern Forests brand on their macadamia packaging. To them the brand represents good quality and good practices.
Photos by Craig Kinder Food Photography.