About the orchard

The 10.4 walnut orchard was established by the current owners, Barbara and Graeme Nicholas. They took over bare land in 2001, planted over 3.5 km of shelter belts, installed irrigation and planted the 1200 walnut trees over the period of 2004-07. The house was built in 2005 and more than 50 feijoa trees planted in 2009.

Throughout this time, the owners have been part of the developing walnut industry in Canterbury as it has developed knowledge, methods and markets. They have served on the Walnut Industry Group research committee, hosted an industry trial of new cultivars, and served on the board of directors of Walnuts New Zealand Co-operative Limited.

The orchard is delivering an operating profit having reached 14 tonne production, and yield is expected to grow to at least 26 tonne. The orchard is in conversation to Organic registration (Biogro), which attracts a premium. Demand for organic walnuts is strong, and exceeds current supply.

The orchard has:

  • two main walnut varieties - Rex (approx. 52%) and Meyric (approx.39%) The balance is of mixed grafted varieties and purple kernel nuts

  • current Organic registration (Biogro: in conversion - due for full certified organic status in February 2021)

  • elite Templeton silt loam soil and secure water take consent

  • documented history of fertiliser application and soil moisture monitoring to sustain tree health

The walnut crop is sold to Tricketts Grove, owned and operated by Walnuts New Zealand Co-operative Limited. Shares in NZ Walnut Co-operative ensure a path to market for the crop and are available to the purchaser. BG Growers Limited (the vendor) currently holds (as at 1 April 2019) 14,691 Class A shares, with a nominal value of $40,400.25.

The orchard comes with

  • excellent irrigation consent and plant (including harvester) for managing the orchard and harvest

  • a handover of relationship with washing and drying providers at Nut Tree Farm

The vendors are willing to offer the purchaser a comprehensive introduction to the methods and technologies they use in the orchard, and to the industry. This offer includes their willingness to be available for contact, discussion and advice for a year following the settlement.

The 10.4 hectare property is at 480 Rattletrack Road, near Springston, Lincoln and Rolleston.

Scene from the orchard 2016

A scene in the orchard - 2016

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