At Hazeldean Forest Farm we have been farming ecologically and producing quality certified organic produce since 1986.
Our produce – fruits, nuts, veggies, juice, cider & apple cider vinegar- are sold at farmers markets, organic retailers and restaurants.
History & Creation
In 1986 Marg & Jason Alexandra relocated their business, the Victorian Tree Crop Nursery, to the 92 acre property. They established a demonstration tree farm to encourage others to grow trees for windbreaks, habitat, firewood, fodder and timber production.
Now the property is humming with bees and insects, birds are abundant and fruit is available all year round. This is a stark contrast to the ‘green desert’ of the original property, which was entirely pasture for dairy cows except for a few dozen cypress trees.
Design & Evolution
The transformation of the property followed designs to create integrated biodiverse and sustainable ecosystems. This was achieved by building a dam and planting windbreaks, orchards, forests.
After two decades these planting have created an arboretum of farm forestry with mature stands of deciduous and Australian hardwoods including Spotted Gum, European and American Oaks, Chestnuts and Walnuts. The extensive web of vegetation provide shelter for orchards and paddocks and are the habitat of a great many native animals. The cows and chickens which roam under the trees also enjoy the range of species providing them a mixed diet for improved health.
Diversity & Abundance
A four acre dam with islands is a crucial design feature for irrigation and habitat for birds, fish and frogs. Numerous species of insectivorous bats & birds breed and feed throughout the property, attracted to the successful revegetation & wildlife corridors. They also work as biological controllers in the orchards.
Planted between 1988 and 1992, the orchards have been certified organic for over 30 years. Now fully matured, there are variety collections of chestnuts, walnuts, persimmons, peaches, nashis & plums. There are also over 30 varieties of apples, including heritage and cider varieties.
The Pastures & Livestock
Our neighbours, Elderslie Organics, farm cows and chickens in the paddocks and within the orchards and woodlands. These animals benefit from the biological infrastructure developed over the years. The trees are especially important, providing the animals with a happy and healthy lifestyle. The cows enjoy the shelter and the tasty, nutritious leaves, while the chickens love to forage under the trees where food is abundant and they feel safe from predators.