OUR MOUNTAIN PEPPER FARM
We also have an Australian native Mountain Pepper farm. It is the first commercial native pepper orchard in New South Wales.
Mountain Pepper is a food and medicine with a history thousands of years old. Its rich antioxidant levels and outstanding antibacterial performance make it one of Australia's most sought after native foods.
At Australian Mountain Pepper we aim to provide you with the highest quality Australian bush food which we grow and dry in a practice that is both environmentally and socially sustainable. Our pepper plants are the same species found at limited locations across south east Australia however the strength and flavour of the local phenotype we produce in the Budawang Ranges offers a spice that is truly unique.
We hand pick our berries and leaves ourselves so we can dictate the quality of what we supply to you. They pass through a three-stage cleaning process that does not involve any detergents or commercial cleaners. We air dry all our pepper ourselves and sell it in recyclable packaging.
Our pepper is 100% natural and 100% Australian grown, processed and owned.
Fueled by the worst drought in history, the devastating 2019/2020 bushfires burned our farm and destroyed our plants. We are rebuilding that side of our business. We are already replanting but implementing a new plan we hope will help mitigate the increasing climate change risk we are facing.
We have no harvest in 2020 and it is possible we will not have a harvest for two or three years ahead of us. It is early days but we will keep you posted as we rebuild.
We practice what can be described as 'pick & shovel' farming on this small property nestled at the base of the region’s highest peak, Mount Budawang. This is a special place, richly soiled and bounded by National Park on three sides. Primarily wet sclerophyll forest, it is crossed by a spring fed creek and is the home of massive tree ferns and Lyre Birds, Sugar Gliders and Spotted-tail Quolls. Our farm benefits from a very localised microclimate that delivers over 1,250mm of rain annually, cool winters and mild summers. This mountain refuge has deep, rich well drained soils which support forest trees over 50 metres high and nearby creeks that contain remnant rainforest. Our farm is registered with Kosciusko To Coast as a Land For Wildlife reserve.
We have cultivated a unique mountain pepper operation that employs permaculture principles and organic techniques. There is no use of industrial chemicals or non-recyclable/non-reusable plastics and great efforts are made to maintain the farm’s minimal carbon footprint and a near zero waste output. For the few inputs that come from off-farm we deal primarily with local suppliers and people we know personally.
Our sustainable and ecologically sound practices are creating a unique Mountain Pepper orchard. We practice companion planting, holistically managed soil and create our own organic fertilisers on site. We are the newcomers to this environment and we ensure our soils, water and annual harvest are shared with the creatures and wildlife that have lived indigenously here for thousands of years.
To our knowledge there is no other Mountain Pepper operation anything like this. We call our farm Garaywaa, the local Dhurga aboriginal word for Milky Way. Days in the forest can be long and lazy but there is always something going on at the farm.