Chestnut Brae Farm is 70 idyllic acres of mature organic sweet chestnut forests that were planted biodynamically in 1985, mushroom crops, heirloom vegetables and heritage animals that are all farmed sustainably using regenerative agriculture and holistic management.
Our sweet chestnut trees (Castanea sativa) produce 12 tonne of chestnuts each Autumn. Chestnut Brae uses grazing animals to help build microbial activity in the soil to increase soil health. Our pasture raised animals, fed with sweet chestnuts, produce the sweetest flavoured meat you will experience. From the chestnuts we also produce chestnut flour, chestnuts in syrup, peeled frozen chestnuts and a range of other chestnut based products.
John and Linda Stanley have a passion about healthy living, healthy food and a healthy planet. They purchased the farm in 2013 with a plan to create a sustainable, organic, self-sufficient farm producing a range of unique chestnut based products using regenerative agriculture to increase soil health. John and Linda travelled to Europe to learn how to farm chestnuts and find out what could be done with these incredible ‘nuts’. They expanded the rose and vegetable gardens on the farm, raise heritage animals and heirloom vegetables and herbs for food production and imported a flour mill to mill the chestnuts into their delicious gluten free flour.
Chestnut Brae was originally both a chestnut and daffodil farm, now only the chestnuts are farmed, but the abundant daffodils planted between the rows of chestnut trees means the orchards are stunning in Spring when the daffodils are flowering, ablaze with abundance and colour in Autumn, picturesque in Winter and a cool European forest of trees in Summer.
Located on the Blackwood River Valley Farm Trail, Chestnut Brae is just 15 minutes south of Nannup (off Vasse Highway and Chalwell Road) and 55 minutes inland from Margaret River. Chestnut Brae’s rolling hills, pastures, permanent flowing springs and mature chestnut forests give a feeling of being in Europe as you arrive at the farm. Wiltshire sheep are our lawn mowers that roam and forage through the orchards keeping suckers trimmed and the grass down. Cheeky Guinea Fowl busily fossick keeping insects under control across the farm. Heritage pigs root and snuffle happily turning our soil over, adding to the soul satisfying peacefulness of Chestnut Brae.
The stunning gardens are part of the Organic Garden Trail, and open for The Festival of Country Gardens, the Nannup Flower and Garden Festival and Bloomin Wild.
CHESTNUTS – The Healthy Nut
There has been a lot of debate as to whether sweet chestnuts are actually a nut or not. Let’s get that cleared up once and for all. Hazelnuts, acorns and chestnuts are true nuts. They are each formed when a fertilised flower’s ovary wall swells and hardens and, despite their diversity in form, shape, size and palatability, they share the same origins. They may be from different taxonomic groups, but their formation relies on the development of their parent flowers.
A great many culinary nuts, are nothing of the sort. Almonds, for example, are in fact drupes, not nuts at all. Neither are cashews, pistachios and pine nuts. Many tree nuts are drupes, including walnuts and pecans (although confusingly these are known as drupaceous nuts as they difficult to categorise and are not true botanical nuts). Almonds, olives, peaches, coffee beans, cherries and plums are all classic drupes.
Chestnut Brae produces sweet chestnuts, and hand make a range of sweet chestnut products on the farm including gluten free chestnut flour and chestnut fed heritage pork. Chestnuts are a delicious treat, either roasted or cooked in soups or other recipes, and have considerable nutritional value. Chestnuts are a 5 star food! The Health Star Rating system calculates that chestnuts score 5 stars out of five stars based on their nutritional composition. They lower cholesterol, are high in vitamin C, minerals, such as potassium, copper and magnesium, amino acids and antioxidants. Chestnuts are also low in kidney stone-forming oxalate compounds, with less than 85 mg per 100 g, in comparison to other nuts. The fibre content of chestnuts, 3 g per 100 g, is higher than that of walnuts, with 2.1 g per 100 g, pecans, 2.3 g per 100 g, and pistachios 1.9 g per 100 g but about half that of hazelnuts. Their fibre content makes them a low Glycaemic index food — one that raises blood sugar slowly.
Fresh chestnuts are only available in season – which is April, May and early June.
However we have peeled and frozen chestnuts available all year, until sold out.
I can’t believe how delicious the Chestnut Brae bacon is, melt in your mouth and nitrate free too!
Jason Wallis, Bassendean, WA
Farm Stay and Tours
Welcome to Chestnut Brae Farm Stay
A fully self contained three bedroom cottage, Chestnut Cottage Farmstay was the original dairy and later the farmhouse before John and Linda converted it to a farmstay in 2016. Set in the stunning Blackwood River Valley, it’s the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway, family holiday, or somewhere to retreat to for writing a book or your next music album. We farm sweet chestnuts, walnuts, pecans, pigs, sheep, alpaca, cattle, mushrooms, poultry and guinea fowl. We produce sweet chestnuts products, gluten free chestnut flour, chestnut fed heritage pork, nitrate free bacon, naturally smoked hams at Christmas time, organic grass fed lamb, eggs, organic herbs and vegetables.
Chestnut Experience Farm Tours take around an hour to an hour and a half and can be booked in advance. The tour takes you from the medicinal garden, into the rose garden, the chestnut orchard, the grading shed, shows you the mill room and the farmshop. The history and many uses of chestnuts is explained, as is the harvesting, grading and processing of chestnuts along with the system of regenerative farming and the raising of the pigs and sheep.
Our family stayed at Chestnut Cottage for a weekend with another friend’s family. We had an amazing time fishing for Marron, touring the farm learning about Chestnut’s and just enjoying the peace, tranquility and nature. The kids had an absolute ball collecting the eggs each morning and feeding the Alpaca. We can’t wait to come back again next year.
Cooking & Storing Instructions
Chestnuts are a versatile nut that can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes with or without its inner skin.
Fresh chestnuts, unlike other nuts, are a perishable crop. To avoid chestnuts drying out, store in an airtight container, paper bag or perforated plastic bag in the crisper compartment of the fridge. Low temperatures just above freezing and high humidity are the secrets to long chestnut life. Place a damp paper towel in with them and they should last a couple of weeks. For long-term storage Chestnut Brae ready peeled chestnuts are vacuum sealed and will keep about a year in the freezer.
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Where to Find Us
At Chestnut Brae we conduct Chestnut Experience Farm Tours for individual and group bookings. The garden is open for The Nannup Flower and Garden Festival, The Festival of Country Gardens, and Bloomin Wild. Special are events are conducted on the farm from time to time and will be posted in our blog and on our facebook page @chestnutbrae
- Boatshed Market, Cottesloe
- The Herdsman, Churchlands
- Maggie’s Place, Augusta
The following are restaurants who hold Chestnut Fed Pork Special Events using Chestnut Brae’s unique chestnut fed pork.
- Vasse Felix
- The Stables Bar
- The Standard Perth
- Frasers Restaurant
- Cullen Wines
- Willoughby Park Winery
- Como Hotels
- Halo Restaurant
- Young George
- JOHN & LINDA STANLEY
106 MCKITTRICK ROAD (OFF CHALWELL Road), CARLOTTA, NANNUP
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 6275 AUSTRALIA
- Linda: +61 (0) 409 104 120
- John: +61 (0) 407 809 914
- Tristan: +61 (0) 473 445 669
Farm Gate Sales
*by appointment, please phone us first to make sure we are here.