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 produce organic gluten free chestnut flour, chestnuts in syrup, peeled frozen chestnuts and a range of other chestnut based products and from our beautiful European looking orchards we produce Chestnut Honey and Chestnut Orchard Honey.
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 organic gluten free chestnut flour.
Located just 40 minutes from the Busselton Margaret River Airport on the Blackwood River Valley Farm Trail, Chestnut Brae is 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.
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.
Jason Wallis, Bassendean, WA
Farm Stay & 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 heart of the Southwest, 15km south of Nannup, nestled between pristine jarrah forest and rolling hills of farm land, Chestnut Cottage is a peaceful rural retreat offering an unique tranquil haven. Chestnut Cottage is perfect for relaxing, reading, star-gazing, bird watching, bush walking, cycling, exploring the south west region, watching kangaroos and emus at the start and end of each day and providing your children with the opportunity to connect with nature and learn where their food comes from.
While you’re here with your family, with your partner, or one your own, make sure you ask about our Chestnut Experience Farm Tour. 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 farm shop. 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.
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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November in the Orchard It rained and it rained over winter. October was the wettest October month since the orchard was planted. That meant we were unable to do any pruning this month due to the fact we could not get on the land. This should be good for the trees as...
October in the Orchard This is noisy month. As I write this month’s events in the orchard you can hear the noise from my office. This year I am convinced there is more noise than other years. There is the baa baa from the sheep who now live in a flock of 50. There is...
September in the Orchard Winter has officially finished and the first month of spring has arrived. This year has been the wettest winter since we purchased Chestnut Brae and the farm is still exceptionally wet. This has meant that it has been difficult to get into the...
'Grandy's Long Walk' by Linda Stanley We were so excited when Linda Stanley's book 'Grandy's Long Walk' was featured on the podcast Radio WA Conversations with Barry Green - Western Tourist Radio A conversation, recorded in July 2020, with Linda Stanley for our...
The Farm in August Water Chestnuts are a reed and grow in water, they are in fact a root tuber. In July this year I am sure our sweet chestnuts became water chestnuts.It rained almost every day of the month and we had the wettest and what felt like the coldest July in...
The Chestnut Orchard in July Chestnuts need around 600mm a year of water, mainly in the winter and cool weather when they are dormant. They got both this year. We have had an exceptionally wet and cold June which is ideal chestnut winter weather. The winter storms...
GPS coordinates: 34°4′59″ S 115°48′15″ E.
Farm Gate Sales
*by appointment only, please phone us first to make sure we are here.
From 4 November until end of January 2022 our farm will be closed and we will be attending with a stall Origins Market every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We invite you to come to Origins and chat with us there. So please phone first if you are thinking of coming to the farm, because we may be at Origins.
Where to Find Us
Chestnut Brae from 4 November 2021 to end of January 2022 we will be conducting a stall at Origins Market, West Street, Busselton, (next to K-Mart) and will be at Origins every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until further notice.
This means our farm will be closed during those dates.
Special events are conducted on the farm from time to time and will be posted in our blog and on our Facebook page.
Chestnut Brae is just 40 minutes from the Busselton Margaret River Airport. Time Travel Tours run tours from the airport, Rob Marshall is contactable to book a tour on 0428 302 370.