Farm and Garden Experience
Chestnut Brae offers “Chestnut Experience Farm Tours” where visitors can experience a working farm with farm animals. On the farm, visitors can see our Wiltshire sheep which act as our lawn mowers. Our sheep are watched over by two Alpaca – Eirene and Klotze. Two Angora goats frolic in their playground and two Dexter cattle keep our grass down.
Guinea fowl and turkeys roam freely through the garden and act as our insect control. Being organic we don’t use any chemicals but instead allow our animals to do the work.
Heritage Wessex Saddleback pigs (which are now extinct in Britain) are free to roam in their pasture areas, but due to biosecurity measures, visitors are not permitted near the pigs.
At dawn and dusk Farmstay guests have the added delight of being able to watch kangaroos and emus in the next paddock as the animals make their way to and from their feeding grounds.
Visitors are able to purchase packs of food to hand feed the sheep, alpaca and goats.
The Chestnut Experience
Autumn is the season of colour and activity at Chestnut Brae. It is harvest time. Sweet Chestnuts fall to the ground in Autumn – April and May and we encourage people to come for “Pick Your Own”. Chestnut Brae is the only organic sweet chestnut farm in WA. We peel, process and mill chestnuts right here on the farm. We have a beautiful Austrian wooden stone grind flour mill to make silky soft fine chestnut flour. A range of chestnut products is hand produced at Chestnut Brae including chestnut flour, ice cream, hummus, puree, mustard, roasted and peeled chestnuts. Blackwood Valley Brewing Company make gold medal award winning Chestnut Ale from our chestnuts. We now have beehives in our orchards and our lovely bees now give us chestnut honey – which as far as we are aware is the only chestnut honey produced in Australia. Join us as we walk you through the process from picking to quality control, to grading, peeling, drying and milling to finally sample some of the range of chestnut products we produce on our farm. We take you from tree to table on the sweet chestnut experience. Join us for an unique chestnut experience. Chestnut Experience Tours takes around 90 minutes, are $15 per person 12 years and older. Phone ahead to book your tour.
The Heritage Garden Experience
The tour begins in our heritage rose and salvia garden, which is modelled on a Mediterranean style farm garden. The garden at Chestnut Brae was planted around 2004 by the then owners Graeme and Marilyn Wells. Graeme’s passion was salvia and heritage roses. Gardens are one of John and Linda Stanley’s passions, so they restored and extended the garden and replanted a number of salvia and more roses along with a selection of plants that are unusual in the region, including a Gunnera that is John’s pride and joy.
Linda loves being able to walk into the garden to gather fresh edibles for the family meal, so edibles have been inter-planted, particularly herbs for culinary as well as medicinal purposes, in amongst the ornamentals. A separate medicinal garden has now been introduced, and keeping in line with the healing aspect, a Labyrinth has been constructed which is based on the Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral. The purpose of the Labyrinth is a walking meditation. The kitchen garden comprises heirloom vegetables sourced from around the world as John and Linda believe it is important to maintain diversity in both the plant and animal kingdoms.
The garden is open for festivals and a guided tour is offered.
The Marron Experience
The Marron Experience is for Farmstay guests only and during the Marron season. It is by appointment only. Marron is a species of crayfish – freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, that live in the waters of the southwest and is one of the world’s most delicious foods. Fishing for marron is tightly government controlled, with a limited season, permits are required and minimum sizes are enforced. Recreational marron fishing open season is from 12 noon, 8 January to 12 noon, 5 February. In season we will walk you through how to put out nets and later pull them in with the days catch. You will then get to taste this delicate morsel caught that day from our own dams.
Email us for information on Individual Tours or on Coach Party Tours – email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org. A coach turnaround and parking area is provided.