A horticultural farm that works with the land, combining a love for nature and a joy for growing fresh healthy food
Our names are Craig Anderson and Bindi Vanzella, and we’re the owners and growers of Happy Wombat Hazelnuts. Since 1993 we’ve been converting former potato and cattle grazing land near Batlow into thriving and sustainable orchards producing hazelnuts, berries and figs. We’ve planted the majority of our 2,800 hazelnut trees since 2005 with the last block completed in 2012, so full production is still a few years away.
From harvesting to processing by hand, we control every aspect of our produce’s journey to you. We like to think that when you see the Happy Wombats Hazelnuts logo, you can be sure of the quality control and care that has gone into every bag or punnet.
We supply raw hazelnuts in shell, raw freshly cracked whole kernels and hazelnut meal. Our cool climate crops including raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries and figs are seasonally available as fresh produce or, where feasible, semi dried or frozen. We also make and sell pre-prepared products at markets and festivals using our produce, the recipes which we make freely available .
Although the farm is not open to the public, we welcome our wholesale clients to visit and experience the farm’s operations and sustainable philosophy.
Hazelnuts, particularly fresh, raw nuts with the skin left on, are a very healthy and easy addition to your diet. They’re rich in healthy fats, fibre, folic acid, vitamins and antioxidants.
We also love growing hazelnuts because:
- They’re well suited to the Riverina Highlands climate
- They’re susceptible to relatively few pests and diseases
- They’re reliant on wind, not bees, for pollination.
We grow four varieties of hazelnut but our best performer is Ennis, which provides a large and ‘sweetish’ kernel whether raw or cooked. Because hazelnuts’ skin adds colour, flavour, fibre and nutrients, our kernels are sold with their skin on, and our meal is ground from whole or broken kernels with skin on.
Our Happy Wombats
We have wombats happily grazing through our orchards, and far be it from us to interrupt them. In fact, we think of our wombats as a bit of an environmental barometer. If the wombats seem content, it’s likely that the ecosystem is thriving and things are in balance. We leave the wombats to their own devices, and the wombats leave the produce to us, so everyone’s happy!
We grow our hazelnuts and other produce with an ongoing commitment to sustainable principles. We only undertake activities that will protect and improve the farm’s natural environment and avoid any actions that could cause harm, particularly to the local wildlife or waterways.
Together (with a few friends and family along the way) we’ve propagated and planted thousands of local native trees, shrubs and groundcover plants. The purpose of this is to link forest remnants and the farm wetland that is the headwaters of the Yaven Yaven Creek, a tributary of the Murrumbidgee River. Native bird, mammal and reptile diversity has increased and benefited enormously from this enlarged and improved habitat area.
The property seasonally supports over forty different bird species that also help naturally control insect pests, particularly in the berries that we grow. It’s another example of the shared value and benefits that can be derived from integrating sustainable food production with protecting and improving the natural assets of the land.