It is impossible not to feel happy when you catch the scent of lime floating in the air. It is beautiful and fresh and makes you want to pop one of Gooburrum Grove’s perfectly round dried limes wheels in a glass of sparkling water for a Spring spritzer.
Delicately stacked up in a glass jar, the lime wheels are a large departure for owner Rachael Coffison. The family recently sold its three businesses in Capella, north of Emerald, to make a literal tree change, purchasing a lime farm at Gooburrum.
“We thought it was time for a change and the lime trees really appealed to us,” Rachael said.
“After we sold our businesses, we didn’t want to sit idle. We’ve always been avid gardeners at home in our little veggie patch. We were already implementing some permaculture principles and thought it would be a good opportunity to try it on a larger scale.”
Regenerative farming, the practice of rehabilitating and enhancing the entire ecosystem of a farm, is something Rachael is passionate about.
“It just makes so much sense to be giving back to the soil you’re using instead of always taking. So we are working to transition from some of the conventional ways of farming,” she said.
“To start we are going to get the soil and foliage tested and then once we introduce our ‘re-gen’ approaches and permaculture principles, we’ll continue to get the soil tested to monitor how it’s improving or, if it’s not improving, to work out what we can do.”
The family have begun their farming journey by pruning the entire orchard by hand.
“We had Cameron Enterprises come in and mulch everything right there in the orchard, which is great, because you are using what biomass you’ve got, which will increase the organic matter in the soil,” she said.
“From then we will start to reintroduce or encourage the beneficial fungi and bacteria into the soil, which will also improve the water infiltration.”
Rachael has a few ideas for value-added lime products, but for now is focusing on making Bundaberg home among the orchards, fresh limes and dried limes wheels.
Gooburrum Grove dried limes wheels are available at Nana’s Pantry, Olsen’s Corner and Alloway Farm Market.