There aren't many places in the world where you can down tools for an hour, drop a line in the sea, and hopefully catch some dinner.....
But that's just one of the perks Vanessa Hayes and her partner Rod Husband enjoy when they're at home at Torere Macadamias orchard.
Nestled in a bay of the same name on State Highway 35 along the Pacific Coast Highway, between Bay of Plenty and Tairawhiti Gisborne, is Torere Macadamias.
Having the beautiful backdrop of the Pacific Ocean behind New Zealand's largest nursery of macadamias is pretty unique. But then so is Vanessa. About 30 years ago Vanessa took a horticulture course in Tairawhiti Gisborne to find a crop she could grow on whanau land she's had since 1981.
"I wanted to do something different, that I enjoyed and didn’t need sprays or chemicals and I discovered macadamia nuts on that course, which are relatively low maintenance to grow."
Hobby quickly turned into a passion
Over three decades Vanessa has dedicated herself to finding best varieties for New Zealanders to grow either at home or as large commercial plantings.
It has always been her baby, says Vanessa, but over the last 20 years Rod has been there doing the heavy hard work behind her, and the whole organic operation is whanau run.
Getting noticed internationally
As the only macadamia variety researcher in New Zealand, Vanessa was invited to attend an International Research symposium in Hawai'i this September 2017; limited to 100 top researchers and scientists from around the world.
But home will always be Tairawhiti Gisborne
Vanessa and Rod love their Tairawhiti Gisborne and Torere lifestyle with the beautifully scenic two hour drive in between. During the work week they reside in Gisborne where Vanessa manages her insurance business and they both manage the processing, plant and product sales and marketing of Torere Macadamias.
The nursery and orchard is run by Vanessa's daughter Angelina, supported by siblings Raelyn, Walter and Vanessa’s grandchildren. Rod and Vanessa commute to Torere every weekend and bring the harvested nuts back to Gisborne to process every week.
Delicious and good for you
Vanessa eats macadamia nuts every day. Every Saturday morning you will find her at the Tairawhiti Gisborne Farmers' Market with her award-winning nuts freshly roasted and dusted in cinnamon, salt and smoke’n’spice. Other tempting combinations include nut nutters, pesto, brittle, wasabi, honey, chocolate coated or just plain - whatever your preference it's that soft buttery crunch, which melts in your mouth, and comes with no guilt as they are so good for you.
All organic and even linked to weight loss
Macadamia nuts are cholesterol free, rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, full of anti-oxidants, protein, fibre and rich in palmitoleic acid, and omega 7 fatty oils that provide building blocks for the enzymes which control the burning of fat and curb the appetite.