The small orchard of pepperberry trees is situated on a property in the upper Natone district on the beautiful North West Coast of Tasmania, where the clean fresh westerly and southerly winds come from the Antarctic regions. The air is so clean that around 100klms to the west at Cape Grim the CSR has their air monitoring station where they say has the cleanest air in the world.
Rudy and Jan started the orchard in 2008 after obtaining the first trees from a local nursery. The advanced trees were planted in a variety of ways to find a method that would give the largest amount of quality berries within the shortest time.
Within the first year Rudy found the ideal way that would help the trees grow quicker then if the tree was in the bush plus they had produced a small amount of berries.
The second year more then half of the small leafy trees where producing large crops for the size of the tree, large enough to be able to sort, dry and test for the best way to store the pepperberries up to a full year.
The third year provided a large crop of very larger berries that were easy to remove from the tree plus dried and stored well. This is when the couple started selling the pepperberries at the local farmers markets.
Rudy and Jan increase the amount of trees in their orchard each year by obtaining cuttings from the best producing trees of their existing stock, planted into pots then after a year the small fragile shrubs are planted into the specially prepared ground where they will bear their first substantial amount of pepperberries after a further two to three years. At the present time stocks of the dried black pepperberry are just keeping up with demand at the local markets.