Visiting Steve and Jenny Smith – Olive Growers

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We have had this place for about 12 years and have 1000 olive trees of varying ages and of four types (Frantoio, Manzanillo, Nevadillo Blanco and Paragon).  These are predominantly Tuscan varieties and are what we call dual purpose (table or oil) fruits. We irrigate the trees but aside from organic chook manure, no chemicals are used.  Picking season, depending on variety, usually starts in Feb and goes to early May. Our  intention this year is to delay harvest until Easter, hoping for a higher oil content.  Unfortunately, there are no simple or quick and easy tests for oil content, polyphenols etc (unlike grapes or cane) so it really comes down to an educated guess. I (Steve) am the main representative for the Burnett Valley Olive Growers Association and we work closely with the Queensland president of the Australian Olives Association, Mr Dan Burnett, whom you would probably recall from the EKKA.  We have about 2 dozen members stretching from Esk out to Dalby and up to Goomeri, with the majority of the members also belonging to both the Queensland Olive Council and the Australian Olives Association.  A number of our members have market exposure through the local IGAs and one, Clovelly Wines, has a large oil concern internationally. We will provide some of the brochures about Olive Oil and look forward to dispelling some of the myths about Olives/Oil in general.

From Kingaroy (via Nanango) head north on the Bunya Hwy (follow the signs through Kingaroy that point towards Wondai). You go through Memerambi then Wooroolin and you come to the Tingoora Hotel on the left. Turn left at the Tinny, follow this road to the stop sign on the Hivesville/Wondai Rd, turn left. Follow this road through Hivesville (the Pub is on the right with some accommodation) continue to Proston. DO NOT turn off to Boondooma Dam. Keep going west and 15.5ks from the Ambulance Station, on the right hand side, is our place, 1556, with a green letter box. If you are using a GPS the actual address is 1556 Proston-Boondooma Rd, Coverty but it’s not the road to the dam. We don’t have a sign up but there is a tree opposite with a green arrow and the word Jim on it. Our driveway is on the right just past it.

Accommodation  We have ample room for caravans/tents etc. so you are very welcome to camp the night here. Plenty of parking with good access unless we get LOTS of rain, in which case parking may be a little more restricted (to higher ground).  We have three caravans available for accommodation, 2 under a shed, one in the open, all needing only linen.  There is one fridge in a van in the shed along with both BBQ and fireplace facilities.  We have a septic system, but showering MAY be a problem as we’re still building the shower/laundry.  There is plenty of really nice, scenic camping places as well. We run on solar power.
Proston Hotel 4168 9272 Hivesville Hotel  4168 9876  approx. 20km from Proston.  Lake Boondooma Dam  4168 9694  10 minutes to Proston. .

Sheryl: I met Steve & Jenny at the RNA last year when I was on the Custard Apple stand & the Olive stand was right next to us.