Slow Food Earth Markets Maitland is on September 7 in The Levee

Pecan nuts
Pecan nuts

Pitnacree pecans grown on some of the city’s finest soil will be out in force at Thursday’s Slow Food Earth Markets Maitland.

The rich nut will team up with cauliflower, broccoli, kale, pecan nuts, Israeli cous cous and lamb in a tasty salad.

“It’s utilising silver beet, kale, Little Hill Farm and Just Been Laid eggs, local lemons and Marook farm fetta cheese to make spanakopita,” Chef and Slow Food Hunter Valley leader Amorelle Dempster said.

Stephen and Denise Osborn grow the pecans. The Osborn’s are one of Maitland’s oldest farming families.  

The Osborn’s have been growing broadacre crops on Pitnacree Road since the 1930s. 

Stephen and his brother Roger are third-generation potato farmers and now run the farm, although their father Dal, who is in his 80s, still helps each day.

They are known for their Sebago potatoes, pumpkins, watermelons and lucerne. 

Now the husband and wife duo are adding the popular pecan to their repertoire. 

Their 10 trees, which offer eight different varieties, gave them 250 kilograms of pecans in shells during the April harvest.

They drove them north to Bangalow in June to have them shelled and have since packaged them in small quantities to sell direct to the public. 

“We harvest them by hand and it’s a once a year crop,” Mrs Osborn said.

A wide range of producers will be at the market in The Levee between 2pm and 6pm selling a variety of goods. 

“This year the crop has been particularly good, but that could change next year, we’ll have to wait and see.”

They planted the first tree in 1980 and added more in 1994.  

“They grow well, we like the flavour of them,” Mrs Osborn said. 

“My husband really likes putting olive oil on them with salt and cooking them in the oven for eight to 10 minutes; once you start eating them like that you can’t stop.”

Pecan trees start producing nuts after about eight years and reach full production in 12 to 15 years. 

They mainly flourish in mild to sub-tropical climates across Australia and loose their leaves during winter. 

“You can substitute anything with it – you can put them in a salad,” Mrs Osborn said. 

“You can make a pecan butter, instead of peanut butter, and they are very healthy. 

“You just put them in the machine – you know how you put the peanuts in the machine and it comes out into the tub? It’s the same thing with pecans. 

“They are very versatile and they are good for you.” 

What can I buy there?

Related content

See how far we’ve come ...

Meet the producers