The Johnson family owns, operates and lives on a farm in the Obi Obi Valley, on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. The property was purchased with the aim of having 200 acres of productive farmland.
After planting 50 acres of hardwood timbers on the back hills of the property, the family planted 1,000 olive trees. While waiting for these to mature, they also planted 500 camellia senesis trees for green tea.
Some 16 years later, the Johnsons have enjoyed their eighth successful olive season picking and crushing through March and April with the olives processed on the farm.
Obi Obi Green Tea was the first of the increasing number of tea varieties produced by the family from product grown organically on the farm. Three years ago a solar drier was built so that the tea production side of the business could expand.
This drier is efficient because of the use of direct sunlight as well as the electricity from the solar panels on the near-by olive processing shed. This electricity powers the overhead fans and exhaust fans.
Alpacas were originally acquired for the farm to help keep down the weeds in the olive grove and to supply manure for the olives and tea bushes. However, they have proven to also be a valuable commodity for the farm with their wool now being hand-spun and becoming the third product under the Obi Obi Essentials label.
The family’s philosophy has always been to produce excellent produce with on-farm processing. The use of simple methods on the farm adds value to the quality products with strong emphasis on clean and green through the entire chain of production.