Some wonderful news, Nanna Bev and Grandpa Larry are proud to announce the arrival of our latest grandson Bruce Banton making our youngest daughter Tiffany and Wills little family complete ❤ a little brother for John and Maggie ❤
Tiffany is the owner and director of Bop till you Drop in Adelaide. A children’s entertainment company.
We have added an exciting new addition to our Emu Ridge Cafe Menu. Kangaroo Island fresh water Marron. Its a great bush food in keeping with our business, its indigenous to Australia and another form of sustainable farming of our natural resources, just like our eucalyptus oil!
Live Kangaroo Island Marron at Emu Ridge
Live Marron from our tanks provides nothing but the freshest produce. Kangaroo Island Marrons sweet delicate flesh and rich fresh flavour is claimed to be one of the world’s most indulgent foods.
Marron Cherax cainii are fresh water crustaceans origionally from Western Australia, but introduced to Kangaroo Islands rivers in the 1980’s. Marron is the largest freshwater crayfish in Australia and the third largest freshwater crayfish on Earth. They can grow up to 380mm and weigh about 2kg! Kangaroo Island now has a few Marron farms in operation, our Marron comes from the Tretheweys farm KI Gold.
Share tasing platter of Kangaroo Island Marron at Emu Ridge
Marron according to some of the top chefs are the best tasting freshwater crustacean in the world. Marron have more meat to shell ratio than any other crustacean. They vary in colour from black to magnificent cobalt blue due to genetic variation and when cooked become a mouthwatering orange. Marron can be cooked in many ways, the easiest and quickest is by boiling. For a delicious and attractive alternative they can be butterflied and barbecued! Ours are boiled and finished off in the grilled served with a delicious crunchy Asian salad, and 2 delicious in-house dipping sauces!
South Australian farmer Bev Tuner from Emu Ridge on Kangaroo Island said she was getting requests from top restaurants in Melbourne.
“We can’t keep up supply,” she said.
“We would like to get more emus; the demand is definitely there for edible eggs.
“Television programs are asking for the eggs, we’ve had requests from Survivor and My Kitchen Rules. Once upon a time the farmers gave away thier eggs to local fish and chip shops to be used for batter, noone knew what an amazing product it was”
Another beautiful wedding was held at Emu Ridge recently for the gorgeous newly weds Michaela & Sam O’Brien. The couple chose to have their wedding ceremony on our Emu Ridge farm in one of our paddocks over looking a dam and the De-Estrees Bay Scenery. The reception was held at our Emu Ridge venue to make it easy for all of their guests, no travelling! Most of the guests arrived and left the wedding by bus transport organized by the family.
The theme was rustic with recycled objects, pallets and succulents.
Michaela was one of our casual staff at Emu Ridge a few years ago so we were delighted she chose our venue for her special day.
Congratulations to Michaela and Sam and all the best for the future from Larry and Bev and the team at Emu Ridge.
Professional photos were taken by Rosemary Photography also originally a local Kangaroo Island girl.
The happy couple chose our farm at Emu Ridge and our Bushland scrub for their wedding photos! Professional photos were taken by Rosemary Photography also originally a local Kangaroo Island girl.
Makeup for the wedding party and mothers of the bride and groom was done by our daughter Mel from Balance Beauty and Massage. She is also very popular pampering the visitors you can go to her beauty room at her home or she will come to you., bringing a little magic to your holiday. Hair was beautifully done by Richards Salon
Our front deck with the extended Marquee as the bar
A panorama shot
Dance floor and Bar area
Our event venue is set in the bush in a rustic setting at Emu Ridge, complete with a bonfire in our old eucalyptus still pot, it always creates a beautiful atmosphere. DJ Jayden supplied the music and Lucy’s KI Kitchen catered with her delicious food.
looking stunning outside with the lighting, trees and wine barrels.
Bonfires are always loved this is our original still,pot so still being used life goes on!
Melody from Keyk Arte is a local cakemaker and a popular choice, she made this beautiful naked cake to match Michaelas theme..
Emu Ridge caters for all kinds of events. We can help make your wedding magical, corporate event successful, and special celebration a party to remember. This link will take you to our info on Event and Venue hire info.
Over the October Long Weekend Bev and Coralie from Rustic Blue were at the Melrose & Jamestown Shows in the Flinders Ranges promoting Kangaroo Island and our wonderful natural products. It was a busy 3 days showcasing some of our range such as our Eucalyptus oil, Emu oil, Tea Tree oil, Soaps and gifts.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR ORDERS FOR THIS AWESOME SPECIAL WE HAVE NOW SOLD OUT
Dont miss this SPECIAL on the Kangaroo Island Eucalyptus Maine Beach DUO PACK. We are excited to be able to offer you this SPECIAL, just in time to order for Xmas Gifts! It includes Hand and Nail Cream 100ml and Body Mousse 150ml was $49.95 now ONLY $20.00. Order online or give us a call!
ONLY WHILE STOCKS LAST! THIS IS A NEVER TO BE REPEATED SPECIAL WE HAVE BEEN VERY LUCKY TO GET THEM, THIS SPECIAL IS EXCLUSIVE TO EMU RIDGE!
This Beautifully packaged Maine Beach range is blended with freshly picked Emu Ridge Kangaroo Island Eucalyptus leaves, crushed bush mint and a hint of spice, this extensive body care range offers an uplifting assortment of botanical oils to counter the ageing process.
Double distilled on Kangaroo Island in one of Australia’s oldest Eucalypt distilleries, the Eucalyptus oil is then infused with a floral bouquet of white rock orchid, lavender buds and ylang ylang blossom on a delicate base of vanilla pod and soft musk. The result is a sensual range of natural Australian-made products free from parabens, mineral oil, sulphate and colourant.
If you haven’t been to our farmgate shop and are wondering what it looks like here at Emu Ridge. A virtual tour is the next best thing to being here. You can take a virtual tour and explore our premises as if you were there below. Enjoy!
Click on the arrows you can view our car park, front deck, shop, cafe, and back dining area, all in 360° views, check us out!
We took a few weeks holidays and look what we found 2 Eucy stills. One run by Robbie and work for the dole helpers operating every second weekend as a tourism project and at Mickeys Distillery an old relic that was last used in 2011, the State Forest stopped harvesting in that area unfortunately. Not much different to what they did to us, but we were harvesting on private land not government land. We were fortunate to have established our plantations on our own land and as a result the mongrels couldn’t touch us and we are lucky to still be harvesting today. We are proud to be one of only a few remaining commercial stills left in Australia today.
Below is a story of fellow distillers:
Robbie & Larry at the stewing put at Wedderburn
Mickeys Distillery now derelict in Victoria 1902 – 2011
Geoffrey Robin Collins better known as Robbie was born at Rathdown Street Carlton on the 3rd June 1939 to Fred and Sarah Collins.
Due to the early death of Robbie’s father, his mother took him to live with his grandparents Bob, Mary and Aunty Jean Grieves at Rheola. His mother went to work in Melbourne to help support him.
At school age Robbie attended the Rheola Primary School No 59. At the age of fourteen he took his first job at Harold and Janet Prenton’s. Robbie was milking cows and picking apples. My first wage in 1953 was 2lb pounds and 10 shillings per week.
In 1955 Robbie started another job on Stan and Alice Catto’s farm milking cows and doing general farm duties. His wage then 7 pounds a week. Robbie milked sixteen cow’s morning and night by hand which was a big job. He then had the pleasure of using the first cow milking machine in the district called a Lister which was driven by petrol cutting milking time in half.
Victorian Blue Mallee a different variety to what we use
In 1956 Robbie started a new job as a bulldozer operator for the Robertson Brothers Earth moving company sinking dams and road making. Unfortunately Robertson Brothers cease operation in 1964 and Robbie became unemployed.
During the time of bulldozing and sinking dams he met and married wife Margaret and had three children Julie, Pam and Robyn.
Larry and Robbie having a chat at the little tourist still
In 1964 when Robbie was unemployed there were not a lot of jobs available in the area.
Robbie’s luck changed when Jack Hansen approached him regarding cutting eucalyptus leaves. It was an offer to good to turn down.
So a new era began for Robbie cutting eucalyptus leaves. He had not done this sort of work before but didn’t take long to find out. It was hard slogging work cutting with choppers and hoes for a eucalyptus distiller Mr Reg Matthews on Mr Reg Holt’s farm.
Jack and Robbie cut leaves together for a few months and their wages were around 16 pounds a week each. In 1965 when decimal currency was introduced he was employed as a tractor driver being paid $40 dollars a week. Even when Robbie became permanently employed at the Korong Shire, he still cut eucalyptus leaves at the weekends and on holidays to make sufficient income for his family.
In 1975 Robbie teamed up with a work mate on the Korong Shire, Mr Tommy Webb. Tommy and Robbie started cutting leaves for Jim Ghan from Inglewood. Jim use to cart leaves for distilling from the Wedderburn area to his Inglewood factory. Jim payed $2.50 lb for cutting and the vats would produce 80 to 100 lb of eucalyptus oil. For one month Tom and Robbie would produce around 400 lb of eucalyptus oil. The eucalyptus oil was sold to a company in Melbourne Felton Grimwade and Bickford Pty Ltd. Robbie cut leaves with Jim for a few years. Sadly it all came to a halt when Jim lost his life in a car accident. When this accident occurred Tom and Robbie had to stop cutting eucalyptus leaves and look for a factory to distil the eucalyptus oil. It took sometime to find an old eucalyptus factory seven miles from Wedderburn at a place called Woolshed Flat. This factory required some maintenance.
Tommy and Robbie contacted the owners Les & Eric Nisbet and asked if they could restore to distil eucalyptus leaves. The brothers agreed so Tommy and Robbie set to work in restoring the old factory. It took them a few months before it was workable. Once the repairs were finished they started distilling their own leaves and made it a profitable enterprise.
Tommy and Robbie worked the factory together for a number of years and then Tommy decided to give away the eucy leave cutting and work cutting fire wood. This left Robbie working the factory with the help of his wife Margaret, daughters Pam and Robyn and an old eucalyptus cutter from StArnard Mr Jim Hines. Jim worked and cut leaves for the factory and the Collins family were able to entertain tourist’s who visited the site to see the production of eucalyptus oil.
Larry at the boiler of Mickeys relic still
In 1997 Robbie’s daughter Robyn started a business called Loddon Discovery Tours. The tours would stop at the old factory which made it very famous in the coach tour sector in Victoria.
In 1994 when Robbie retired from the Korong Shire, Les & Eric Nisbet of Wedderburn gave him a Stew Pot that they had worked in Les’s backyard for many years. This was a very important gift, because it showed how the old pioneers worked over 150 years ago. It was the way Eucalyptus Oil was distilled in Australia since 1852.
Owing to the vast interest taken by tourist’s visiting the old factory, seeing the eucalyptus oil process Robbie approached Wedderburn Tourism Inc about placing the Eucalyptus Stew Pot at Hard Hill Tourist Reserve as a major tourist attraction for Wedderburn. He requested the Stew Pot be owned owned by the community.
Robbie operated the Eucalyptus Stew Pot as a volunteer for Wedderburn Tourism Inc from 1998 through to 2006.
Wedderburn Tourism Inc engaged their first contractor in 2006 and now Robbie supervises and passes on his considerable knowledge to contractors and work experiences participants about eucalyptus oil production in Australia.
Robbie is very happy that he has been able to past on his knowledge to Wedderburn Tourism Inc about the history, heritage and culture of processing eucalyptus oil.
Eucalyptus oil is a very important part of Wedderburn’s history as well as the history of Australia.
Eucalyptus oil was the first indigenous export which has been produced for 154 years and continues to be sold both in Australia and around the world.
As demand grew around the world, Australia dominated the global supply. But as the 20th century progressed, cheaper production from plantations in Spain, Portugal, South Africa and China drove Australia’s market share down to less than 5%.
Today the global market for Eucalyptus oil sits at around 7,000 tonnes each year, with a slowly growing demand and price. In fact, Australia is now a net importer of its own iconic oil!
But a range of cutting-edge new uses for plant-based oils appear set to give this old dog some new tricks, potentially jolting the local eucalyptus oil industry out of its sleepy niche and into the high-tech limelight.
What’s in the oil?
Eucalyptus oils are a cocktail of aromatic compounds called terpenes. The oil that is sold in pharmacies and supermarkets is dominated by one compound called eucalyptol that instantly gives it a recognisable medicinal scent. This oil is sourced from about a dozen species.
There are many other types of oils from Eucalyptus. Oil from the lemon-scented gum, for example, is full of citronellal, which is used in perfumes and insect repellents. What makes a specific oil valuable are the commercial uses for the major terpenes found in that oil.
Jet fuel grown on trees
Powering a modern jet aircraft with anything other than fossil fuels is a big ask. Renewable ethanol and biodiesel might do fine in the family SUV, but they just don’t possess a high enough energy density to cut it in the aviation industry.
Certain terpenes commonly found in oils from eucalypts, such as pinene and limonene, can be refined through a catalytic process, resulting in a fuel with energy densities in the same league as JP-10 tactical jet fuel.
Turpentine from pine trees is another potential source of these terpenes, but pines grow more slowly than eucalypts.
As a pure fuel, or as an additive to standard aviation fuels, the potential exists to carve out a renewable slice of the enormous aviation fuel market, if the volume of terpene production can be increased to economically competitive levels. Current plantations produce up to 200kg of oil per hectare per year, but by selecting the best genetic stock it is estimated that yields could be more than 500kg per hectare.
Graphene from terpenes
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the discovery of the physical properties of graphene, a two-dimensional carbon grid or film, less than one-millionth of a millimetre thick yet more than 100 times stronger than steel.
In fact, a square metre of graphene can support the weight of a house cat, but weighs less than one of its whiskers. Production value in 2012 was US$9 million and growing fast, and new ways of producing graphene are keenly sought.
Terpinene-4-ol, which is found in Eucalyptus and its close relative tea tree, is an ideal starting material for the direct production of high-quality graphene. This method is scalable and sustainable, potentially providing the solution to the growing demand for graphene and opening up further innovative uses for Eucalyptus oil.
Worldwide, more eucalypts are grown for the production of pulp, paper and timber than any other type of tree. However, all of that global production comes from just over a dozen of the almost 800 Eucalyptus species that occur naturally in Australia, and mostly from a limited ancestry. This means the existing plantations lack genetic diversity and they also lack diversity and variability of oils.
This is where Australia’s advantage lies. We have the choice of 800 species growing in every imaginable ecological niche and possessing vast genetic diversity. For example, within a single species the amount of oil found in leaves can vary 30-fold among wild individuals, which can contain as many as six different major oil variants.
Australia has a veritable smorgasbord of variation from which to select plants with high yields of the right oil for new commercial purposes.
Ecologically a good alternative
Growing eucalypts for oil can provide benefits beyond the commercial value of the terpenes. Several Eucalyptus “mallee” species, which happen to be prolific oil producers, are purposely planted in wide rows on agricultural land to combat dryland salinity and prevent soil erosion.
Mallees are known for their bushy form, which is best described as a “ball of leaves”, and can be re-harvested for oil every 1-3 years. This puts them in the rare class of being renewable oil crops with added ecological benefits.
Ramping up oil production would still require large, dedicated plantations. A frequent criticism of biofuel crops is that land suitable for food production is diverted to fuel production, in turn pushing up food prices. But many eucalypts can grow well on marginal land that is not used for other agricultural purposes, skirting this issue altogether.
With the right genetics from the right species grown in the right places, the humble Eucalyptus oil may be on the verge of an ecologically sustainable renaissance.