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Farm Background

Our names are Craig Anderson and Bindi Vanzella, and we are the owners and growers of Happy Wombat Hazelnuts. Since 1993 we have been converting former potato and cattle grazing land near Batlow into thriving and sustainable orchards producing hazelnuts, berries and tinkering on a much smaller scale with other cool climate produce. 

We have planted the majority of our 2,800 hazelnut trees since 2005 with the last block completed in 2012, so full production is still a few years away. After several drought years, we had a major setback on New Years Eve 2019, when a summer bushfire known as the Dunn’s Road Bushfire burnt half our property and went onto merge with the Green Valley Bushfire to become a megafire impacting 600,000 hectares. Over 600 hazelnut trees were burnt on our farm or severally scalded from the intense heat.

Despite these climatic challenges we control every other aspect of our farm operations from harvesting to processing. We like to think that when you see the Happy Wombats Hazelnuts logo, you can be sure of the quality control and care that has gone into every bag or punnet. 

We supply raw hazelnuts in shell, raw freshly cracked whole kernels, roasted whole kernel and hazelnut meal. Our cool climate crops including raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, are seasonally available as fresh produce or, where feasible, frozen. 

Although the farm is not open to the public, we welcome our wholesale clients and some pre organised visits to experience the farm’s operations and sustainable philosophy.

Why Hazelnuts?

Hazelnuts, particularly fresh, raw nuts with the skin left on, are a very healthy and easy addition to your diet. They are rich in healthy fats, fibre, folic acid, vitamins and antioxidants.

We also love growing hazelnuts because:

  • They are well suited to the Snowy Valleys climate
  • They are susceptible to relatively few pests and diseases
  • They are reliant on wind, not bees, for pollination. In fact, research has shown that bees use hazelnut pollen for food.

We grow four main varieties of hazelnut each with their own subtle taste differences and kernel shape. They are Toklyi- Brownfield Cosford (TBC), Ennis, Butler and Barcelona. Because hazelnuts’ skin adds colour, flavour, fibre and nutrients, our raw kernels are sold with their skin on, and our meal is ground from whole or broken kernels with skin on.

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Our Happy Wombats

We have wombats happily grazing through our orchards, and far be it from us to interrupt them. In fact, we think of our wombats as a bit of an environmental barometer. If the wombats seem content, it is likely that the ecosystem is thriving and things are in balance. We leave the wombats to their own devices, and the wombats leave the produce to us, so everyone is happy!


We grow our hazelnuts and other produce with an ongoing commitment to sustainable principles. We only undertake activities that will protect and improve the farm’s natural environment and avoid any actions that could cause harm, particularly to the local wildlife or waterways.

Together (with a few friends and family along the way) we have propagated and planted thousands of local native trees, shrubs and groundcover plants. The purpose of this is to link forest remnants and the farm wetland that is the headwaters of the Yaven Yaven Creek, a tributary of the Murrumbidgee River. Native bird, mammal, insect, and reptile diversity has increased and benefited enormously from this enlarged and improved habitat area.

The property seasonally supports over 50 different bird species that also help naturally control insect pests, particularly in the berries that we grow. It’s another example of the shared value and benefits that can be derived from integrating sustainable food production with protecting and improving the natural assets of the land.

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Over the years we have trialled a range of edible cool climate fruits and berries to complement our hazelnut production. On a small scale locally, we do sell fresh raspberries, blueberries and boysenberries however, most of the other food we grow is generally for home use and to show what can be grown in the area.  

We are in the process of establishing a small wildflower orchard, trialling for bushfood, native seed supply and to eventually grow our own seedling for sale.