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Junee Liquorice Factory

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Junee is a rural town of around 4000 people. It started as a pastoral lease known as the Jewnee Run in the 1840s, and between 1860 and the 1880s it prospered in the gold rush. A post office opened in 1862 and Jewnee was gazetted in 1863. The same year Ben Hall's bushranging gang raided the village.

The town today retains an old-fashioned air — awnings, veranda posts, hitching rings, old-style buildings and wide streets, which, sadly, city slickers don't see much of.

The Junee shire is the state's largest producer of canola. Wheat, oats, barley, triticale, pasture seeds, lamb, wool, fat lambs, olives and deer contribute to the local economy.

The 1100 hectare Green Grove farm has been owned by the Druce family since 1918. In 1962 Alan Druce became aware of pollution in the food chain and took steps towards producing pure food. Sprays, artificial fertilisers and other modern day farming practices were eliminated.

Forty years later he is seen as one of the pioneers of organic farming with produce keenly sought after by consumers wanting assurance that what they are eating is as healthy as possible.

Reaching 20 metres into the Junee skyline is the historic Junee Flour Mill. It was built in 1934, and was not just a landmark, but played a major part in Junee's industrial progress in the post Depression years. A stone mill has been installed to convert grain grown on the Green Grove farm into product for inclusion in liquorice, flour and bread mixes. The owners now boast a growing range of organic confectionaries found around Australia and internationally. They hold a Level A organic certification through the Biological Farmers Association of Australia.

Visitors can take a factory tour and see wheat being broken into flour and learn about the process of milling wheat by stone.

There are mouth-watering tours of various confectionaries being made. There is a tempting range; not just liquorice, but dark, milk and white chocolate covering almonds, macadamias, strawberries, cherries sultanas, coffee beans and ginger. While it's great to purchase direct from them, you can hop onto their website and order a supply of treats.

You may also be tempted by some organic coffee from a recently installed machine. It goes particularly well with Devonshire scones made with Green Grove flour. It is very comforting to sit by an open fire with a cup of tea or coffee on a chilly day.

Location

444 kms south-west of Sydney.

Cost

Green Grove tours are $4 for adults and $2.50 for children. They run every day between 10am and 4pm. If you wish to see something in particular, please call them in advance to check the time.

Prices correct at May 17, 2007

More information

Junee Liquorice & Chocolate Factory
8-18 Lords Street
Junee 2663
Ph: (02) 6924 3574
Fax: (02) 6924 2999
Website: www.greengroveorganics.com
Email: greengroveorganics@bigpond.com

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