Rainforest Heart is a sustainable orchard in the middle of the World Heritage listed tropical north QLD rainforest near Millaa Millaa on the Atherton Tablelands, just 2 hours SW of Cairns. We grow ancient Australian native rainforest fruit species such as the Davidsons Plum and Lemon aspen amongst others. Our orchard plantings are increasing habitat for native wildlife including the endangered cassowary, who visits often to feast on fallen fruit!
Using these fruits, we make healthy fruit teas and spice blends, amongst other condiments. We also sell our fruits in bulk to food service and manufacturing and in the very near future, we will be offering an opportunity to visit our orchard, taste our raw fruits (in season) and sample our retail range while enjoying a cup of Davidsons plum tea or a refreshing lemon aspen and lemon myrtle spritzer.
Rainforest Heart was originally known as ‘Frog Hollow’ and is known by some older locals as ‘The Fruit Bowl’. The property is in a deep valley off Brooks Rd at Mungalli and at 450m elevation it has a warmer climate than most districts situated on the top of the Great Dividing Range.
The valley has a long tradition of being a place that produces superb fruit as it was operating as an orchard during the 1940s and 50s in the hands of the original European settlers, the Thompson family. Back then, old Harold Thompson and his son ‘Tolly’ used to travel the Tablelands in their truck selling their pineapples, paw paws, bananas and tropical nectarines and many locals recall their produce as being ‘the best they had ever tasted’.
Prior to the Thompson’s taking up the ‘Solder Settler block’ in the 1920’s (initially for dairy farming), the land was cared for by the Waribara clan of the Mamu tribe, many of whom became the critical workforce in initially clearing the forest, then dairying, followed by growing and harvesting the fruit and vegetable produce for the Thompson’s. Today, their descendants are pleased that sustainable farming practices are used on their traditional lands to grow these superb fruits, and that Margo and Peter through Rainforest Heart, are showcasing these traditional fruits to the world in modern applications such as teas, vinegars and spice blends.
Margo was born and raised in Papua New Guinea and as a result has a keen interest in indigenous cultures. She has a background in design and more recently has been extensively involved with indigenous group’s right across Queensland. She is happy to attribute her interest in and passion for indigenous fruits from the knowledge openly shared by the many traditional owners she has worked with over the last decade.
Peter has travelled extensively overseas and as result has developed a love of music, fine food and the far north. He is the farm manager and is involved in developing innovative systems for Rainforest Heart and our value adding business.