Since 1888, our family has grown apples in Tasmania’s beautiful Huon Valley. In 1998 we went organic. With sunlight, water, love, and a little luck we nurture our organic orchards because we believe everyone deserves the best mother nature can offer.
G’day. We’re the Smiths. That’s me on the left and my dad, Ian, on the right looking as if he’s about to bowl a googly.
We weren't always smiling like this. Back in ‘98 Dad and I spent a fair amount of time having dust-ups over me wanting to take the business organic. He thought it was all a bit bloody kooky.
Fair to say I was pretty single minded about it, though. To me, not adding things to our fruit was much more valuable than adding things. I’d always thought the best horticulture systems were designed by nature so organic made absolute sense - it was not only our future, it was the only future.
Sure, it costs more and is tricky to manage, but, y’know we’ve been doing it now for a quarter century and in that time we’ve learnt a lot.
My great-grandad, William and great-grandmum Elsie plant their very first apple tree in a hidden valley deep in Tasmania’s southern highlands.
Carolyn K ▾
Company founders often relate tales of overcoming insurmountable odds, of their relentless drive for innovation, of inspiring visions and lofty objectives.
But I’m not one of those, because at twenty two, inheriting an apple business in Tasmania’s Huon Valley I had just one thing on my mind - how can I save the family farm?
My grandparents, Ruth and Ron, built a thriving business from humble beginnings. What they couldn’t possibly foresee as they passed the orchards on to my father were the coming ravages that cheap fruit would have on a market half a world away.
A thousand apple businesses in Tasmania shrank to forty-four, and I knew, right then and there simply getting better was not going to cut it any more.
At that moment R&R Smith sat on the precipice.
Doing the right thing is not always the easiest path and it’d be fair to say not everyone thought going organic was a wise move. In the early days I’d turn up to work and fight for what I believed in; that everyone deserves the best nature can offer. And if you want to grow natures best, then the only system to use is hers.
Andrew Smith, Grandson of Ruth & Ron.
If you want to chat with Mother Nature come to our home in Tasmania’s Huon Valley. Nestled in sun-drenched lees of local hills you'll find us there quietly tending our orchards.
Our first orchard founded all those years ago by William and Elsie Smith.
Our finest recent example of treating land as a friend not as a commodity.
Who said butterflies, babbling brooks, dawn sun and the sweetest morning dew shouldn't have a sense of humour.
Apple purity package.
William Smith would have jumped with glee to see his precious fruit grow up to be become one of Australia’s most awarded cider’s.
Visit williesmiths.com.au for the low down on their high end cider. Or just pop in when you come down the Valley. The Apple Sheds’ on your right.