Adelaide Hills Ginkgo started in 1998 when I planted the first few Ginkgo biloba trees in some open pasture on my property at Lenswood in The Adelaide Hills, just to the east of Adelaide in South Australia. There are now many thousands of Ginkgo trees on the property. It took many years for the trees to grow to the size where their leaves could be harvested.
This is a small business in which I do most of the work: planting, weeding, irrigating, protecting and pruning the trees. In summer it is time for harvesting the leaves when the concentration of active ingredients is at its peak. The harvested leaves are immediately placed on trays in a drying machine where hot air is percolated over the leaves until they are crispy dry. The leaves are then chopped into tea and/or powdered and immediately sealed in airtight plastic containers to keep the goodness in and protect them from deterioration.
The chopped or powdered leaves are then weighed and packaged up into foil-lined bags with one-way valves to keep the product fresh.
Why grow Ginkgo trees?
Most of my neighbours here in Lenswood grow traditional things like apples, cherries grapes and pears.So I felt I had to do something different.
As a keen gardener, I had been fascinated by Ginkgo biloba as an beautiful and unique ornamental tree for many years.
Ginkgo trees are hard to establish and keep alive for the first few years. They are initially slow growing no matter how much you water and feed them! But after 10 years or so they become well established and relatively resilient . Seeing the established rows of trees now, I feel that the long watchful wait has proven to be well worth the patient effort!