On The Land

26 April, 2024

Exquisite tastes of the rainforest

LOCATED in the lush heart of Butchers Creek on the Atherton Tablelands, Buah Hutan is a unique oasis dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of Australian native fruits while delivering unparalleled quality and flavour to its customers.

By Brigitte Daley

Aerial view of Buah Hutan.
Aerial view of Buah Hutan.

Pronounced Buah (Boo-Ah) Hutan (Hoo-Tan), the name is Indonesian and translates to “fruit of the forest” - a fitting name for Jennifer and Philip Daniels’ rainforest fruits orchard which comprises of 700 trees.

The couple embarked on their dream with little knowledge of orchard plantation operations but with a profound passion to transform it into a highly successful reality, planting their entire orchard by themselves.

Buah Hutan co-owner Jennifer Daniels described their property as a place where “nature and flavour thrive together”.

“The vibrant colour and unique flavours of these Australian native fruit products have captured the interests of local chefs, restaurateurs, cafes and distilleries, offering them endless possibilities for innovative culinary and beverage creations,” Jennifer said.

“Our inspiration for establishing a rainforest fruits operation was twofold – to produce healthy, native Australian food products and to reclaim used pastoral land by planting trees.”

Jennifer's experience in office management and administration, combined with Philip's expertise as a mechanical mining engineer, has resulted in efficient operations, effective problem-solving and successful project management, which have significantly contributed to the business's success.

Starting from scratch, they built their rainforest fruits orchard through meticulous planning and design, choosing local native species and nurturing the land to foster a thriving ecosystem.

The three Australian rainforest fruit species they selected to specialise in exclusively were Davidson Plum, Lemon Aspen and Boonjie Tamarind.

Today, their orchard, which is five years old, stands as a testament to their dedication, offering diverse and unique locally grown fruits to tantalise the taste buds of discerning customers.

“Our property spans four hectares, with 0.8 hectares dedicated to our rainforest fruit orchard,” Jennifer said.

“As a new orchard, we're in the process of establishing our production baseline. The trees in our orchard typically take three to five years to bear fruit and produce annually.”

The orchard operates with eco-friendly farming methods, utilising organic fertilisers, mulch and active engagement in conservation efforts.

Buah Hutan’s dedication extends well beyond ensuring the highest quality products and also encompasses sustainability and environmental management.

Alongside its function as an orchard, Buah Hutan is also a sanctuary for native wildlife such as cherished residents “Mr Cassowary” and his chick.

Jennifer and Philip have created a permanent habitat for birds and animals, who in turn, assist with controlling pests. This fosters a harmonious co-existence between nature and agriculture.

This commitment to creating a natural environment not only benefits the local ecosystem but also adds to the unique charm of Buah Hutan.

“Having wildlife on our property enhances biodiversity and brings joy watching wildlife returning to their natural habitat,” Jennifer said.                                             

One of the key aspects of planning the orchard was the strategic use of undulating land, coupled with the fact that Davidson Plum, Lemon Aspen and Boonjie Tamarind are not mechanically harvested at Buah Hutan.

This innovative approach ensures a cost-effective and environmentally friendly process.

“Our Davidson Plum and Boonjie Tamarind naturally drop to the ground when ripe, while Lemon Aspen is harvested by hand and the tree is standardised simultaneously with other practices such as pruning also being carried out at the same time,” Jennifer said.

“Buah Hutan’s commitment to excellence begins with its orchard, meticulously managed to ensure that only the highest-quality fruit and products reach its customers.

“The fruit is harvested at the peak of ripeness, guaranteeing superior quality, exceptional taste and freshness. Chefs appreciate the superior taste, colour, versatility and premium quality of our rainforest fruits.

“While our orchard is new, we're fostering partnerships with chefs and establishments passionate about sustainable, local ingredients.

“We wholesale all of our rainforest fruits, we are not involved in retail sales.”

Jennifer said growing rainforest fruits and then value-adding to them is immensely rewarding.

“Farming rainforest fruits connects us with nature and value-adding adds creativity and satisfaction to our work,” she said.

“Our inspiration stems from observing market trends and adapting them to showcase the unique flavours, colour and qualities of the rainforest fruits we grow.”

Buah Hutan’s orchard offers a trifecta of health benefits with Davidson Plum, Lemon Aspen and Boonjie Tamarind.

These fruits not only offer a burst of unique flavours and colour, but also boast a myriad of health benefits.

“Davidson Plums are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E and anthocyanins, promoting heart health and skin vitality,” Jennifer said.

“Lemon Aspen, with its high vitamin C content, aids immune function and collagen production.

“Boonjie Tamarind provides dietary fibre and essential nutrients, promoting digestive health and overall well-being.”

For further information, contact Jennifer 0417 722 361 or email


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