When owners Imre and Sue Mencshelyi began planning their refocus from corporate/city living to getting back to their roots back in 2002, little did they know the adventure that awaited them. Looking for some land, an old Dairy farm that had been converted to a newly established olive farm in the South West of Western Australia was too good an opportunity to miss. The first few years were spent cleaning up the old Dairy farm which included improving 5km of fencing, installing a 500m bitumen road, installation of a Barigelli olive press, construction of three sheds, conversion of a caretakers residence and the building of a family home. With so much activity taking place at any one time, I think you can guess where the name “Whirlwind” has come from.
It has been a labour of love to establish and build the business to where it is now. Offering local, quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the Margaret River region as well as to the growing number of visitors to the area. Now the business is thriving, owners Imre and Sue have now officially retired and handed over the day-to-day management of the farm to a Welsh couple. In 2017 husband and wife duo, Stacey and Ann-Marie took on managing the farm full-time. A steep learning curve, living and breathing all things olives, as well as also caring for the sheep, alpacas, cattle, chickens and the dog. Now with the support of Imre & Sue’s son Andrew, the three of them have some exciting plans ahead.
There are just over 2,500 thousand olive trees here on the farm the majority of which were planted in circa 1998. There are four varieties of Olives grown here. WA Mission and Paragon are used to produce our Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Fused Olive Oil. Where as Californian Queen and Kalamatas are grown for our table olives.
For years, the farm was managed on a weekend warrior schedule, which mainly included grass control in this wet and lush part of the state. The regenerative start the farming story was when the introduction of the natural lawnmowers to the olive groves commenced. Whiltshire horn sheep, a breed originally from cold and wet England, were the perfect choice, from not only an environment perspective but they also did what other breeds didn’t, they didn’t hurt the olive trees.
The Wiltshire horn flock evolved over time to a Wiltipoll flock crossed with Dorper and has been an integral part of our farming management system in both grass control in the groves as well as building soil structures. It also keeps family and friends freezers full of grass fed, regenerative lamb.