The Almond Board of Australia recently recognised that occasionally we should stop to consider the contribution people make to our industry. This industry has developed and come a long way over the last fifty years and many people have contributed to these changes. Importantly, many of course continue to do so. Industry needs these people, needs their vision, their courage, their support. Without them it will neither develop as quickly nor as well. In 2011 four people were chosen to be publicly recognised for the significant contribution they have made in transforming a fledgling industry into the modern, vital and proactive force that it has become. In different ways they have all helped lay the foundation stones for today’s industry. Some have provided direction; have pushed the boundaries, taken calculated risks in trying new
techniques, new technology, new varieties and even quite new growing areas. Some have been instrumental in developing infrastructure, whether processing or marketing, that allowed the industry to both expand and to remain competitive. Some helped keep the industry focussed and cohesive and assisted through providing advice to others or serving on committees. All, in their own way, have helped make the industry what it is today. The official presentation to the Almond Industry Hall of Fame recipients and their families was made during the Almond Conference Dinner on Thursday, October 27th. Each family involved received a framed copy of the inductee’s achievements and a copy of the DVD played during the night.
Johnston Prolific, Pethick Wonder and B2. In the early years, Fred didn’t water the trees at all, but later sank a bore and used portable aluminium pipes with sprinklers attached. In 1963, Fred retired from the army and became a full time orchardist and over the years more land was purchased in the Angle Vale area to grow almonds. Keane’s nursery started in 1966, growing almond trees and even small amounts of special varieties that growers ordered and supplied their own budwood. Fred had two areas of personal interest in almonds: mechanising the industry and the nursery. After a trip to California in the early 1970s, Fred became convinced that mechanical harvesting was the way of the future, and organised a syndicate of local growers to purchase a set of harvesting equipment. This was the start of mechanical harvesting in the Northern Adelaide Plains area. There were many initial problems to be overcome mainly stemming from trees and orchards being trained and spaced to suit hand harvesting and not mechanical. Department of Agriculture, Fred was influential in bringing a range of new varieties and rootstocks into Australia for testing at the old Northfield Research Centre. One of the rootstocks, Bright’s Hybrid, proved important for the almond industry, in Working with Brenton Baker and David Cartwright from the
Fred Keane was born in 1918 and grew up surrounded by almonds. In the early 1900s, Fred’s father, Albert Keane, grew almonds along the Sturt Creek at Marion, South of Adelaide. Pethick Wonders, Johnston Prolific and Chellaston were their main varieties. Harvesting was done by hand with sheets on either side of the tree and limbs hit with sticks to remove the crop. This was a part-time enterprise as Albert used to worked full time at the brickworks and Fred and his brothers helped with the harvest. They used to crack their crop by hammer sitting around the kitchen table and in the early years of Fred’s own orchard, cracking was still done by this method. Just after World War II, Fred leased 3 acres of almonds from his father at Marion which started his career in the almond industry. Fred and his wife Lesley then purchased land at Angle Vale in 1953, and because there was no water on the property grew their own trees at Marion for the new orchard. They planted 30 acres of Papershells, Strout, Chellaston,
particular the Northern Adelaide Plains area due to its salinity tolerance. Fred was a founding member of the Almond Improvement Society, which put in place the foundations for the successful and crucial budwood scheme that underpins the genetic quality of the trees grown and planted today. Fred was also a committee member on the Almond Co- Operative at Edwardstown and during his time on the committee and afterwards, he visited as many growers as he could each year to provide advice regarding the growing of almonds. He was an inaugural member of the Northern Adelaide Plains Almond Group in the 1970s, and held monthly meetings at his property which was always available for industry trials and was frequently used for field days. Fred’s knowledge of almond varieties in Australia has been of considerable assistance to the varietal research program undertaken at the Waite Institute. Fred was also a member of the Almond Trust Fund Advisory Committee between 1977-1982.
Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online