Ju Jubes 21/3/2024

An ABC Landline program on Ju Jubes (JJ’s) fruit, aroused the curiosity of Maureen & Graham Edwards almost 12 months ago, so much so, that they decided to research the fruit JJ was all about, and to their surprise, they discovered a JJ’s orchard in Cambrai, South Aust.

After contacting the owners, Mr. Jody Miltenhoff, son Marcus and family, an exploratory visit took place to arrange an Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge (ACCMB) visit.

So on the 21st March, with many, many hours of planning by the JJ’s run coordinators, Maureen & Graham, saw ACCMB & guests assemble at their Johnstone Park clubrooms where they signed the daily run book and receive their printed directions and run sheets, prior to leaving for JJ Orchards at Cambrai. ”Bang” on 8.30am, members “fired up” their vehicles, and headed for Cambrai township Park, with vehicles at Mannum and Cambrai joining the convoy of 17 classic and 8 modern vehicles ranging in age from a 1925 Chevrolet truck to a 2023 Mercedes Benz for morning tea, where Graham welcomed a total of 60 ACCMB members and quests to their outing.

With morning tea complete, it was back into their vehicles for a short 9km drive to JJ’s Orchard S.A.

With all vehicles parked along with a short walk to the house area, run organizer Graham proceeded to introduce JJ’s owner, Jody Miltenhoff who welcomed all to the former historic farm of some 40,000 acres, dating back to the 1860’s originally owned by the Hayden family who lived in a “Pug & Pine Hut” which is currently being restored by the Miltenhoff family (Jody is a builder by trade).

Jody proceeded to give an enlightening explanation of the family venture which commenced some 20 years ago after their property purchase.

While restoring the buildings on the property, they stumbled across JJ’s fruit, and the further they investigated JJ’s, the more amazed they became about the positive health benefits and the resilience of tree that would grow in extreme conditions.

Fast forward to today, they are now one of the first high density JJ’s Orchards in Australia, with a purpose built nursery based on 25 years of experience for JJ’s tree propagation, that is now in “full swing”, looking forward to what the next 20-30 years has in store for the proudly operated JJ’s family farm.

While the ACCMB group were interested in Jody’s presentation ( bearing in mind when members were asked at an ACCMB meeting in September last year of about 60, only a handful had ever heard of what a JJ was ) he proceeded to guide the group down to the JJ’s orchard close to the banks of the Marne River, before explaining all about the orchard, how they harvested, the sizes of the fruit (20-50mm), types

(1,000), tastes (similar to an apple), origin (China, Asia, Middle East), along with many health benefits, including being high in Vitamin B & C, in addition to having positive effects in helping fight certain cancers, while promoting a healthy immune system.

ACCMB members and quests were then encouraged to sample 3 or 4 different versions and sizes of JJ’s, with all being amazed at the taste being likened to apple, although much smaller similar to a 50 cent coin.

The group was then invited to walk through the orchard which was completely covered in bird netting to keep the “pesky parrots” out and from eating the fruit. JJ’s have a very short harvest period between March and April yearly.

It was then back up the hill to view the propagation and drying areas with Jody explaining in detail where and how the life of a JJ starts and finishes.

Prior to ending the one-and-a-half-hour tour, Past ACCMB President and Life Member Graham, thanked Jody and the Miltenhoff family for a great tour and explanation of the property and the JJ Orchard and tasting, before presenting Jody with a small gift in appreciation, with the group applauding in the usual manner.

Then it was time to move onto lunch, and due to a last minute change of venue from the Sedan Hotel back to the Pretoria Hotel, Mannum, most members present drove the half hour drive to have lunch at around 1 pm.

Lunch was served to all 50 guests, who sat and talked about their JJ’s experience, and following “the stomach’s all being filled”, ACCMB Vice President Claude Minge thanked Graham and Maureen Edwards, along with assistants Elaine and Roy Bretag for organizing such a well-organized and attended outing for the ACCMB members and guests. Again the usual response came from all present.

On leaving the Pretoria Hotel, Graham and Maureen sincerely thanked the Management and team for their understanding and last minute organizing of lunch.