TURNING excess limes from her orchard into a food garnish seemed like a wild idea to Rachael Coffison, but now she has transformed trash into treasure.
And one of her leading treasures is dried lime wheels, which are finding their ways into kitchens and bars around Australia.
"These lime wheels have really taken off," she said.
"I always have crazy ideas, and I didn't know this would be so popular."
Using fruit from the 500 Tahitian lime trees on her property at Gooburrum, just north of Bundaberg, Ms Coffison hand-slices limes before drying them in a convection oven.
The resulting dried lime wheels are being used widely in hip bars and restaurants around Australia.
"The obvious one they are used for is garnish for cocktails," she said.
"But they are also used as edible cake decorations, on food platters and even in tea.
"You can even use them in cooking."
Ms Coffison and her husband, Will, purchased the property in 2021 and had no farming experience.
The Coffisons moved to the Bundaberg region from Capella, where they had a soil testing company, two cafes and a catering business.
Once on the farm, the couple used conventional farming, permaculture and biodynamics on the trees and quickly excelled at producing high quality fruit.
Soon they had more limes than they knew what to do with.
Ms Coffison's cooking background kicked in and she started her boutique food production business, Gooburrum Grove.
"We basically started doing this because we had all these lime trees and there was a lot of waste," she said.
"I started doing lime curds and lime pickles, and the lime wheels are now being sent to retail shops all over the country.
"We have the 'made in Bundaberg' on them and it's great to see a local product getting out there."
The product can be stored for 12 months and has received strong support from the local community.
Ms Coffison describes their farming techniques as "not rigid", experimenting with traditional methods of pest control to avoid the use of chemicals.
Ms Coffison also produces orange and lemon wheels, granola and honey.
"We have 40 bee hives and I'm looking to expand honey production," she said.
"I'd like to try creamed honey and cold-infused honey as well."
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