‘PICK your own’ days at Cedar Creek Orchard are the perfect way to teach your kids that fruit comes from a farm, not the supermarket.
Yellow nectarines, white nectarines and white peaches at the Thirlmere farm in NSW are getting sweeter and juicer by the day and Mark Silm can’t wait for locals to try them.
Peaches and nectarines will be available from the first week in November.
“Saturday, November 11 will be the first chance for people to come pick their own fruit,” Mr Silm said.
“Yellow nectarines will be available for the first and second weekend with a chance of white peaches on the second.
“On the third weekend a different type of yellow nectarines, white nectarines and white peaches can be picked.
“In December yellow nectarines and white peaches will likely be available.
“It depends on the climate as to when the fruit will mature.”
Mr Silm said the pick your own days were great for a family outing.
“Locals get to pick their fruit straight off the tree when the fruit is at its ripest, sweetest and freshest,” he said.
“It is a great atmosphere for kids and they get to ride on the tractor.
“Some people don’t even have a backyard so they can come to the farm to enjoy the open air and roam around 50 hectares of land.”
Mr Silm said the crop was looking “really good” this year despite the lack of rain.
“I have been frantically irrigating the crops every night,” he said.
“It is good for the fruit but bad for the dam levels.
“Thankfully I have enough water to use on the fruit for the whole season.”
The farmer said the dry season meant fungi and bacteria were not growing on the fruit and he didn’t have any brown rot.
Mr Silm’s crop was essentially wiped out last year by grey-headed flying foxes which ate his fruit.
“The native bush is now flowering which is what the bats prefer to eat,” he said.
“The bats seem to be staying in the native trees collecting nectar and pollen as opposed to opportunistically eating my fruit. The signs are so far good.”
In the next two weeks, Mr Silm will enclose four hectares of crops with netting to prevent the birds and bats eating the fruit.
“After last year, I can only afford to net two blocks of white peaches of 11 crops that aren’t netted,” he said. “Hopefully the money I make from the two netted blocks will allow me to net more.”
Mr Silm said the first weekend of January would be last chance for locals to buy white peaches.
Then the apples will ripen come March and then persimmons in April.
“We might have pick your own days in March, April and May depending on how the crop grows,” Mr Silm said.
“The apples are only fingernail size at the moment so they still have a lot of growing to do.”
This year’s apples have been transformed into juice which can be purchased from the shed door at the farm or in local stockists. The stone fruit can also be purchased from the shed door.
To book for a pick your own day, visit: cedarcreekorchard.rezdy.com. Details: cedarcreekorchards.com.au or Cedar Creek Orchard on Facebook.
- This story first appeared on The Cambelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.