Bus and carloads of people from Sydney will be heading to orchards throughout the Orange region this weekend as the pick-your-own cherry season opens.
About seven of the 10 cherry picking locations across Orange, Nashdale and Borenore which offer picking will be open this weekend.
Pickers will pay $5-6 a kilogram for the red and purple fruit with bus tours from Sydney costing people about $60-$65 each.
Orange360 general manager Caddie Marshall said it was a major earner for orchardists and for the region.
“It has been growing for a couple of years,” she said.
“They [bus tour passengers] are predominantly tending to be the Chinese market. There are cars from people in western Sydney who come out.
“This is the whole growth of the agritourism market.
“People want to know where their food is coming from. That whole experience of eating fruit from a tree, just allowing kids to pick their own fruit.”
People want to know where their food comes from.Caddie Marshall, Orange360
Borrodell on the Mount co-owner Gaye Stuart-Nairne said they had opened their orchards to pickers for the past 4-5 years.
“It is a good industry for the area. Farmers need to be connected into the market.”
She said the pick-your-own market allowed farmers to “cut out the middleman.”
Ms Stuart-Nairne said most of the pickers would be from Sydney with the season to last until Christmas.
She said this year’s crop was strong despite the drought as the region had received good rain at crucial times.
Paula Charnock, the daughter of Thornbrook Orchard owners Arthur and Janet Treweek, said they had already started their pick your own season.
“We do have a couple of coaches from Sydney booked in this weekend,” she said.
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“We grown 18 varieties of cherries and most of them are available.”
Mrs Charnock said the 2018 season had started “a tiny bit later” than usual but the crop was looking good.
WHERE TO PICK
- Pinnacle Road Orchard, 550 Pinnacle Road
- Borrodell on the Mount, Lake Canobolas Road
- Armstrongs, 238 Nancarrow Lane
- Hillside Harvest, 1209 Escort Way
- Thornbrook Orchard, 39 Nashdale Lane
- Prospect Cherries, 906 Cargo Road
- Gerry’s Cherries, 99 Akhurst Road
- Martelli Orchards, 15 Watts Road (from December 15)
- Rosefarm, 340 Nancarrow Lane (mid-December)
- Doocarrick, 238 Nancarrow Lane (mid-December).
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