People were called to pick their own cherries at Martelli Orchards at Borenore on the weekend due to a shortage of pickers.
Co-owner Dominic Martelli said the orchard had been open for people to pick their own cherries since Christmas. He said the cherries were beautiful this year but the harvest period is coming to a close.
"Three quarters of the crop is still down there," he said.
"It's probably the first year we lost money on cherries.
"The cherries are beautiful ... we've got no small stuff, it's all medium to large."
Mr Martelli said he thought all the farms were relying on the same gang of pickers but this year was worse for it than other years during the pandemic when more people helped with the harvest.
"Last year we got heaps of kids from school picking over there," he said.
"This year the coronavirus swarm started at the same time we started picking, we started on Christmas Eve."
However, there were no regulations in place to stop people from picking the fruit.
"When we were in full lockdown we still had 200 to 300 people come through and that was a full lockdown, and that was two years ago," Mr Martelli said.
Usually the Orange picking season takes place before Christmas but weather conditions caused a late start to the season and on Sunday there were still eight varieties of cherries on the trees at Martelli Orchards.
The orchard made a final push for the pick your own on the weekend when it opened both days. Despite light rain on Saturday, Mr Martelli said it was much busier than Sunday when the first people didn't start arriving until 10am.
Although it is the school holidays and picking fruit can be popular activity for city visitors, Mr Martelli said the majority of those who did visit to pick the cherries were from Orange on Saturday and Sunday.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
HAVE YOUR SAY
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...