As the popular saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
The apple is one of the healthiest foods on Earth, super-rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and an array of antioxidants. Originating in Central Asia, it's been grown for thousands of years. Here in Australia, apples have been grown since the earliest European colonial settlements.
Canberra is too small to be a major apple-growing region but we do have our very own orchards. And right now, they're all bursting with delicious fruit that are ripe for picking! Here are three orchards in the beautiful part of Canberra, that is Pialligo, where you can get your apples fresh from the trees.
1. Tanbella Orchard The wonderful Tanbella Orchard is a self-pick orchard, which means you are welcome to wander amongst the trees in the orchard and pick your own apples. First planted in the 1970s, Tanbella Orchard grows a wide variety of apples including rare, heritage and international varieties such as Cox's Pippin from England and Belle De Buscop from Holland. It also grows peaches, pears, nashi pears, nectarines, garlic, herbs, and vegetables. Tanbella Orchard is located at 20A Beltana Road, Pialligo. Open Thursday to Monday from 10am- 4pm. Pick up a bucket ($5) and start foraging for your fruit bowl ($7/kilo). Honesty cart open all other days.
2. Beltana Grange Orchard Beltana Grange Orchard was established in the 1930s. The Hauptmann family took over in 1952 and were the first to grow Gala apples in Australia. The orchard grows apples, pears and quinces. This is not a self-pick orchard. For more information and to check for opening times, please call the orchard on 026249 8921. Beltana Grange is located at 4 Beltana Road, Pialligo.
3. Kerrison's Orchard For over thirty years Kerrison's Orchard has been producing apples of the highest quality. Owned by Ken and Fay Kerrison (who both have a long association with Canberra), Kerrison's Orchard grows a good variety of apples including Royal Gala, Jonathan, Red Fuji, Pink Lady and Granny Smith. It also grows pears and quinces.
Kerrison's is not a self-pick orchard. The orchard is located at 5 Beltana Rd, Pialligo. Opening hours: 9am-5.30pm. For more information about Kerrison's Orchard, visit their website here.