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10 Cherry Farms to Visit in SA

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by Barry J (subscribe)
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Published November 21st 2021
Keep Calm and Cherry On
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Cherries ripe for the picking (by Marble Hill Cherries)


One of summer's delights is sweet stonefruit. The juicy flavours of apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums join cherries as a guilt-free pleasure during our hottest months. In the Fleurieu Peninsula and Adelaide Hills, only an hour east of the city, over 20 farms open up to the public. We're invited to pick our own cherries or choose a pre-picked box or bag of their freshest to take home.

Cherries are an original superfood. The vitamin A and antioxidant levels may help balance blood sugar, improve sleep, and ease diabetes symptoms. Cherries can also reduce inflammation, to battle memory loss, gout and arthritis.

In South Australia's cherry farms, the Pick Your Own season runs from November to January. There may be a small entry fee at some farms, but this should include a taste test to find your favourite variety.

At each farm and region, look out for the choices ripe for picking as these vary when conditions change. You should find dozens to choose from, including Lapin, Sweetheart, Merchant and Van. The white cherry is a local favourite.

Pick cherries as they ripen, when the skin is firm and shiny and the stem is a glowing green. Rinse cherries and remove the stems just before eating, storing them in the fridge until ready. You can also wash and dry the cherries to freeze them in airtight containers for a year-round treat.

Choose cherries over strawberries and blueberries for a sweet accompaniment to cheese and cracker platters and chocolate desserts.

To find your way, the Cherry Growers Association of South Australia has a Fresh Cherries smartphone app with a map to each farm. The website has recipes, health and storage tips.

Pick your own (PYO) perfect cherries at one of these 10 farms in the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula:

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Cherries ripe for the eating (by Unsplash / Public Domain)


Four PYO farms are within minutes of each other:

Harben Vale Cherries 34 Altmanns Road, Balhannah
The PYO season opens in mid-December at Balhannah.

20 years since they planted their first cherry tree, the farm has thousands of trees with 12 different varieties, from Merchant and Chelan, ripening in early December, to the late bloomers, Dame Roma and Sweetheart, turning cherry-red around Christmas time.

The farm is only 30 minutes from the CBD, and 5 min from Hahndorf.

If the trees haven't been picked clean yet, visit on the 22 December to catch all the equine action at nearby Oakbank Racing Club.

Contact Julie and Wayne on (08) 8388 4578 or visit Facebook.


Charleston Cherries 308 Mt Torrens Rd, Charleston
Like a kettle waiting to boil, we're Charleston's first crop of 2021 cherries as they ripen for picking. The PYO season opens in late December, when the first variety, Merchant, is picking-perfect.

20 years since they planted their first cherry tree, the farm has thousands of trees with 12 different varieties, from Merchant and Chelan, ripening in early December, to the late bloomers, Dame Roma and Sweetheart, turning cherry-red around Christmas time.

Picking is easy along the neat rows of cherry trees. You won't need your ladder/scaffold/climbing ropes, but bring a box or bucket to store your bounty.

For a longer walk, visit nearby Charlestown Conservation Park to spot kangaroos, or head 10 minutes north by car to marvel at Adelaide's trojan horse, the biggest rocking horse in the world, at 452 Torrens Valley Rd. Our horse brings joy instead of invading Greek soldiers. Children can safely climb to the top for the view.

Call 0477 404 462 or visit Charleston Cherries for the latest updates.


Ron and Cheryl Burke 109B Coldstore Road, Lenswood
There is a lot of love in the Adelaide Hills, with Ron and Cheryl welcoming all to their orchard of a dozen cherry varieties. As you pick Van, Lapin, Simone and Sunburst cherries for the Christmas table, spot native birds and frogs amongst the foliage.

20 years since they planted their first cherry tree, the farm has thousands of trees with 12 different varieties, from Merchant and Chelan, ripening in early December, to the late bloomers, Dame Roma and Sweetheart, turning cherry-red around Christmas time.

Pack for a picnic at the farm, or do a tour of the local region, popping into the many vineyards and PYO farms in Lenswood.

Contact Julie and Wayne on (08) 8389 8574 or visit PYO Lensood.


Everlong Orchard 145 Plummers Rd, Forest Range
Cool weather is slowing the ripening process at Forest Range, but the cherries should be primed for picking in early December.

The entry fee is $5, children 5-12 at $2 and free entry for children under 5 (no extra charge for the cherry-red t-shirt stains as you sample your harvest on the drive home).

For updates, call Everlong on 0431 596 370 or visit Facebook.

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Smile as you score a batch of pick your own cherries (by Fleurieu Cherries)


See more of SA on a day trip out of Adelaide at one of these six farms:


Martin Hill Cherries 309 Martin Hill Rd, Forreston
After the Boxing Day sales, pick your own or buy boxed cherries and rhubarb at a small family orchard in the Hills.

Take a short drive south on Warren Rd to goggle at over 300 classic vehicles in the National Motor Museum in Birdwood or the world's biggest rocking horse in Gumeracha.

Contact Martin Hill on (08) 8389 1118 or visit Facebook.


Harrisville Orchards 72 Harris Road, Lenswood.
Pick or buy cherries from the only commercial grower in the Hills.

In May, pick award-winning pink lady apples. Stay cool with fresh, chilled apple and cherry juice.

For season updates, contact Harrisville Orchards on 0407 427 747 or visit Facebook.


Plummers Border Valley Orchards - 32 Plummers Road, Forest Range.
It's child's play to pick the low hanging fruit at Plummers. The cherry trees are heavy with Bing, Summit, Lapins, Van, Simone, Sir Hans, Stella, Sir Douglas varieties.

Visit the How to Find Us page for season updates.

Take a short drive southeast to Melba's Chocolate Factory in Woodside for chocolate to go with your cherries. Experience the wonder of a chocolate waterfall at the enrobing machine, before the sweet treats are set in the cooling tunnel.

Watch a preview:


Stay COVID-safe with a social distancing chocolate tube.
Melba's Chocolate Factory .


Contact Plummers Border Valley Orchards on 0407 716 929 or email.


Fleurieu Cherries 159 Pages Flat Road, Pages Flat
For over 25 years, the orchards at Fleurieu have produced premium cherries, grown with organic fertilisers and seaweed. Pick or buy 20 varieties of cherries, including the giant Glacier and white-fleshed Dame Nancy.

From mid-December, check the pick-your-own page to plan your picking session.

Buy cherry jams, liqueur and ice cream at the farm store.

Contact Fleurieu Cherries on (08) 8556 1314 or visit Facebook.


Marble Hill Cherries 25 Marble Hill Road, Ashton.
Atop the Mount Lofty Ranges, pick-your-own cherries, stay cool with cherry and vanilla ice cream and nibble on gingerbread koalas.

Since 2002, visitors have picked their own at the orchard in Ashton.

Drive northeast to visit Marble Hill. Former state governors spent their summers at the Victorian Gothic Revival style residence, but in 1955, the Black Sunday bushfires destroyed the home. After decades of restoration work, it's now open to visitors.

Book a PYO session. Be quick, before the season's sessions are snapped up.

For more details and check daily updates, visit Marble Hill Cherries, email, or call (08) 8390 1651.


Cherries at Verdun 152 Beaumont Road, Balhannah
Only 15 minutes south of Adelaide, the general public can now pick their own at this family-owned historic farm. The season runs from December to early January, open daily from 9am 5pm.

Continue south to visit Hahndorf, our oldest surviving German settlement, Heysen the Cedars, the heritage home and artist's studio, and Beerenberg Strawberry Farm.

The small entry fee is donated to research for BPAN, a rare, terminal neurological disease.

For the latest daily updates, contact Verdun on (08) 8388 7048 or on Facebook .


***

Hopefully returning in 2022:

Kersbrook Cherry Farm 1718 South Para Road, Kersbrook No PYO in 2021 due to farm sale
In the pre-COVID years, you could pick white and dark cherries at the family-owned and operated cherry and pear farm from late November until mid-December.

After many years of bringing joy to us PYO cherry lovers, Steve and Leah have sold the farm. They're still getting their hands into the soil. Steve and Leah are helping farmers in California to grow the best pistachios, almonds, and hemp in California.

Until the new owners at Kersbrook open up for PYO, tour Australia's best wineries in the nearby Barossa. No mobile phone reception? Try the Whispering Wall at the Barossa Reservoir in Williamstown. The curved dam wall and steep drop create a parabola, projecting your voice over 140 metres.

Contact Kersbrook Cherry Farm on (08) 8389 2231 or Facebook.

Lennane Orchards 814D Montacute Rd, Montacute No PYO in 2021 due to fruit fly restrictions
At Lennane, buy pre-picked cherries, raspberries, apricots, plums and lemons to take home, and refresh in the cafe with fresh ice cream, blended with vanilla, and cherries, strawberries and raspberries from the orchard.

Cherries are ripe from the first week in November, but due to fruit fly restrictions, you won't be able to pick your own in 2021.

If you're arriving from Adelaide, take a short detour south on Norton Rd before reaching the orchards to visit the walking trails and tumbling waterfall at Morialta Falls.

Lennane Orchards is open from 9am 5pm, 7 days a week. Call (08) 8390 2271 or check Facebook for updates.



Where have you found plump cherries, ripe for the picking? Please let us know with a comment.

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Why? For fresh summer stonefruit
When: During summer
Where: Only 1 hour from Adelaide
Cost: At wholesale/farm prices
Your Comment
We picked absolutely delicious cherries last December at Lennane Orchards.
by yolan (score: 0|4) 1487 days ago
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