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Published October 25th 2018
Keep Calm and Cherry On
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.
Pick the perfect cherry at one of these 10 farms in the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula:
Cherries ripe for the eating (by Unsplash / Public Domain)
Lennane Orchards At 814D Montacute Rd, Montacute.
You can also pick raspberries, lemons or buy pre-picked cherries and fresh ice creams in the café. Cherries are ready for picking from the first week in November.
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 are open from 9am 6pm, 7 days a week. Contact them on (08) 8390 2271 or check the Facebook page for updates.
Martin Hill Cherries At 309 Martin Hill Rd, Forreston in the Gumeracha region
Pick your own or buy boxed cherries and rhubarb after the Boxing Day sales begin.
Martin Hill is open from 8am 7pm every day. Contact them on (08) 8389 1118 or visit their Facebook page.
Kersbrook Cherry Farm At 1718 South Para Rd in the Kersbrook region
Pick white and dark cherries buy a box from late November until mid-December.
Nearby, visit wineries in the Barossa. No mobile phone reception? Try the Whispering Wall at the Barossa Reservoir in Williamstown. The curved dam wall and steep drop creates a parabola, projecting your voice over 140 metres.
Kersbrook Cherry Farm opens daily from 9am 5pm. Contact the farm on (08) 8389 2231.
Plummers Border Valley Orchards at 32 Plummers Rd, Forest Range.
Pick your own, choosing from 10 varieties.. The orchards open from December to mid-January from 9am 5pm, 7 days a week.