3 generations have run this apple orchard since 1950
The Nicoletti family has been growing apples since the 1950s, and you can learn more about apple farming or pick up some farm fresh apples when you visit the Nicoletti Orchard in Stanthorpe. Visit in early spring for the flowers or from February to April for apples you can pick off the trees yourself. Pop in any time during the year for apples and other merchandise.
Daniel & Toni are the 3rd generation of apple farmers in Stanthorpe
This area is well known for its fruit farming. There are plenty of stone fruit as well as apple farms. The area has attracted waves of new farmers over the years, with many moving in after WW1, while the Nicoletti Family starting farming there in 1950, passing the farm down through 3 generations to Daniel and his wife Toni.
Enjoy a wide variety of apples from Nicoletti Orchards in Stanthorpe
Apple farming has come a long way since the 1950s, with a focus on the newer varieties as well as cold storage facilities. Of course, picking is still done by hand. The process of picking apples is delicate work. The apples need to be carefully twisted off the branch to avoid bruising the apple or damaging the branches. This slow and careful pace is what makes apple picking one of the more appealing farm jobs, but that doesn't mean it is easy or tiring.
Being a working farm, they only open from 11 am to 1 pm on Sundays. The most beautiful time to visit is when the trees are in bloom in early spring. If you want to pick apples, then you will need to come when there are apples on the trees, which are from February through to April.
Photo of spring time courtesy of Nicoletti Orchard
All year-round, they sell apples and apple products. Apples are kept fresh by being stored in nitrogen-rich cold storage units. They also sell apple juice and various merchandise. So if you are in Stanthorpe on a Sunday, consider popping in for some apples.
If you have picked up a large box of apples and realise you can't eat them all, then there is a lot you can do with them.
Put them in the fridge, they will stay crisper longer. But take a few out to enjoy them at room temperature for the day.
Apple muffins are easy to make and delicious. Choose the apple varieties with the strongest flavours for your muffins.
There are lots of ways to bake apples, including apple pies, apple crumbles and so on.
Drying apples let you keep them for some time and dried apple is great on hikes or for lunches. I just dry apples in the oven, but it is much easier if you have a dedicated drier.
My friend likes to make apple cider, but it can be a slightly involved process.
Farms are great places to visit, especially if you have kids. Of course, a trip to the countryside is a good time to pick up good deals on fruit and vegetables, with Stanthorpe and its neighbouring town, Applethorpe, being famous for their apples, why not get some straight from the farm.
The author visited the Nicoletti Orchard in Stanthorpe as a guest of Southern Queensland Country Tourism.