Concerned about chemically treated produce? Prefer to purchase organic? Unsure where to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables in Melbourne and wish to try organic coffee at a café? There are several options available and Amy Livingstone describes a few in her article 'Melbourne Famers' Markets'. I believe Petty's Orchards needs to be added to the list. It's just a 30 minute drive north east of Melbourne's CBD in the sublime suburb of Templestowe. Nestled amid acres of farm land, it's as much an enjoyable drive to the country as it is a reason to support your local farmer.
Located at 1 Homestead Road (Melway Ref 22A12), Petty's Orchards is a family operated business. Here you will be greeted by John and Nancy who offer personal care and attention. You won't find the cold automated check-out systems common in your local supermarket. Instead, you will be charmed by the Australiana theme and appreciate the effort that has gone into creating an enjoyable barn-like background. All you do is pick up a cane basket at the entrance and start shopping. For parents of young children there's an indoor as well as an outdoor area for the youngsters to play, and yes there's even time to chat to staff. They'll advise you of upcoming events promoting all things local and organic.
The kids will leap at the chance of running around in the playground, jumping on the tractor as a treat and watching the kangaroos hopping around the outskirts of the property. There are also cattle grazing adjacent to the orchard as well as a quaint gazebo designed for some quiet time out, or another setting to enjoy altogether. What a contrast to a typical day out shopping. It's more of an experience than an errand. Of course the best thing for tired parents is the opportunity to sit and savour Jasper's organic coffee or organic blends of tea with something sweet on the side – yum.
Opening hours are Fridays and Saturdays between 9:00am and 5:30pm and Sundays between 10:00am and 4:30pm. Note an upcoming event on the 5th of August, 2012: Grafting day. You'll be able to choose from a variety of fruit trees at Petty's Orchard and care after it yourself. Why not give it a go? Everyone should at least have a lemon tree in their backyard. Consider the savings in the long term as well as the opportunity to give to others. This is promoted by The Heritage Fruits Society, an organisation highlighting the importance of conserving varieties of heritage fruit. You will find an in depth article through their website about Petty's Orchard here. For additional information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call John on 0432 747 791 or 0421 103 575.