Local cherry and strawberry growers are predicting strong crops with top quality fruit this festive season with promising results from first harvests this month.
Available at the Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market from now and through the summer months, the Adelaide Farmers’ Market General Manager Elaine Ratcliffe is expecting the cherry and strawberry stalls to be a big hit.
“There’s always lots of excitement among shoppers when cherries and strawberries are back in season and I expect this interest to spike even more this year with the quality of fruit that’s coming through,” Elaine said.
Market stallholders, Eko Stone Fruit, Merry Cherry Farms, Rich Pickings, Cherryville Farm, Ashbourne Valley Orchards and Kuitpo Forest Strawberries are among the local farmers, who have had successful, strong crops and seen early signs of high quality produce.
Eko Stone Fruit farmer, Mitch Ekonomopoulos said they have had heavy crop levels and well set fruit this year thanks to chilly weather during the winter.
“Cherries tend to set best when overnight winter temperatures drop below 0C, so the more chilled days the better,” Mitch said.
Eko Stone Fruit have started with sales of two varieties of cherries from their Riverland farm including ‘Emperor’, which are round, firm, sweet and rich with a small stone in the centre and ‘Early’ variety, which are heart-shaped, soft and very juicy. Eko Stone Fruit also have a stall at the Prospect Farmers’ Market on Thursday evenings.
Merry Cherry Farms owner, Claude Conterno said the cherry season has come early this year and the produce will be of the highest quality.
“There will be lots of great varieties of cherries available this season. My tip would be not to judge the cherry by its size or colour – it doesn’t impact the taste of cherries. Smaller cherries can be just as flavoursome as larger cherries”.
Merry Cherry Farms and Cherryville Farm will have their Adelaide Hills cherries at the market from mid to late November with Ashbourne Valley Orchards also offering their Fleurieu Peninsula grown cherries later in the season.
Locally grown strawberry are also one to watch this season and Vanessa Sherry from Kuitpo Forest Strawberries said that their plants are looking healthy with good flower coverage.
“We are expecting some amazing Albion strawberries in the coming weeks as early crops have had beautiful aroma, deep red colour and sweet flavour,” Vanessa said.
The Showground Farmers’ Market brings together about 90 local farmers and producers who sell a huge variety of South Australian food products directly to the public. The produce on offer ranges from fruit and vegetables to meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, dairy, chutneys, jams, bread, pastries, cheese, wine and more.
The Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market is open every Sunday from 9.00am to 1.00pm at the Showground in Wayville (via Leader Street). Entry is free and parking is available onsite. Prospect Farmers’ Market is held from 3pm to 7pm next to Prospect Town Hall in Vine Street Plaza, Prospect.