Dec 16, 2013

Tis the season to be jolly & eat cherries

You know it is getting close to Christmas in Australia when the big fat deep red cherries appear. Households everyone scramble to get a box at the best price and you see bowls of glorious shiny cherries everywhere you go.

Coming from the UK where a ripe cherry was a rare delicacy, I have to say I love the fact Antipodeans get all the best fruit just before Christmas, all we got growing up were mandarins and nuts!

Living in Orange we are lucky enough to have an abundance of orchards and berry farms, full of fantastic fresh produce ready to be picked. I've been wanting to get into some 'pick your own' action for ages but it has never happened until recently... 

I persuaded Mr L'Orange that picking our own fruit would be fun, we could eat plenty as we picked and we could get a coffee afterwards & perhaps even a wine tasting (a bribe never fails). 

The sexy cherry picking 'look'
We turned up at Cargo Road Wines nice and early (well, 10.30am is pretty good for us!) as the weather has been really hot here recently and who wants to be up a tree in the blazing midday sun? James Sweetapple, the owner gave us a brief overview on how to pick cherries and the best ones to go for. They even provide handy ladders for those hard to reach, super big cherries.

A cherried up James Sweetapple
To my surprise it is very easy to pick cherries and didn't take long to get a kilo of premium grade  cherries for $8 a kilo which is outstanding value. The cherries are really good this year, so load up while there are still plenty to choose from.

The whole experience was totally idyllic as families picked cherries together, a pet lamb wandered around, the friendly winery dog kept an eye on everyone and we ate cherries until we felt a bit ill. Then it was time for a coffee and relax on the verandah which has amazing views over the region before a wine tasting and home. 

Busy picking cherries
What a Sunday morning, I highly recommend it to everyone wanting to escape the Christmas frenzy and do something relaxing instead. Who is keen for this Sunday?

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