Bolton Street Fruit Market, Eltham
Local Fine Foods, Diamond Creek
Notes (in their own words):
Available February to November. Apted’s Orchards is a family owned company. It operates an orchard and grazing enterprise from Arthurs Creek and Kinglake West north east of Melbourne that has spanned 5 generations. The farm gate sales at 864 Cottlesbridge-Strathewen Road Arthurs Creek are proving very popular, with 2kg bags of apples straight from the bin – that is, unwaxed and unsorted. Farm gate sales also operate from 1105 Whittlesea-Kinglake Road, Kinglake West. Wholesale marketing is done through the associated Melbourne Pear Company which operates out of the Footscray Wholesale Market.
Croydon Farmers’ Market
Colonial Fruit Company, Forest Hill
Notes (in their own words):
Benny’s Berries are well known for their fresh strawberries. In addition, their jams include blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, mixed berry and spiced fig with pear and walnut. These jams are cooked in small batches ensuring minimal cooking times, enhancing the fullest flavours and colours. They are made from a traditional classic family recipe using all natural ingredients sourced from the Yarra Valley. The philosophy is to keep it simple (only 3 ingredients are used) and natural, the way our grandmas use to make it.
December – August. Hans and Maria Hoffmann established this orchard and berry farm 20 years ago based on the concept that fruit, where ever possible, be grown locally, picked at its optimum stage of ripening, and be available directly to the public with minimal processing. They do not use insecticides, use organic fertilisers were possible and farm sustainably.
There is a direct outlet on site where a wide range of produce is available in season. The fruit includes apples, apricots, blackberries, blood plums, boysenberries, figs, mulberries, nectarines, peaches, pears and raspberries. The vegetables include beans, beetroot, corn, cucumbers, garlic, lettuce, onions, pumpkins, silverbeet, snowpeas, spinach, tomatoes, zucchinis and herbs. Many jams and preserves, chutneys and other delicacies are made in the commercial kitchen on the premises. Also situated on the property is a cafe where a delicious variety of smoothies, ice cream, gelaties, morning and afternoon teas with scones are available. Farm tours are available by appointment.
The vegetables grown by Kinglake Vegetables include: beans, beetroot, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbages (savoy & purple), capsicum, cauliflower, carrots, celery, eggplant, fennel, kale, leeks, swedes, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, silverbeet, snow peas, spring onions, tomatoes and zucchini. Their fruit includes: blackberries, blueberries kiwifruit and raspberries.
They grow slowly, traditionally, using their own seeds. It is colder at their farm in Kinglake than some other parts of Victoria so sometimes that means their produce isn’t ready as early as other areas.
Fresh strawberries available mid October to mid June, raspberries available December to June, blackberries available from late December to mid March, and boysenberries and logonberries available in season. Fresh, hot homemade soup, frozen berries and award-winning homemade jams and syrups available all year. The soup is organic, Vegan-friendly and gluten-free. Most of the berries are spray-free.
Petty’s Orchard occupies 44 hectares of land and encompasses an antique apple orchard, commercial orchard, wetlands and bird hide. It is one of Melbourne’s oldest commercial orchards. It has the largest collection of heritage apple varieties on mainland Australia, including more than 200 varieties of old and rare apples.
Local outlets:Farm gate – 7 days a week, 10am-4pm (Dec-Jan).
Rent your own tree.
Notes (in their own words):
Available December to January for cherries and from February to May for figs. Varieties of cherry include Lapins, Merchant, Simone, Sweet Georgia and Van.
The Cherry Boys are two brothers who are second generation Yarra Valley orchardists with a 40 years history of producing top quality fruit. The cherries are picked daily to ensure its freshness and quality.
Cherry trees can also be rented by the public, who then pick the cherries knowing that they have their own tree to pick, untouched by anyone else.
Many day trippers take great delight in discovering the fresh produce and plants on offer in this nursery’s roadside cart. Lemons, limes and herbs are available all year round. Seasonal produce includes pumpkins, blood oranges and grapefruit, as well as jams, fruit jellies and marmalade made from fruit from the property.
Yarra Valley Gateway Estate grows strawberries, capsicums and basil, runs a small beef herd, and makes wine and strawberry products. The fruit and vegetables are grown in a 5,000 square metre high tech hydroponic greenhouse, which uses much less water than conventional growing methods. The strawberries are available for U-pick. The beef herd is Angus cattle which are grass-fed and free of any hormones or growth stimulants; all regular cuts are available and they are also happy to cut to order. Their wines (Pinot Noir and Shiraz) are made from their own grapes. Finally, their strawberry products include liqueur, port and cream.
As well as their own produce, Gateway Estate sells a range of fruit, vegetables, pies, chutneys and jams at their farmgate, all grown or made in the Yarra Valley.
Next to the farmgate, there is a cafe where they sell cold drinks, local organic tea or coffee and local handmade cakes and biscuits.