The Apple and Pear Growers Association of South Australia offers a range of industry services to meet the needs of grower members and their commodity groups.
South Australia has been producing apples and pears since the 1860’s with over 85% of the crop coming from the Adelaide Hills and the remainder from the Riverland and South East.
The relatively cool climate, good quality water and soil of the Adelaide Hills and South East regions lead to the fruit produced from these regions being renowned for its quality. While the warmer Riverland climate lends itself to sweet, early ripening fruit that is amongst the first to mature in Australia.
In South Australia 2014 produced around 10% of the national crop and 5% of the national pear crop. The gross value of production of the state’s apple crop in 2012/13 was $46.7 million and $9.2 million for the pear crop.
Our story of family heritage
Many local families have been inextricably linked with the picture-perfect, flourishing orchards and the sweet smell of an autumn apple shed for almost 150 years. There’s a comfort in knowing that the apples and pears on your table come from families whose fruit growing skills are the result of generations of accumulated knowledge.
Families like that of grower Graham Mason whose childhood playpen was an apple crate in the orchard which his grandfather established in 1912 and which he now works with his extended family. Or past Australian ‘Farmer of the Year’ Robert Green who enriches the stored knowledge of his family heritage with a modern, progressive attitude and a proficiency acquired from constant observation, learning, adoption and adaption of modern techniques.
Image courtesy of Apple & Pear Australia Limited – Robert Green, 2014 Australian Farmer of the Year
South Australia is well noted and celebrated for fruit of exceptional quality – due in equal parts to
- excellent water quality and dependable rainfall,
- rich loamy soils, and
- the care and attention given to growing, picking and packing this popular fruit.
Apples and pears come in many different varieties. Among, the most common and popular are Pink Lady™, Royal Gala, Fuji and Granny Smith apples and Williams, Packhams, Beurre Bosc and Corella pears. However there are many more varieties grown and available.
While these established classics are always to be found, growers are constantly redeveloping their orchards, dedicating a percentage of their growing space to the production of new varieties. Always keen to stay on the cutting edge of production, growers constantly seek to perfect alternative contemporary strains to suit new markets and to provide fresh, new eating experiences to existing consumers. Jazz™ and Kanzi™are two of the newer varieties coming into production while many more are to follow in the years ahead.
Generations of apple and pear growers, have taken seriously their role as caretakers of the land. Water management is of prime importance as much of the production occurs in the catchment zone for Adelaide water supplies and orchard practices have evolved over time to maximize targeted fertilizer delivery and minimise run-off in order to protect soil and water quality.
Evolving growing, production and processing methods
South Australian producers are also constantly exploring new, modern growing techniques in an effort to innovate, improve and enhance their orchard practice. High quality fruit production has been maintained by development and utilization of new technologies that meet the needs of orchard management in the steep hilly terrain. This process is assisted by
a crop of younger generation growers driving new ideas including a burgeoning fresh juice and cider industry.
Investment in infrastructure is a growing feature of the modern grower in their efforts to maintain and maximize production and quality. As a result of this, permanent netting to protect crops from birds, along with high density orchards is becoming an established sight on local hillsides.
Many of the region’s growers have been recognised nationally for their innovative orchard practices. Awards include:
- Young Grower of the Year Award 2015 to fourth generation orchardist and apple grower Joel Brockhoff of Otherwood Orchards at Lenswood for his commitment to orchard productivity, research engagement and industry participation.
- 2015 Rising Star of the Year Award to brother and sister team Joseph and Joyce Ceravolo of Ashton Valley Fresh, the juicing arm of Ceravolo Orchards, for their role in developing a new system to improve the recovery of juice from their fruit.
With this winning combination of environment, skills and knowledge, innovation and family commitment the future of the apple and pear industry in the Adelaide Hills certainly looks bright.
Look for the signs at each of the orchards to know you are at a participating Pick a Pink Lady Weekend orchard
South Australians are being urged to support local growers by overlooking small hail marks and enjoying apples and pears with a few spots and dots this season. Last October, a severe hailstorm hit the Adelaide Hills and South East damaging pears and apples as they were just beginning to grow, destroying a quarter of the
Pick a Pink Lady® Weekend is coming back for 2018! When: Saturday 5th May and Sunday 6th May 2018, from 10 am to 4 pm each day. Where: There are 3 family run orchards participating again this year …. Harrisville Orchards – 72 Harris Road, Lenswood (see Harrisville Orchards) Mahnew Orchards – 640 Swamp Road, Lenswood (see Mahnew Orchard)
Doug Bishop sadly passed away on the 9th October 2017 at the age of 94. Doug was a significant contributor to the fruit industries in South Australia, and indeed, Australia, as well as to the community within the Adelaide Hills. Douglas Alan Bishop was born on March 30, 1923 in Basket Range to William and
Pick a Pink Lady Weekend is on again this year and we are thrilled to announce that there will be 3 participating orchards at different locations around Lenswood, each offering different views and orchard experiences. Otherwood Orchard is joining Mahnew Orchard and Harrisville Orchard this year, with over 13 generations of fruit growing experience between
It is nearly that time of year again, with the Royal Adelaide Show only days away. Running from Friday 2nd September to Sunday 11th September, this year’s show will once again feature local award winning apples, pears and cold juice and the infamous apple and pear slinkies – the best values and healthiest snacks available
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has cut the ribbon on a $5m high-specification new packing line that will speed Adelaide Hills-based farmers cooperative Lenswood Apples into further international expansion. The apple pre-sizer line installation has been supported by the Government of South Australia’s Regional Development Fund through Primary Industries and Regions SA, enabling the farmer-owned
Pick a Pink Lady Weekend is back this year by popular demand. For all the details, download the event flyer below 2016 Pick a Pink Lady Weekend Flyer or follow us through social media Facebook: http://facebook.com/SouthAussieApple Twitter: @SAaplnpear
SAVE THE DATE – SATURDAY 30 APRIL & SUNDAY 1ST MAY Pick a Pink Lady Day is on again in 2016 in the glorious Adelaide Hills. Stay tuned for more details or follow us on Faceboook at www.facebook.com/SouthAussieApple or on Twitter at @SAaplnpear for all the details and updates on this fun-filled family event.
Apples and pears have a long history of being able to be stored for long periods of time, traditionally in Europe being kept in cool cellars through winter time. Technology and knowledge has evolved over time such that nowadays high quality apples and pears can be enjoyed all year round. The management, treatment and storage
If you are heading to the Adelaide Show, here’s a sneak peek of what you will see at the Apple and Pear stand
Great turnout for Future Orchards in Lenswood. This is what is Future Orchards? Australia’s highly acclaimed program for apple and pear growers to learn about ways to improve their orchard management from national and international experts.
Well done to Ashton growers Ceravolo Orchards http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/…/$200,000_grant_delivers_jobs_and…
If you wish to have a say about how food and drink should be labelled to show country of origin, you can participate in the federal government survey. visit the Choice website