Cherries only have a short season in Adelaide. Early cherry varieties may start late November, with the latest harvested by January. I have picked cherries for the last two years in a row at two different cherry picking orchards where you are able to pick your own cherries. I love the flavour of cherries, as documented in my Clarendon Bakery Sour Cherry Doughnuts post.
Cherry Orchards tend to list their varieties online which is helpful when you need to find something in particular – especially someone who sells the white varieties!
Ron and Cheryl Burke’s Cherry Orchard
Cherry Picking – Coldstore Road, Lenswood
The most recent cherry orchard I visited. Listed below are their varieties. They were very reasonaby priced when I visited. I don’t want to quote prices because I know that they vary within the season and according to crop size. Suffice to say it was cheaper than the much sadder looking supermarket equivalents. Plus when you buy them from a store you don’t get to eat them at the same time!
There are some nice guides to show you how to pick cherries and are only too happy to do so – they really don’t want you to get it wrong, as it destroys that particular part of the tree and it won’t bear fruit the next year. I found they also love to guide you through the different varieties and their flavours, which I found really helpful. There is a definite variety to the flavours.
I’ll leave you to find out how to pick them. Last year’s cherry season was outstanding. The cherries seemed abundant, with fantastic flavour. I didn’t have the problem I’d had the year before, where I felt the cherries were too soft. These had a satisfying pop when bitten in to and a firm flesh.
Parking is plentiful. The car parking is just parking on grass/dirt but drive slowly and you’ll be fine. I really like this orchard – I’ll definitely be back at the end of the year.
Varieties: Merchant, Chelan, Stella, Compact Stella, Van, Lapin, Simone, Sunburst, Rainer, Kordia, Sir Tom, Sweet Heart.
Stella Creek Cherry Orchard
I visited Stella Creek the year before last (2011/12 season). Their prices were higher. When I went there it was busy and I wasn’t shown how to safely pick cherries. I think the orchards were larger. That year the crop seemed lower quality – from what I remember there was quite a lot of rain. This was the case in the supermarkets as well.
On the upside, these guys have white cherries!
Australise, Moss Early, Vista, Vega, Ron’s Seedling, Summit, Van, Bing, Sam, Stella, Lambert, Vic, Black Douglas, Dame Roma.
Another one I saw on Google which I may check out at the end of this year:
Forest Range Cherries
Varieties: Merchant, Vista, Summit, Van, Sunburst, Stella, Rainier, Bing, Sam, Nordwunder (Schneider), Lapins, Lambert and Morello.