Canberrans is invited to score the season’s first cherries this weekend when intergovernmental farmers and growers return to the Capital Region Farmers Market in Exhibition Park.
After what have been some very challenging months with border closures, late frosts, high rainfall and a hailstorm, regional growers will be welcomed back to Canberra for the launch of the 2021 cherry season on Saturday, November 20th.
Paul Eccelston of Thornbrook Orchard in Nashdale, NSW, hopes for a good cherry season and urges Canberrans to continue supporting farmers after being locked out of the ACT due to COVID-19 border closures during the winter season for apple and pear.
“It was pretty hard,” he says.
“With the border lock, the tap was pretty much closed to us and there was so much rubbish.
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“But we hope to have our best Christmas cherries ready for the market in December and we have always had great support from Canberra.”
The capital region’s farmer market manager Sarah Power says that although the market remained open as an important service during the lockdown, many farmers, growers and producers were affected by COVID-19 border closures.
“Now they are all returning, and many of our other restrictions have also been lifted, which means our market can return to functioning as we did before the lock-down, albeit with some extra security measures,” she says.
“We want to thank the local community for supporting our farmers, growers and producers over the last few months in a very difficult time. The impacts were far-reaching and your support has meant so much.”
To coincide with the launch of the cherry season on 20 November, the Capital Region of Denmark’s Farmers Market is giving away 15 boxes of fresh cherries.
“Customers have the chance to win the season’s first boxes of cherries,” says Sarah.
“Our region is fortunate to be close to some of the largest cherry growing districts in Australia, and our cherry growers – Hill Lock Orchard, Drive In Orchards, Torry Hill Orchards, Thornbook Orchard and Willayoung Orchard – will have the most delicious cherries on offer. .
“It’s going to be a day filled with cherries!”
Customers can participate in the cherry lottery on Saturday 20 November in the market’s dedicated cherry stall or online via Hovedstadens Landmandsmarked’s website. The first winner will be drawn at 7.30 and then every half hour until kl. 11.00.
Cherries should be picked up on the day.
Sarah is expecting a big turnout Saturday morning as families stay and eat, meet up with friends and enjoy the market atmosphere.
“This is the start of our cherry season and we would like to welcome as many of our customers back as possible to celebrate this festive time of year,” she says.
In addition to cherries, market stallholders will also offer a variety of fresh cherry products, including cherry jam, cherry pies and cherry sauce, while Claystone Meats will make cherry sausages and a rolled cherry stuffed lamb and roast beef.
Sarah says all stallholders have finally returned to the market, where summer products are pouring in from nearby farms.
Capital Region Farmers Market is located in Exhibition Park on Flemington Road in Mitchell.