Orchard Fresh Fruit
From Nov – April you can come and pick your own fruitSee our handpicked guides to the HunterValley
BY ALICIA POOLE
All images courtesy of Your Food Collective
Hillside Harvest is a 75-acre property that produces many varieties of cherries, apples, pears, stone fruit and berries.
The orchard was established in the 80’s with the Jones’ family purchasing the property in 2014. Refurbing the tired fruit packing shed to become what is now a popular destination for fresh fruit, vegetables and locally sourced products for tourists and locals alike.
Located in Borenore, in the stunning Orange region of Central West NSW. A place abundant with delicious produce and friendly people who are passionate about growing, cooking and enjoying good food.
We chatted with Sophie, to learn about what they get up to at Hillside Harvest, why we should be ditching the major supermarkets and all about their ‘pick you own’ event happening between November to April.
What is Hillside Harvest?
We are a family owned & operated orchard in Borenore, just west of Orange NSW. We grow many varieties of fruit and have an onsite farm store where we sell not only our fruit but lots of local products. We also introduced a café in December 2016 and offer home-made sweet treats, coffee and light lunches for people on the go
What is the most rewarding part about running a family farming business?
The community feeling in Borenore is lovely and have welcomed our family with open arms. We are also the local post office so it’s a great way to connect with locals.
During cherry season (our busiest time of year), my brother in law and his family join us every weekend and we all work together. It is exhausting but there definitely is a feeling of accomplishment when the season draws to a close.
What is the biggest challenge Hillside Harvest currently faces?
People not buying local and heading to the larger supermarkets. Yes, it may be convenient but if local business is not supported then a sad future awaits us. We do not need to import fruit, so support Aussie farmers whenever you can, even if it costs a few cents more, your children will thank you!
Tell me about your ‘pick your own events’…
From Nov – April, you can come and pick your own fruit. We start with cherries and then stone fruit and berries throughout the Summer months [and] apples and pears in the Autumn. It’s a great day out; you can picnic in the orchard and enjoy fruit straight from our trees.
Why should we ditch the major supermarkets and be embracing local produce?
When you buy local, you are supporting a local family. Your fruit has traveled fewer miles and is a whole lot fresher! It also helps to be aware of seasonality, so you can enjoy the best produce at the best time!
What has been your Winter warming meal staple on your dinner table this year?
We can’t go past baked lamb shanks on a Sunday, but with friends, we love sharing a slow cooked pork shoulder cooked in local cider and served with Hillside apples (of course).
If you want to get your hands on some of their produce but don’t want to make the drive to Orange, check out Your Food Collective and get your local goodies brought to you!