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TAS Country : January 10th 2013
20 Tasmanian Country Friday, January 11, 2013 News Cherries in peak condition RIPE FOR PICKING: Dane Griggs picks cherries for grading on site, below left, at the Huon Valley orchard. PERFECT FRUIT: Cherries on the branch. Pictures: ROGER LOVELL ROGER HANSON TREAT TIME: Sign at the roadside. THE cherry trees at a Huon Valley orchard are straining under the weight of quality fruit. Griggs Grower Direct Apples and Cherries just south of Huonville, like many growers, has a bumper crop of quality fruit. Dane Griggs, who manages the pack- aging and marketing for the orchard said picking started in the first week of December and was expected to finish in the last week of this month. ''We have a huge crop of excellent quality fruit,'' Dane said. Despite the devastating bushfires and the one extreme hot day he said the weather has been perfect for growing cherries. The Griggs expected to pick 40 tonnes of fruit from 2ha. ''The bits of rain we have had have been good, and the temperature about right,'' Dane said. The Griggs pack and sort in the shed. ''By grading the fruit on site we can cater for all budgets at the farmgate stall. People can buy the top-line export grades to the less expensive grades.'' The Griggs are innovative. For sort- ing they use an old apple tray filler and during the cherry season connect a cherry sizing unit, when the apple season comes back they remove it. Dane is a third generation farmer and works with his brother Brett, who is the grower and harvester. Other family members chip in. When Tasmanian Country visited, Dane's son Lucas was working in the roadside stall, while Dane's father Kevin helped in the shed. Apart from the home block, where the farmgate stall is, the family has another three properties growing fruit at Cradoc, another just north of Huon- ville and another at Franklin. ''We mainly grow apples,'' Dane said. During the apple season, which starts in March, they pick 3500 bins of apples. Each bin weighs about 400kg. Fruit Growers Tasmania (FGT) busi- ness development manager Lucy Gregg said fruit this summer was tasting very good with plenty of flavour. ''We are getting the message out there about the quality of fruit on offer and the FGT Facebook page is doing really well. ''People need to stop by the farmgate stalls and enjoy what's on offer,'' Ms Gregg said.
January 3rd 2013
January 17th 2013