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TAS Country : January 24th 2013
ary 25, 2013 13 heffield Berry Gardens. Picture: KAROLIN MacGREGOR is berry good so if you pick it green it's never going tobeassweetasifyouleaveitonthe plant until it's ripe,'' he said. ''That's why most people who try our fruit are surprised because it tastes a lot different to what they're used to.'' The Rosendales do not use any fungicides or insecticides on their fruit. Once picked, fruit at the Rosendale's farm is put into cool storage as soon as possible. They aimed to have most of the fruit picked and transported to customers within two days. ''We won't send any fruit that is more than two days old,'' Mr Rosen- dale said. If seasonal conditions are favour- able, the couple expect to be picking raspberries right through until April. Any second-grade fruit not suitable for punnets is frozen and used for jam or other food service products. The Rosendales take their produce on the road with a mobile ice-cream van, which can often be found at shows and other events around the state. They use their own frozen fruit as flavouring for the ice-cream, which has proved popular with customers. BUMPER CROP: Mike Oakley checks his nectarines. Picture: KIM EISZELE Sweet success for Tassie crops ALICE CLARIDGE STONEFRUIT in Tasmania is sweeter than ever with recent warm weather raising sugar levels in the fruit. The season is also producing a bumper crop at Kirkland orchards at Campania, which is expecting to produce 300 per cent more than last year. ''There are a few factors. We had a mild winter with few frosts and we brought in bees for pollinating for the first time,'' operations manager Mike Oakley said. The apricots at Kirkland had a high sugar level this year -- about 23 sugar brix compared with interstate fruit that had a measure of only about 14 sugar brix. The orchard has about 100,000 trees, which will produce a total of 1200 tonnes of fruit, and 400 tonnes of this will be apricots. ''When buying an apricot to eat, looks don't count,'' Mr Oakley said. ''Our Moorpark apricots, also known as Huon Pride, are now perfect for eating, jamming and preserving.'' However, the weather has not favoured all farmers. The recent record heatwave pushed the mercury to 43C at Qew orchards, burning all of grower Heather Chong's apricots. ''We lost about half of our fruit. It was nearly ripe and ready to be picked. There was nothing we could do,'' she said. ''We are lower down than Kirkland and tend to be a bit hotter. ''Our fruit ripens about 10 days ahead of them. It is devastating but it's just bad luck. There is nothing you can do about the weather.'' Stonefruit never better THE new face of summer stonefruit is inspiring Tasmanians to start the year on the right foot by eating plenty of fresh local produce. Former Miss Universe Australia, Cel- ebrity MasterChef runner-up Rachael Finch says succulent peaches, nectar- ines, plums and apricots are at their peak in Tasmania right now. She's encouraging Tasmanians of all ages to get in shape with a workout and delicious summer stonefruit recipes. Stonefruit is rich in vitamins A, C and E and a great source of dietary fibre. ''They're also delicious, juicy and sweet, and it's all thanks to our hardworking farmers who work around the clock to deliver the world's best produce bursting with flavour right on our own doorstep,'' Ms Finch said. ''Some of my family operates fruit and vegetable farms in North Queensland so supporting our local farmers is really important to me.''
January 17th 2013
January 31st 2013