NOTICEBOARD


************************** UPDATE 27 December 2018 11:20 ******************************************************

See above for sour cherry info.
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I know I look as if I'm about 45 but I'm actually not far off 70. I quit IT (my real day-job) when I was about 61.
Somehow I'm still doing this. I must have had a lot of energy once - I haven't any more.  -  I want to retire properly.

Expressions of interest are invited from anyone who might want to buy the place. This is the oldest established PYO cherry orchard in the state - obviously a lot of others have started up in the meantime but many of them charge eye-watering prices. It hasn't affected the level of demand here, which continues to grow.

Obviously we've had a bad seaon this year and haven't traded at all - about five years ago we missed out altogether. The customers all came back the following year. Another year we had a reasonable crop when other had hardly any - obviously we did very well that year.

It was a line ball decision. We've probably dodged a bullet by not netting and trading. The birds have been ferocious and the weather since has been problematic for anyone with fruit still on their trees.

Also the customers would not have had a good experience. - that's the clincher - better not to trash your good name for the sake of squeezing out a few extra dollars.

I'll be frank - you can't rely on a business like this for a steady income year in year out. There are good years and bad years - it all depends on the weather. Good years can be quite lucrative - especially, for us because when we say we are open the demand is huge - bad years you just have to tough it out.

We started doing this because small growers (especially newer entrants) get a poor deal  in the wholesale/retail trade marketplace. We were happy to make what we should fairly have got and not have to wait months for our money or discover that our good produce had been sold (it's all done on consignment) into a poor market - so that's what guided our pricing and that's we've stuck with.

We were lucky to inherit from the previous owner varieties that were very well suited to PYO - ie flavour first. Varieties  planted  ourselves mainly turned out to be good choices too. We didn't fall for the hype about the ones realeased under the local variety development scheme. Most of those which people planted have since been "pushed out". Those that remain are no better than regular varieties that were already around. So that's one mistake we managed to avoid - we probably learned a lot of other lessons the hard way - most people (even old hands at the game) do.

As a result this business has a huge following. Last year we shifted almost everything in just 3 days of trading. We don't sell smarm - we sell good quality fruit at a competetive price and the customers have a nice experience coming here. We hardly advertise and we don't even bother to put out signage (beyond our immediate boundary).

This is also one of the few blocks around here that has some land flat enough to use as on-site parking. Customers much prefer that.

There is already one interested party who will get first refusal. If you want to be considered call 8389 8500 and after the beep leave a brief message to that effect with a callback number - say the number clearly at the start of the message and again at the end. It's often no easy to hear what's been said.

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Trains-wise (this is much more important) . The shuttle train which climbs the hill to Santa's grotto - automatically controlled to go back and forth - has been replaced with a kitbashed open tramcar (all wheels powered!). Many of the passengers have a remarkable resemblance to Harrison Ford. Rumours that this is because action figures are the cheapest way to get figures in this scale are completely without foundation.

But wait - there's more.
The station stop which needs somone to press a button now has a timer which will set the train going even if the button isn't pressed. The button still works and can be pressed to override the timer if you get tired of waiting.

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There are videos of the train set as it has evolved over theyears  here

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To avoid confusion for new customers, here's what our frontage looks like. It's on the right hand side 760 metres up the road.



And you drive down the gumtree lined driveway shown here

to our car park and sheds.

You may sometimes find other signs for PYO Cherries before you get to us - that's not us. Nowhere else will you get the same quality for the price as here. That's what we're renowned for.

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Hours are 10:00am - 6:00pm but you need to come before 5:00pm to allow time to do it. Unless you can pick as fast as this guy that is.

NB the sour cherries which we sell are not under-ripe sweet cherries - they are small and always  sour and intended for cooking etc. See our recipes page.

For most people it takes between 30 minutes and 1 hour to fill a 5kg bucket with sour cherries. These machines do it a bit quicker.
 

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Don't forget that the best dessert at this time of year is Cherry Clafoutis.  It's easy to make and if you do it the French way you don't even need to pit the cherries.

See our
Recipes page (click here)    for these and other great cherry recipes. It always pays to check this page or the phone message on 08 8389 8500 to be sure before driving up.
 
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