Tag Archives: Delgrosso

The Cherries of Red Hill

29 Nov

It’s cherry season on the Hill and it’s come a little early, so if you were wondering where to find the cherry farms in Red Hill…. this post is for you.  It’s pretty easy really, just follow the signs! Marketing geniuses, their business relies on their signage, and there is a trail of it to each farm!

cherries signs

Most of the cherry farms are run by the 2nd generation of the farmers that established the farms. I wonder what will happen when they retire? I am not sure their children have the same desires to follow in their parents footsteps.

Red Hill is prime gathering country for a wide range of ethnic groups that prefer to pick & cook their own food. Many of the cherry farms said their customers were 90% ethnic and one lady cited more than 70 nationalities that have visited her farm.  Rarely seen in the restaurants of the peninsula but prolific gathering cherries, mushroom picking and other seasonal bounty. There were more cars at the cherry farms than any winery cellar door! Whereas “Anglos” prefer to buy their food from supermarkets and eat it in restaurants.

The other thing that was evident was the diversification and ‘value adding’ at the cellar doors. These businesses all have something extra on the go as well.

If you are the kind of person who wants to know a bit more, here you go;

Delgrosso’s Apple Juice Co.

In 1937, Angelo Delgrosso was one of the pioneers of Red Hill. He set up his fruit and vegetable farm on Stanleys Road when it was a muddy track, no-one owned cars or trucks, and once a week, he used a sleigh with a couple of horses to haul his produce up the hill to Tar Barrel Corner.

Red Hill has many such quirkily named, colloquial local intersections, here he would be met by Chambers carriers who took his produce to markets… in a truck.

Tony and Karen inherited half the farm, and have continued the family farming tradition, specialising in apples and apple juice and cherries when in season.

Cherries from: mid November
Until: mid-January
Phone: 5989 2091
Closed to the public. Available for wholesale and at a number of local farmers markets, including Red Hill, Mornington, Rosebud, Rosebud West, Rye, Boneo
Value Adding: Apple orchard, crush own apples for juice, plums, pears

Web: MP Gourmet

 

Delgrosso’s Apples & Cherries

Right next door is brother Bruno & wife Julie Delgrosso. Also growing apples & cherries. Both their children help run the business which consists of a farm gate, markets and some diversification into an abundance of other produce
Open: mid November
Until: mid January
Hours: 7 days 8am-5pm
Phone: 5989 2604
Address: 107 Stanleys Road, Red hill South
Pick your own: No
Pre picked at the farm gate : 1kg $12 / 5kg $45 / 2kg $15 for lighter fruit
Also at Markets : Gleadell Street Market Richmond, Mulgrave Farmers Market and Mount Eliza Farmers Market
Varieties: Approximately 17, Van is most popular around Christmas.
Value Adding: Apples, pears, plums, citrus, rhubarb, peaches nectarine, garlic, honey, jams, juice

Farnsworth’s Apple & Cherry Orchard

Another pioneer farming family of Red Hill.  Located down the picturesque Paringa road, the orchard and market garden was established in the 1930s by the Farnsworths with horses & plough.
Open: mid November
Until: mid January
Hours: Weekends 9am-5pm but honesty box in shed at all other times
Phone: 5989 2196
Address: 26 Paringa Road, Red Hill south
Pick your own: No
Pre picked at the farm gate: $10 – $12 /kg
Varieties: Bergdorf are their earliest variety, they have over 40, but you “don’t see them all in the shed in a season”
Value Adding: Apples, nectarines, apricots, peaches, plums pear, lemons and eggs and a lovely selection of jams & chutneys.

Hillside Grove Orchard

Another multi-generational farm, run by 2 generations of the Valente family, for over 50 years. Their farm is approximately half apples and half cherries
Open: 1st week November
Until: late January
Hours: whenever the sign is out
Phone: 5989 2568
Address: 1 Hillside Grove, Red Hill South
Pick your own: No
Pre picked at the farm gate: $10 /kg
Varieties: Approximately 10 varieties
Value Adding: Apples, peas, raspberries, redcurrants, figs, jams

 

Red Hill Cherry Farm

If you bump into charismatic local Trevor Holmes, he has a world of local history to share! The family settled in Red Hill in 1890, there were three adjoining valleys, owned by three brothers.  Cherries were first planted 70 years ago on his property.  Trevor would say he started tourism on the Mornington Peninsula, by being the first Pick Your Own farm gate!  It is certainly one of the best known farms, and the abundance of ripe fruit on the trees was simply delicious.
Open: mid November
Until: mid January (if no ripe fruit available, signs are down, farm is closed)
Hours: 7 days 9am-4pm
Phone: 5989 2237
Address: 61 Prossors Lane, Red hill
Pick your own: Yes $12 / kg +$10 entry
Also available pre picked at the farm gate
Varieties: Approximately 20 varieties. Also have the prized Morellos after Christmas.
Value Adding: Avocado crop reaching maturity & cherry dessert wine

Web: Facebook

Ripe ‘n’ Ready Cherry Farm

Run by 2 generations of the Easy family, who set up the orchard in 1947, this is one of the biggest on the Hill.  They also have more varieties than most, with over 70 types ripening throughout the season, they are open for the longest season also.
Open: 1st week November
Until: last week January
Hours: 7 days 9am-5pm
Phone: 5989 2578
Address: 52 Arkwells Lane, Red Hill (also enter from Whitehill Road.
Pick your own: Yes $8 / kg +$10 entry
Also available pre picked at the farm gate
Varieties: Bergstoff are the first one to ripe in early November, their most prolific is Lapins, the Burlaps are a big favourite but easily split by rain. Also have the prized Morellos after Christmas.
Value Adding: Trout fishing in the dam for 800gm rainbow trout, also raspberries, blueberries and silvanberries

Web: www.ripenreadycherries.com.au

 

 

My final mention is to a little farm… I am not allowed to say where it is or who runs it. Lets call her M. A gracious & delightful lady who has owned this pretty farm since 1970. Many of the cherry trees are over 60 years old, and they have many older varieties. Strictly pick your own, this farm is full of character and charm.

 

I hope this helps people to track down a cherry experience in Red Hill that surprises and delights

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