There are things I’ve always wanted to do. Some big and some small. Picking cherries is probably a strange one but as a family we’ve been apple, peach, strawberry, nectarine and blueberry picking. There’s something satisfying in picking your own fruit and knowing it’s as fresh as can be. I love cherries and eat my fair share each Christmas. It doesn’t feel like Christmas without a bowl on the table. So when we were within reach of Young in New South Wales while on a country getaway, I wasn’t going to miss the chance to go cherry picking.
CHERRY PICKING IN YOUNG – ACCESSIBLE FRUIT PICKING
Our getaway was to Wagga Wagga and we decided to return to Sydney via Young just to pick fresh cherries. Looking online many of the farms seemed to have already finished their picking season or were booked out. We decided to wing it and hope to find somewhere still available for picking that was also wheelchair accessible enough for us to manage BJ’s wheelchair.
The road into Young from Wagga Wagga was dotted with farm sheds selling cherries and farms allowing pick your own. It was really a stab in the dark when we stopped at Fairfields Orchard. We decided to see what the field was like and decide on the spot if we could manage the picking. We were travelling with BJ’s off-road tyres and found Fairfields Orchard level and fairly easy for pushing the chair (say’s me who didn’t do the pushing!)
BJ loves fruit picking but we found his strong grip wasn’t best suited to cherry picking. The first one he grabbed splatted cherry juice all over his shirt and managed to cover my toes which were peeping out from my sandals. On this occasion he needed to be an observer and simply enjoy the social element of meeting others in the field.
The cherries are plump, sweet and tasty straight from the tree. Usually by the time they reach our table they’ve been in storage, transport and then picked over by others at the supermarket.
We picked two boxes of cherries. At the time of picking it was $8 a kilo and $5 per person to do the fruit picking. BJ went in free of charge. We were told we could eat as many cherries as we liked while we picked but I wasn’t keen given Covid and not knowing who had been handling the fruit ahead of us.
If you don’t fancy picking your own cherries there are plenty of farm sheds with bags or boxes of cherries available. Many also have other fruit and cherry pies. I highly recommend the cherry pies from Batinichs, just down the road towards Young from Fairfields Orchard. Batinichs also is a step-free stall with parking right out front if you are looking for ease of access.
Keep in mind most of these places will not have bathroom facilities so make sure you go before you arrive!
And on Christmas day we were thrilled to have the cherries we picked on the table to be enjoyed by the family.
We were told cherries are available in the sheds usually until New Year, depending on the season. We picked cherries on 19 December this year and we were told it was the end of the season. Each year differs slightly depending on the weather and the availability of fruit so I recommend checking online before heading that way. There are so many orchards to choose from but if you are interested in the one we visited, you can find the details on the Fairfields Orchard website.