The sun was shining for the last day of autumn yesterday and it was unseasonably warm. We headed North West of Sydney to Fords Farm near Wisemans Ferry to do some mandarin picking. BJ particularly likes fruit picking so we have been peach, strawberry and apple picking over the last couple of years. I enjoy it because I feel I’m taking part in providing food for my family in a more wholesome way than putting fruit into a bag at the supermarket. There is something wonderful about picking your own food.
I will not lie, it is a bit of a drive to Wisemans Ferry but if you are relaxed and make it a day trip it won’t be a hardship. I love the fact that once you get out of suburbia, fruit, veggie and flower stalls appear by the side of the road complete with honesty boxes for payment. Even though it was dark on the way home I stopped to get myself and my Mum some roses from a roadside stall.
The last part of the drive to Fords Farm is on Singleton Road which winds its way alongside the Hawksbury River. It is a narrow road and we were surprised at the amount of traffic on such a small road. I joked with Hubby “all these people have probably been mandarin picking”. It turned out they had. We couldn’t believe the number of cars parked in the paddock at Fords Farm when we arrived. People were leaving with bags of fruit and others were making a day of it by picnicking in the orchards. Obviously everyone else had discovered mandarin picking long before us.
We had a really lovely afternoon picking fruit. Fords Farm has extensive orchids with a variety of fruits. Lemons, limes, oranges, lemonades and different varieties of mandarin made up the orchard. We were encouraged to try the different mandarins to see what we liked. We discovered AJ’s new favourite is a Satsuma mandarin which is seedless and very sweet. We stocked up on those and some Imperial mandarins.
We bought hay to feed the sheep and AJ had a lovely time feeding the seemingly famished sheep. This was a nice addition for the children visiting and very popular.
The grounds at Fords Farm were level and fairly easy to push the manual wheelchair over. The mandarins are heavy on the trees and at various levels so easy to reach.
Fords Farm is located at 1275 Singleton Road, Wisemans Ferry Ph 45663127
Open to the public Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 10-4pm. School holidays by appointment
Parking is in the grounds of the farm. If you let them know on arrival you have a wheelchair or mobility issues they will organise parking close to the shed.
The mandarins are best cut off the trees as this doesn’t break the skin. Scissors are available to use at the shed. A refundable $5 deposit needs to be paid for the scissors.
Feed for the sheep is available in the shed at a small fee. We wished we’d bought two bags as they got through it pretty quickly
Fords also sell homemade jams, honey from their own beehives and other bottled products
There are no wheelchair accessible toilets onsite. There is a regular sized male and female toilet available.
You can picnic in the orchard grounds. Drinks and light refreshments can be bought in the shed (homemade muffins, slices etc)
If you are making a day of the trip to Wisemans Ferry you could add a picnic in the park or a ride on the car ferry. Kids usually love the novelty of staying in the car and crossing the river
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