Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Apples and Autumn in the Hawkesbury

The Hawkesbury region of Sydney is known as the food basket region, dating back to early settlement days of Sydney. And today, it's no different when it comes to being able to pick delicious, juicy, fresh season apples from the orchards in the Hawkesbury area that are seeing a resurgence of demand for their yummy produce. And this is exactly what we did a few weeks ago when we ventured over to Shields Orchard.

Tastier, juicier apples than any you'll ever find in supermarkets, it was simply a matter of grabbing a basket and skipping through the orchard, picking whatever apples you fancied right off the tree. We were even invited to eat whatever apples along the way - which we relished! Don't expect the apples to be shiny and glossy though, that happens prior to the apples going to the supermarkets...just give them a polish on your jeans and they're ready to munch.

I felt a little like Trixie Belden in the orchard as I skipped and picked apples. Surely her gang would appear at any second and then we'd be off solving the next mystery. Sigh...the only mystery is that there seemed to be a definite lack of wicker baskets. Surely wicker is the best receptacle to carry freshly picked apples? Well, we were given plastic shopping baskets...it somehow didn't fit the rustic, romantic, country charm of a wicker basket I had envisioned carrying through the orchard...but never mind, it's all about the apples, not the basket.

Oh, and all that picking sure makes you hot and thirsty, so we took ourselves over to Tutti Fruitti cafe just along the road where we were served the yummiest berry and vanilla ice-cream. The cafe has it's own rose farm, and although the roses didn't look like the perfect roses we're so used to today, their scent was simply out of this world - rich, delicious, fruity.

Visit http://www.shieldsorchard.com/ to se what's ripe and ready for picking!


Shields Orchard - some apples still waiting to be picked.



A glorious, juicy apple.



Blossoms and fruit, all on the one branch - the apples were totally delicious!



Gloriously scented roses from Tutti Fruitti Cafe at Bilpin.

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