A KEEN appetite for produce direct from the farm gate means the Adams Cherry Orchard has sold out of fruit.
The well-known business at Oura near Wagga sold the last box of cherries this week – more than a week and a half before Christmas.
“We sold out yesterday … and we sold our last cherry pie yesterday too,” said Ann Adams.
The cherry trees at Oura were planted in 1992.
And despite the early sell out this year Mrs Adams said there is a silver lining.
“At least I won’t be tired for Christmas, it gives us a little break,” she said.
Mrs Adams described the quality as average and the season as average too despite the fact that some of the orchards to the north at Young recorded a bumper year.
She said the Oura orchard did experience some hail damage earlier in the season and birds, as always, were a threat to the crop.
Mrs Adams attributed the early sell out to demand.
She said it was also evident that more people were putting their orders in so they didn’t miss out.
And she believes it is not just cherries that consumers are chasing this festive season.
“People are looking to buy local and lets face it the government does little to support farmers,” she said.
Mrs Adams said consumers were demanding a premium quality product and were willing to pay more for it by buying direct from farmers.
“When you buy direct from the farm you are getting better quality and better flavour,” she said.
Member for Cootamundra, Katrina Hodgkinson said it had been an excellent season for cherry production in the region.
"NSW grows some of the world's best quality fresh cherries which feature a distinct bright appearance and delicious taste," she said.
"There are 108 cherry producing enterprises in NSW that cover an area of approximately 800 hectares and produce around 4500 tonnes each year,” she said.
"This equates to one third of the national crop, with an estimated gross value of $35-$40 million for the state's economy,” she said.
"The towns of Young and Orange have traditionally been the State's main producing areas - supplying 70 per cent of the cherries grown in NSW,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
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