Petty’s Orchard, Templestowe
There is an apple farm in Melbourne, at the suburb of Templestowe ,not far from the city. Unfortunately, I decided to make a dash in the wintery month of August. The trees were without the leaves and the commercial farm was out of bound for the visitors. I parked the car and went straight to the organic fruits and nuts shop located inside the farm. The organic shop is run by Yarra Organics. My eyes were searching for the 217 types of apples, the orchard boasts of. Definitely it was not the Apple season. That could be one reason; apples displayed at the shop were not as good looking as the wax coated unhealthy apples we find at the supermarkets. They were also selling unpasteurised cow milk which is sold as bath milk. It is illegal to sell unpasteurised milk in Victoria, so they are sold as bath milk.
All these years in Melbourne I was desperately searching for real milk. The ingredient label of supermarket milk always read: “Milk solids and some other shit”. Finally I could see bottled milk with an ingredient label which read “cow’s milk” instead of the milk solids and water. The bottled milk in supermarket also contains a green looking substance called Permeate, which is a waste product from Cheese production. Permeate being a milk waste may not be as bad the usual dangerous chemical mix we find our packaged food. But the chemical process that makes the green permeate colourless is still a suspense. After I controlled my mind from drifting away to my naïve milk thoughts, the pressing issue was, “What else is there to see” . I took my eight year old daughter with me, tempting her with the thoughts of a farm bearing 217 different varieties of apples , pears and other fruits and nuts .
Luckily, I found a board on the side of the shop which read: “farm museum “. But the museum was nowhere to be seen. The shop assistant pointed me to a shed with rusted tractors. The most suited name for that museum was junk yard or scrap metal for sale.
The moral of the story: Never visit an apple farm in winter. But the shop was full with customers, looking to buy organic fruits.
History of Petty’s Orchard , Templestowe
In the early 20th century Doncaster and Templestowe area was covered with many orchard farms nested along the Yarra River. Thomas Petty arrived in Australia from England and selected a land in Templestowe area for a farm. Tomas Perry’s Grandson Thomas Henry bought the property in 1911. Three Generations of Petty family worked as Orchardists until 1981 . The orchards in this area were fast disappearing giving way to residential and commercial developments. In 1981 Parks Victoria purchased the property to conserve antique apple varieties to protect it from extinction.
Petty’s orchards located at homestead road , Templestowe covers an area of around 44 hectares , in which approximately two hectares are of demonstration orchard and 25 hectares commercial Orchard . There are around 217 types of apples cultivated.
Opening Hours for Petty’s Apple Farm , Templestowe
Open every Friday for organic produce markets, and also by appointment, you can arrange school tours on (03) 9726 9784.
Trading Hours for the Organic Shop
Friday: 9am – 5:30pm
Saturday: 9am – 5:30pm
Sunday: 10am – 4:30pm
Address of Petty’s Orchard
Address: Homestead Rd, Templestowe, 3106 Victoria, Australia. Melway 22 A11
Contact Info for Petty’s Orchard
Phone: 9846 5504 (during trading hours only)
Heritage Apple Festival at Petty’s Orchard
The Heritage Apple Festival is held at Petty’s Orchard on the last Sunday of March each year. The activities for the day include apple tasting, food , tours and stalls.
Next Heritage Apple Festival
The next apple festival at Petty’s Orchard will be held on Sunday 31st March 2013 from 10am to 4pm.
Fruit Tree Sales
All varieties from the Heritage Collection are available for grafting. You can order and pay for trees at the festival and it will be prepared for you to collect at a grafting day or you can just come along to the next grafting day. You can buy heritage fruit trees on grafting days which are held at Petty’s Orchard on the first Sunday of August each year.
For further details please visit the website of the organic food shop and café
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