Start a family tradition

by Andy Bryenton

Sometimes the old-fashioned pleasures of life are the best. And while some of them aren’t strictly speaking free, there’s one family tradition, which many of us will remember, which is just as much fun today. There are those who think that there’s nowhere left in New Zealand to pick fresh fruit with the kids — but they’d be very wrong.

The Selwyn district is a veritable fruit salad of commercial orchards and private collections of fruit trees, growing everything from cherries to apples, walnuts to blueberries. Many of these family-operated farms open their gates to the public during the height of the harvesting season, allowing families to pick the juiciest of their wares. Just like in the old days, it’s perfectly fine to taste one or two right from the tree — with the permission of the farmer!

A great examples is Blueberry Bliss, located in Broadfield. For more than 20 years they’ve been inviting people in to pick their own during the summer season, as well as supplying cafes and eateries.

This is the sunny heart of blueberry season, so a quick check of blueberrybliss.co.nz for opening hours and you could be off this weekend to collect a basket of delectable fruit. Recipes are on the same website to make the most of your haul!

Just down the road a busy season has just finished for the West Melton Cherry Farm, the biggest in the region.

Cherries enjoy a brief harvest window of opportunity, but while they are heavy on the trees this is a great spot to visit.

Keep them in mind for next year! Coming soon, however, it’s the turn of Gary and Lynda’s Pear Orchard. Pears are ripening right now for a picking season, which begins in March, so keep your eyes on the weather — they will be open March — April, Saturdays and Sundays from 8.00am – 5:00pm.

For a real treat, visit the home of sweet berries in Tai Tapu — the Raspberry Cafe. Set amid fields of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, the folks here blend their fresh produce — right from the fields — into ice cream and desserts, cakes and sweet treats that are impossible to resist. Find them at raspberrycafe.co.nz and take a short drive this weekend to enjoy the best of the season.