Shire of Plantagenet encourage residents to come and get some juicy apples

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Residents are being encouraged to pick fruit at the Shire administration building, which is home to an orchard of 18 heritage apple trees.
Camera IconResidents are being encouraged to pick fruit at the Shire administration building, which is home to an orchard of 18 heritage apple trees.

The apples are ripe for the picking by anyone in the community at the Shire of Plantagenet.

The Shire administration building is home to an orchard of 18 heritage apple trees, and for the first time, residents are being encouraged to come and pick fruit for themselves.

From Irish peach to sturmer pippin and maiden’s blush, the large variety of trees are giving people plenty of flavours to try.

A Shire of Plantagenet spokeswoman said the garden was planted in 2006, when the new Shire building was constructed, to reflect the area.

“The garden was recognition of the strong history of apple-growing and production in Mt Barker and surrounding areas,” she said.

“The Mt Barker area has always been agriculturally rich.

“Mixed farming was established towards the end of the 19th century, and by 1910 there were 75 commercial orchards, mostly concentrating on apple growing in the area.

“In 1917, the Mt Barker Fruit growers Cool Storage Co-Operative was established, which is the now-busy Mt Barker Co-Op... and the history of apples is well recognised with a storyboard inside the store showing historical apple-growing images.”

The Mt Barker Co-Op has even produced a local history book, It All Started With Apples.

The spokeswoman said residents were encouraged to come and enjoy the apples and spend time in Mt Barker.

Anyone can come and pick the excess fruit, however, given their heritage nature, can sometimes be a little tart so we do suggest adding a little sugar — or taste at your own risk,” she said.

“This year seems to be a very good year for fruit production.”

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