Greg and Tessa Brooke-Kelly own and operate an organic stonefruit orchard northwest of Young. Greg and Tessa have been running the orchard organically for 25 years and are passionate about producing delicious organic fruit including cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums and prunes. Greg’s father Noel came to the district in 1957 when he purchased a sheep grazing property which had a small prune orchard. Noel expanded the orchard to include cherries, peaches and nectarines and Greg recalls the whole family’s involvement in the maintenance of the orchard throughout the years.
Having grown up on his father’s fruit orchard, Greg always knew how good fruit could taste if left on the tree to ripen naturally. As a result, he wanted consumers to enjoy the same natural and full flavour of fruit at its best. In the early 1980’s Greg and Tessa purchased a 30 acre orchard and have since devoted their time to developing an organic stonefruit orchard which gained organic certification with the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) in the late 1980’s. Greg and Tessa believe that if children are offered naturally grown and ripened fruit with intense sweet flavours, they will choose this over highly processed sugary foods.
Greg and Tessa Brooke-Kelly’s orchard now has over 2000 fruit trees with approximately 25 varieties of stonefruit. Beautiful organic cherries are available from November/December, while peaches, nectarines and plums are available from January through to April. The small scale of the orchard allows close control of all operations from pruning and thinning to harvesting, packing and marketing. The Brooke-Kelly’s stonefruit will be included in the Organic Seasonal Boxes according to seasonal availability and demand.
To further utilise their fruit and expand their market, Greg and Tessa purchased a small commercial fruit dryer which enables them to produce organic dried prunes and other organic gourmet products from their dried fruit. The fruit is picked at full ripeness before drying and no chemicals are used during the drying process to ensure healthy and flavoursome dried produce. These delicacies may be occasionally included in the Organic Seasonal Boxes.
Photos by Holly Bradford Photography