Cherry season has kicked-off in Bathurst

SWEET: Lorraine and Sam Kaznouz with their season's first batch of cherries picked from their Raglan farm. Photo: NADINE MORTON 112516nmcherries1

SWEET: Lorraine and Sam Kaznouz with their season's first batch of cherries picked from their Raglan farm. Photo: NADINE MORTON 112516nmcherries1

IT is finally that time of the year for Bathurst’s cherry lovers, with the season kicking off for another year.

Early varieties are already on sale, with later ones to hit the shelves in the next week or so.

Raglan orchardists Lorraine and Sam Kaznouz are already in their familiar cherry selling spot on the highway at Raglan.

“The quality is good, but quantity is low,” Mr Kaznouz said.

Bathurst’s farmers received well above average rain during winter, with more than double the long-term average recorded.

In the three month period, 310.5 millimetres of rain was recorded, the long-term average for the period is 143.3mm.

And it has had an impact, Mr Kaznouz said.

“We’re very light [on cherries] because we’ve had the cold and rain during winter,” he said.

Dale Curran, from the newly-established Limekilns Cherry Farm, said she is looking forward to her first season of cherries.

“It’s looking really good at the moment, I think the last few weeks of warm weather has helped,” she said.

The family-run orchard was only purchased 12 months ago, and will hold its first public picking day on December 3.

Reedy’s Orchard owner, Anthony Reedy, said he was still a couple of weeks off picking his cherries.

“This year it’s a bit late,” he said.

Mr Reedy said his marketplace for his cherries, peaches and nectarines on the Sydney Road opposite Clancy Motors will be open soon.

Hill View Orchard’s Marietta Khoury welcomes busloads of tourists to pick cherries each year, and she said the first buses are only a couple of weeks away.

“We have a small amount of cherries now,” she said.

Mrs Khoury said the recent stretch of warm weather has left her cherries “looking beautiful”.

Meanwhile, summer stone fruit is not too far off either.

“Our first peach is coming along nicely, we're hoping they'll be ready by the end of the month,” Yarralee Orchard posted to its Facebook page recently.

“Nectarines should follow soon after.”

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