Ditch the major supermarkets, and pick your own fruit and veg while you’re travelling around WA! There are berries down south and oranges galore up north – you can even pick your own olives and press them into oil...
WHERE TO GO
Perth | The Perth Mango Farm in Neerabup lets you pick your own mangoes on the weekends in February and March. It’s a $10 orchard entry fee, they provide buckets, gloves and pickers, and you pay shop price for what you pick (no minimum).
Perth Surrounds | Golden Grove Citrus Orchard in Lower Chittering has a minimum of five kilos for every two adults (and obviously you must buy what you pick). They do have oranges available all year round, but winter is the peak season, with more varieties available.
In Gingin, Walkalina Olive Park has jumbo kalamatas (for pickling or oil) from April to May, and sometimes early into June. Call ahead: generally 10 people and
a minimum of 1000kg are required to process for oil. For table olives, a 10kg minimum applies.
Golden Outback | The York Olive Oil Co. is a great day out in April or May. Bring a picnic, spend the day outdoors, and watch the olives you picked in the morning being pressed into oil in the afternoon (ring ahead, and processing fees apply, aside from picking fees). Remember to call beforehand.
Southwest | Denmark Berry Farm has nine types of berries (and their homemade ice-cream is a stand-out). This is a lovely rustic experience, where you pay for what you pick during the picking season (December to April). During school holidays, they open six days a week, other times by arrangement.
Fontanini’s Fruit and Nut Farm in Manjimup is a popular place to pick chestnuts, walnuts and hazelnuts, from the first weekend in April to the long weekend in June (8am-5pm), but there’s a heap of other produce available as well.
Pick apples (late April to end of June) and plums (January to March) at Spring Valley Orchard in Donnybrook. Picking is by appointment on weekdays – weekend visits are possible if booked well ahead (they have an emailing list you can join).
The picking season for Eden Gate Blueberry Farm in Youngs Siding runs from the beginning of December to the end of February, Thursday to Monday (10.30am-4pm). The bucket you’re given for picking holds approximately 700g for $15.
To market, to market...
Head to a local grocer and you’ll find all the fruit and veg under the sun... but if you’re looking for WA-produced fresh food, there are certain seasons it’s available in markets and stores. The mango season is in full swing from October to January in regions such as Broome and Kununurra, with crops being sent south to satisfy the tastebuds of hungry Perth dwellers. The climate isn’t the only tropical feature in northwest... the humid regions are banana crazy, with the tangy fruits available throughout winter. The warm climate also spurs the growing of tomatoes (April to October), zucchini, squash, melons (May to September) and onions (September to October). A few hours northeast of Perth is citrus central, with navel oranges in winter and valencias in spring. From March to May, you can grab apples and pears from the southwest, and grapes from January to March. When it comes to berries, several varieties are also grown in the south of the state and are available from November to January.
Perth Mango Farm, 4 Wattle Avenue, Neerabup 0432 802 176.
Denmark Berry Farm, 61 Lantkze Road, Denmark (08) 9848 1226.
Eden Gate Blueberry Farm, 685 Eden Road, Youngs Siding (08) 9845 2003.
Chestnuts, walnuts and hazelnuts
(There are also feijoas, apples, pears and macadamias available)
Fontanini’s Fruit and Nut Farm, Seven Day Road, Manjimup (08) 9771 2887.
Golden Grove Citrus Orchard, 1378 Chittering Road, Lower Chittering (08) 9571 8074.
York Olive Oil Company, 254 Ashworth Road, Daliak (08) 9641 2200.
Walkalina Olive Park, Lot 24 Hancock Place, Gingin 0417 900 192.
Apples and plums
Spring Valley Orchard, 19724 South Western Highway, Donnybrook (08) 9731 6214.