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Plump, juicy cherries are a summertime staple and the season’s best are from local organic producer, Marriott Orchards.

Our team recently visited Marriott Orchards at Montacute in the Adelaide Hills. Cherry grower Phil and his family have owned the property for 15 years and converted the orchard from conventional farming to organic production 8 years ago. The Marriott family live on the property which was their motivation behind transitioning to organic growing methods.

“We have 5,000 trees and what is called a modern ‘pedestrian’ orchard which means we don’t use ladders, we can easily pick all the fruit by walking around the trees. Everything is hand-picked, no machines, and is sorted by hand in our packing shed,” Phil says.

Watch the full farm visit video and learn a little bit more about organic cherry production in an interview with Organics Co-ordinator Jonathan and Cherry Grower Phil.

Marriott Orchards grows multiple cherry varieties as different types ripen at different times. Philip explains the various cherries which appear during cherry season:

STELLA- A dark cherry with a delicious, almost tangy flavour.
BING – One of the first cherries to be commercially cultivated. A very old cherry variety. Sweet and rich.
MERCHANT – A very reliable, early-season cherry. The only decent early cherry. Apple shaped, red, crunchy and sweet.
LAPIN – An American-style cherry, and a real crowd-pleaser. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like them!
SIR DON – Named after the legendary cricketer, the cherry was developed in SA and has dark red to black skin and firm sweet red flesh.
VAN – Heart-shaped, light-coloured cherry with a short stem.

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