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|Sorell Fruit Farm Philosophy|
We started with a strong sense of stewardship of the land with the prime responsibility of , where possible improving the already good health of our soil. Most of our orchard is under perennials so we do not cultivate once the trees are in place, so we mulch our prunings, encourage clovers (in the rows) and avoid spraying wherever possible. Between strawberry crops we plant broad beans to add nitrogen and organic matter, sweet corn to add more organic matter and finally a strain of Indian mustard, selected because it acts as a natural soil fumigant and kills diseases that would attack the new strawberry plants. It also adds even more organic matter.
The Sorell area in its usually dry condition is a difficult place for fruit trees but once water is added we have great opportunities. With shelter from the winds, which is why we have many windbreaks, we can grow the berry fruits found in cooler and wetter areas, except blueberries that like a much more acid soil. It is also an excellent area for cherries and apricots, as well as peaches and nectarines. In fact it is one of the few regions of Tasmania where you can grow apricots. Apples and pears grow very well and the dryness of the area means we have fewer disease problems than elsewhere. Nashi pears can also be grown because of our higher temperatures than found in many other areas of Tasmania.
In summary we grow so many different fruit types mainly because the climate allows it. As well it means that we can usually offer our visitors for most of the fruit season the choice of picking at least four different fruit types.
Our special fruits Some of our fruit varieties are found in very few places in the world. Tayberries, which are delicious tasting cross between a raspberry and a blackberry came from Scotland. They are rather soft so are very rarely seen in fresh fruit markets but are excellent for jam, wine and liqueur production, as well as being eaten fresh. Jostaberries are another cross, made in Germany, this time between a gooseberry and a blackcurrant. They too make an excellent jam or liqueur.