Cherries & Stonefruit
THE HISTORY OF CHERRIES & YOUNG
Sweet Cherries were named after the town where they were first grown, Cerasus in Asia Minor (now modern day Turkey). They have always been a favourite fruit with the stones being found in many Stone Age caves in Europe and cliff dwellings in America.
The first recorded planting of Cherries in the Young district was in 1847 by Mr Edward Taylor in his home orchard at Burrangong. In 1860 Nicole Jasprizza arrived in the area to mine for gold but after 6 months started a garden and then an orchard. Using the original stock from Taylor's Kentish Cherries he experimented with grafting and by the 1890's he had 7,000 full grown trees and 8,000 young trees. The 'Rons Seedling' Cherry, Young's premier variety, was developed in Young byb S.A. Thornell through cross pollination and grafting. He then named the new species after his son. The Rons Cherry can be easily identified. This variety of Cherry is a large dark red to black fruit, firm and sweet.
HANDLING AND STORAGE
Cherries are picked in the cool of the day and cooled as quickly as possible. They are then packed and sent to market. Most Cherries are in the market within 24 hours as the fruit is best eaten fresh. Cherries can be stored however and should be kept at 0 - 2 deg. and at a very high humidity. It is best practice to ensure that the fruit is mature as it's the sugars that keep will keep the cherries fresher for longer. Immature fruit or green fruit will not keep and, like all stonefruit, doesn't ripen after picking.
There are a large amount of varieties to choose from to extend the season from early November until late December. Cherries vary in colour from white, to red and also in black.
Early varieties: Supreme (sweet), Merchant (well balanced acid & sweet) and Vista (tart).
Mid-season varieties: Rons Seedling (dark red to black, firm and sweet), Stella (sweet), Van (sweet to tart, big flavour)
Late Season Varieties: Bing & Sweetheart (sweet), Sylvia, Lapins & Simone (large & sweet), Black Douglas (sweet, juicy, firm dark flesh)
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CHERRY
Cherries must be firm, shiny, well coloured and must have a fresh green stem as this is the sign of well looked after during the orchard, packing house and retail outlet.
Cherries are a fruit that has always been admired and sort after by people for thousands of years. It is still one of the few fruits that are truly seasonal and are better value per weight than chocolate.
A delicious range of stonefruit is available six months of the year in Young. Prunes, peaches, plums and nectarines are grown here and exported all over the world. Persimmons and strawberries are also gaining a reputation for their quality.
Many of the plum varieties grown in the area are dehydrated to produce Prunes, with Young supplying approximately 20% of Australia's Prune market. The Young and District Producers Co-op produce the well known 'Verity Prunes'. Established in 1927, Verity Prunes now produces an average of 1,500 tonnes of prunes annually.