These were not just any books. These books were filled with stories of adventure and mystery. I read every Enid Blyton I could find. Enid’s book entitled “Tales of Long Ago” was the first book I bought on my own. The book “Tales of Long Ago,” which is a Greek Mythology story, tells the origins of each god and goddess and their stories.
Blyton’s stories about children and adventure would make me want to live another life. She gave me enough stories and ideas to fill a lifetime with dreams. These stories often featured children who were sent to farms during their long summer vacations. These children, besides being adventurous or running off to live on an Island, were also very good at finding food and putting together picnics.
They would pick ripe cherries and berries. On the sun-drenched hilltops, they would eat their tongue and pineapple sandwiches while socializing.
We were invited to a weekend getaway at the Mornington Peninsula with other bloggers on their Wine Food Farmgate Trail.
What is the rule? The rule of the game was to forage as much food as we could from as many farms as possible and then cook it together at the end. It seemed like a straightforward plan. I had no idea that I was about to live out a childhood dream!
Michele split up our list into three teams. Each team was assigned a specific location. Michele, Michelle, Thanh, and Adrian visited Green Olive and 2 Macs Farm. Agnes, Al, and Mock Red Hill were visiting Main Ridge Dairy.
The Boy and I were told to visit Trevor at Red Hill Cherry Farm and then to Mornington Prime Cuts to buy the meats we needed for dinner.
As I drove up to Red Hill Cherry Farm, I was thrilled to see the sheep, who I later learned was named Garfield, as the farm dog, Odie, was also called Garfield. I was also delighted to find that the driveway led to a cute little cottage. “Just like the books,” I exclaimed to The Boy, who had no idea what I was saying.
The Cherry Farm was closed the weekend that we visited because of the unusually wet weather. However, after a quick call to Trevor, who runs the Cherry Farm, he came to meet us and give us a private tour.
Trevor pointed out different cherry varieties as we walked around the Cherry Trees. He pointed out, picked up, and forced us to eat the split cherries (to my delight).
The cherries were perfect and of a high quality. The cherries were sweet.
Then he let us taste the split cherries. The cherries were a different level of sweetness. Trevor explained that the cherries on his farm had started to absorb extra rainwater due to unseasonal, wet weather. Splits are more common in ripe cherries.
The first time I tasted a ripe, juicy cherry, I was a little flinching, but I could not get enough of them! These cherries were beautiful, sweet, and juicy.
Trevor explains that split cherries are sweet because the cherry skin expands rapidly due to the susceptibility of the outer skin to rain/water. This allows the moisture to escape, resulting in a greater concentration of sugars.
Trevor explained his Cherry Farm concept. He has only six weeks per year to run his Cherry Farm, but he does it like an expert.
If you want to drop in, there is an entrance fee. You can pick as many cherries on the farm as you like and eat them. The end of their visit is a simple weigh-and-pay system if they want to pick cherries for home.
Trevor tells his visitors to “eat the split cherry and bag the beautiful ones” in order for everyone to benefit.
You can be sure that you will have enough cherries to bring home and enjoy.
Trevor grows Morello cherries, which are also known as sour cherries. He laughs when he recalls how many times his guests have put these cherries in their mouths despite being warned about the difference. His visitors, seeing the red, ripe Morello cherries, pop them in their mouths without a second thought, only to be shocked by the sourness.
We came across this beautiful white cherry variety as we walked around the Cherry Farm (picture shown at the beginning of the article). We were thrilled to find one of the varieties on the farm, as we had only tasted them last summer at the local farmers’ market.
After learning a lot about cherries and hearing Trevor tell his stories and share his cherry knowledge, it was hard not to be grateful for our blog. It has opened so many new avenues of learning and discovery.
What are the key learnings you took away from this trip? Never judge a cherry based on its appearance.
Split cherries are perfectly fine, and you should eat them to enjoy the fruit of nature as it is.
Do not buy the cherry that looks ‘perfect’ at your local market. You can taste the difference between cherries picked from branches and those that are still on trees by visiting a cherry orchard (especially Trevor’s Red Hill Cherry Farm).