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How does your farm grow?

Posted on : 08 June 2021

The first cherries of the season are a sure-fire sign Summer and Christmas are on the way... and with the year we have had it would be nice to start the season of festivities and goodwill a little earlier.

Thanks to the Woolworths Organic Growth Fund the Cantrill family orchard is seeing its cherry season ripen in early November rather than the traditional late November picking time, and according to orchard owner and manager Luke Cantrill, the cherries are large and luscious right from the start of the season.

Located in a highly fertile area approximately 850-1000 meters above sea level and on the base of Mount Canobolas, an extinct volcano, the Cantrill family orchard is based in rich, fertile volcanic basalt soils with an average rainfall of 900mm per year. The Cantrill Family has been farming in the Orange district of NSW for nearly 170 years and is committed to providing certified organic, high quality produce including cherries and a variety of other organic crops.

The farm has 8,000 cherry trees which provide a conservative approximate yield of 100 tonnes per year with the farm focused on expanding and planting new varieties in the short term. Orchard owner and manager, Luke Cantrill said "we started to get more focused about organic cherries a few years ago, and our business has been growing ever since. We are passionate about being able to meet what is a growing demand from Australian consumers for high quality, organic produce."

The family began supplying Woolworths with certified organic cherries in 2018, and the business has been growing rapidly since. Cantrill Organics applied for the Woolworths Organic Growth Fund to support the planting of new cherry varieties and upgrades to orchard infrastructure including upgrades to the solar panels and roof, the pack shed, and the dam.

Believing organic and biodynamic farming is better for consumers, farmers, and the environment Luke is determined to show that fantastic fruits and vegetables can be grown without the use of genetic modification or chemicals.

"The Woolworths grant of $170,000 will help us improve our certified organic cherry production and continue to expand the Macro Organic brand in partnership with Woolworths."

"Our goal is to be the market leader in our industry and the organic and biodynamic industries."

"We thank Woolworths for the opportunity to continue our successful partnership and help grow the Macro Organic brand through supplying the freshest, high quality, organic cherries on the market," Luke concluded.

The Woolworths Organic Growth Fund is now open for applications, offering grants and interest-free loans to produce growers who want to move into or expand existing, organic production. To learn more and see if it could help your farm visit www.woolworths.com.au/organicgrowthfund.

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