The varieties below are just some of the 100 different varieties planted at the farm over the past twenty years by the inimitable Katie & Hugh. This isn’t a complete overview and we haven’t got photos of everything to share yet – that is a challenge we’re setting ourselves for our first season! If you would like to learn more about these varieties, how to care for them or even plant some of your own check out the Grow Great Fruit program and Carr’s Organic Fruit Tree Nursery who are a member of HOFC and grow all their trees from scratch here on the farm.
“Honey apricots”. Smallish, round, pale coloured apricots, sometimes with a red blush. As they ripen the skin changes from lemon to pale orange. Very sweet with a honey undertone, juicy. Medium firm flesh. Good for eating, jam, drying, bottling. Best left out of fridge for a day or two to soften and get juicy, then stored in the fridge.
Sweet, mid-size, bright orange apricot with an intense dried apricot flavour. Good for eating, jam or drying.
Early apricot, large, tendency to crack. Good flavour, soft texture, especially when ripe. Good for eating and jam, ok to dry when not too ripe.
Small to medium, slightly oblong fruit, apricot colour with dull red blush. Dark apricot flesh, good sweet flavour with slightly acid skin, clingstone.
Heritage apricot, ripens from inside like Trevatt, but firmer texture. Good flavour, much prized as a jam plum, also good for eating, stewing and bottling. Sweet, can be eaten even when still slightly green. Best stored in fridge. Small to medium sized.
Medium to large, dark orange colour, firm flesh. Very intense flavoured apricot, quite tart until completely ripe. Best left out of the fridge for a few days to ripen further. Great with dark bitter chocolate. Slightly resistant to brown rot. Keep very wellin the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
Large, sweet apricot with lovely old fashioned apricot flavour, tends to have a soft texture when ripe. Pale colour, good for eating, ok for drying before it gets too ripe.
Early apricot, quite tart around the stone, flesh gets sweeter as it ripens. Great for jam, good to eat when ripe.
Medium, slightly oblong fruit, light apricot colour with slight red blush. Orange, juicy flesh, average flavour, freestone.
50:50 hybrid between plum and apricot, skin and flesh colour can vary from dark purple to red, green or yellow, depending on the variety. Like plums in appearance and texture, with distinctive flavour.
Firm, oval, pale orange, fair to good flavour, A popular apricot worldwide.
Heritage variety, small, flat, pale orange apricot. Very sweet. Ripens from the inside out, so even when looks a bit green is usually ok to eat. Soft texture with a tendency to go a bit mealy.
Mid season large, bright orange oval apricot. Firm texture, fantastic “all purpose” apricot – good for bottling (sweet enough to bottle in water but better in light syrup), jam, drying – and fantastic for eating. Keep well, moderately resistant to brown rot.
Heritage white peach with greenish flesh. Clingstone, lovely flavour when ripened on the tree, must be handled very carefully because they bruise easily. Best stored in the fridge when ripe
Very sweet, heritage white peach. Pretty pink blush, combination of strips and spots, over a green background that turns to a rich clotted cream colour when ripe. Freestone, flesh is very melting in texture.
BriggS Red May
Very sweet, heritage white peach. Pretty pink blush, combination of strips and spots, over a green background that turns to a rich clotted cream colour when ripe. Freestone, flesh is very melting in texture. Quite fragile when ripe, need handling gently.
Early season yellow flesh peach, freestone. Dark red skin, bright yellow flesh. Delicious, juicy, sweet.
Tatura 204 & 211
Clingstone peach, developed in Tatura (Vic) – hence the name! Ready to use and eat as soon as it’s yellow, will soften and get more juicy as it gets ripe. Good flavour to eat, but also clingstones are the peach of choice for bottling.
Heritage white peach, freestone, dark red skin and greenish white flesh that turns creamy white and juicy as it ripens. Sweet and flavoursome.
A cross between a peach and a nectarine, the Peacherine has smooth skin, and sweet yellow flesh (like a nectarine) with more of the texture of a peach. Very delicious.
Modern yellow fleshed, freestone peach. Dark red skin, good flavour and juiciness.
Modern white flesh, freestone peach. Good sweetness and flavour, very juicy when ripe. Dark red skin over melting white flesh that turns pink as the peach ripens.
Medium to large, reddish skin over yellow background, quite smooth skin. Freestone, good flavour, quite sweet.
Heritage white flesh peach, large fruit with pink to red skin over a greeny cream background. Soft, juicy, semi-freestone. Very sweet but with complex flavour especially in the skin.
Bright red skin over a rich cream background, sweet white flesh. Sweet, delicious, juicy, eat-in-the-bath peaches. Freestone, must be handled gently because they bruise easily.
Large fruit with red skin , over dark yellow background colour. Slightly tough skin, rich yellow flesh. Very sweet, aromatic. Freestone.
Sweet, yellow-flesh, freestone. Moderate acidity, good flavour and juiciness, keeps well.
Yellow flesh, medium to large peach, mainly red skin with yellow background. Good flavour, sweet and slightly acid. Freestone.
Modern white freestone nectarine, brilliant scarlet skin with white flesh. Sweet, firm until ripe, then goes soft quite quickly, needs handling carefully. Our first of the season.
Bright red skin over yellow flesh, these nectarines are sweet and delicious – the “mango of the south”. Freestone, the tip goes very dark red (almost black) as they ripen.
Yellow nectarine with bright red skin over a yellow background. Freestone, sweet, highly flavoured, melting flesh. The “mango of the south”. Mediium to large.
Half way between a peach and a nectarine. This delicious variety has a sweet and tangy depth of flavour. It has mottled red skin like a nectarine and smooth yellow peach-like flesh.
Our last variety of nectarine, they are a sweet yellow fleshed, semi freestone fruit with a red colour on a yellow background. They store well.
Mottled red blush over a green-yellow background colour. Yellow flesh, firm, melting texture, freestone. Good flavour.
Japanese type blood plum. Clingstone, therefore not so good for cooking. Greenish skin, and red flesh, skin gradually changes to purple as plum ripens. Leave out of fridge to ripen.
European type plum Sometimes called “sugar plum”. Smallish, much loved for eating, cooking, jam or making plum wine. Freestone, goes soft quite quickly when left out of fridge to ripen. Best stored in the fridge.
Medium size, dark purple skin over a red ground colour, amber flesh. Colours well before ripe. Good flavour, nice and sweet if allowed to ripen properly on tree. Stores well, semi-clingstone.
Coe's Golden Drop
Small, roundish European-type plum with bright yellow skin. Fruit is quite astringent until completely ripe, so it’s important to let it ripen on the tree. When ripe, flesh is yellow, soft and very sweet.
Japanese type plum
Yellow flesh, dark purple skin. Clingstone, therefore not so good for cooking. Good flavour, texture a bit tough, smell very fragrant when ripe.
European type plum
Also sometimes called “sugar plum”. Smallish, can be dried to make prunes, or eaten fresh (very sweet). Best stored in the fridge.
Small, round, greenish-yellow plum, extremely sweet when ripe. Tendency to split in rain. They make the most incredible tasting jam – very intense flavour. Freestone, but when ripe it can be hard to get all flesh from stone.
Japanese style, blood plum, pinkish-red flesh that becomes soft and very juicy as it ripens. Skin is mottled purple/green that darkens to purple, juice is clear. One of the best blood plums, excellent eating, freestone so also very good for jam and bottling.
Japanese style blood plum, red skin over dark red, meaty flesh. Freestone. These are the blood plums many people remember from their childhood as they’re a common Australian backyard tree. The only blood plum with red juice. Stronger flavour than Mariposa, not quite as sweet, excellent for jam, sauce, eating and bottling.
Firm, sweet, almost crunchy modern plum, reddish purple skin over a background yellow colour. Freestone, but has peculiarity of a piece of the stone breaking off inside the plum – beware of teeth! Hangs well as it ripens, only falls when very ripe.
Japanese type plum, large, reddish purple skin with a heavy bloom, yellow background colour. Firm yellow flesh, nice and sweet for a late plum. Freestone. As the plum ripens the pink colour ‘bleeds’ into the yellow flesh.
These golden fleshed plums are the first of the season. They have reddish purple skin and a simple sweetness. The will hold their shape during cooking so a good for bottling whole.
Small, European-type plum.
Japanese plum with black skin and light amber flesh. Small pit and very juicy and sweet, contrasting with sour skin. Looks similar to Angeleno plum. Softens slowly after harvest. Semi-freestone.
Japanese blood plum, medium, oval , dark red skin with red flesh, good flavour, semi-clingstone
Japanese plum. Oblong, egg-shaped purple plum with yellow-green flesh. Called sugar plum because of it’s very sweet juicy flesh, with firm texture. Sub-acid. Fruit is small to medium.
Robe de Sargeant Plume
Robe de Sergeant is a very sweet and juicy prune plum. Fruit is medium-sized, roundish oval with deep purple to blackish colour and a thick grey bloom. The flesh is freestone, greenish-yellow.
Japanese, medium, round, bright red skin with yellow flesh that pinkens as it ripens. Good flavour, flesh is a bit tart near the skin and stone. Clingstone.
Japanese, dark purple red skin, dark yellow flesh with red staining, firm and juicy, sweet flavour, clingstone.
European, small prune shaped plum, purple skin with a heavy bloom and yellow flesh. High in sugar but also quite tart and astringent, its strong flavour makes it valued for excellent jam and preserving qualities. Clingstone.
Medium to large, dark red cherry. Lovely sweet fruit.
Large, red cherry, short stem, good flavour.
Dark red, firm cherry with good flavour. Medium to large, with medium length stem.
Medium to large, heart shaped dark red cherry.Sweet and juicy.
Large, dark red cherry, juicy flesh with good flavour. Fruit sizes and colours considerably in the last 10 days of ripening.
Large, dark red cherry with medium long stem, excellent flavour.
Info to come.
Pale red skin over a creamy yellow background, extremely sweet with honey tones when fully ripe.
Medium to large, short stems, dark red cherry, good flavour.
Medium sized heart shape cherry, black with dark red flesh. Strong, slightly tart flavour, sweetness develops if ripened properly on tree. One of the best cherries for preserving due to firmness and strong flavour..
Medium to large, black cherry, tough skin. Reasonable flavour but can have slightly ‘woody’ characteristics in some districts.
Medium to large, short stem, dark red cherry, with excellent sweet flavour.
Info to come.
Info to come.
Medium to large, red cherry, good flavour. Fruit can soften quickly after harvest.
Very large red cherry with long stem, can be softm, ripens quickly.
Large dark red fruit, only fair flavour, doesn’t keep as well as other varieties.
A large to very large heritage variety, these sour apples are great for cooking – or eating for those that like tart fruit!
COX'S ORANGE PIPPIN
A wonderful early season eating apple that is rich, sweet and crisp. It has a floral flavour with the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.
These large pale pink apples have a gorgeous delicate sweetness.
An early season red apple, their simple sweetness and crisp flesh makes for great eating.
This heritage apple is an English variety that is a favourite amongst many who grew up with them. It has green and red skin and an ‘old fashioned’ flavour that is sweet and tart.
Distinctively bright red skin, small to medium fruit. Greenish-yellow background colour, can have tough skin. Flesh is white with a green tinge, flavour is sprightly, sweet and juicy. Doesn’t store well, best eaten in season.
An absolute favourite amongst kids, this sweet and tangy bright pink apple (sometimes with white spots) is a great eating apple. It is our last variety to harvest.
Snow apples have gorgeous red and green patchy skin and vibrant white flesh. They are small in size with a relatively tart but delicious flavour.
The Beurre Bosc pear has a dark cinnamon skin with a juicy aromatic white flesh. It is a medium large sized fruit with a thin neck. This pear is great for baking.
Attractive red-skinned flesh with a background colour that starts out green and turns yellow when ripe. Fruit is medium size,
YA LI NASHI
Pear shaped, medium-sized nashi with mild flavour. Creamy white and very juicy flesh.
This once common heritage variety is a cross between an Asian and a European pear. Its crisp hard flesh will store well and slowly ripen into a coarsely textured sweet pear that is great for eating or bottling.
Sometimes known as honey pears. Fully russetted green skin, small fruit. Tender, sweet and juicy pear with melting, buttery flesh and good flavour.
Pyrus communis (European pear). Turbinate shape, small to medium, greeny yellow skin with a slight russet. The flesh is fine granted, juicy with excellent flavour. info coming soon!
The fruit is green and medium to large, oblong ovate-pyriform shape, with a long stem. As the fruit ripens it becomes a lemony yellow colour. Flesh is white and firm, becomes juicy, sweet and melting when the pears are ripe.
Pyrus communis (European pear). Turbinate, small, green flesh with partial russet. Flesh is tender, sweet and juicy.
The fruit is medium to large, pale green and ripening to a mellow, even yellow, sometimes with a slight red blush. Usually no russet. The flesh is white and firm until ripe, then it’s buttery, sweet and juicy.
More info coming soon.
Round, medium-sized nashi with mild flavour. Creamy white and very juicy flesh.
More info coming soon.
Pyrus communis (European pear) More info coming soon.
Pyrus communis (European pear). Delicious pear with creamy white flesh that is quite melting and juicy when ripe.
More info coming soon.
St Michael Archangel
Pyrus communis, European-type pear. Heritage variety. A large, green-skinned pear that ripens early-season, shows slight brown russeting on the skin. Average sweetness and low acidity, nice and crisp, refreshing flavour.
More info coming soon.
More info coming soon.
Thanks again to Katie & Hugh as well as Ant for the amazing documentation of the fruit on the farm. We will do our best to continue the work to document the beauty, flavours and uses of the diverse and amazing fruit we’re growing.
The Orchard Keepers grow fruit with love on Dja Dja Wurrung land. We recognise that sovereignty has never been ceded and this always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land. The Orchard Keepers as a member of Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op proudly ‘Pay the Rent’ to Nalderun Aboriginal Education Corporation.