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The Australian Cherry Season lasts about 100 days – spanning the spring and summer months. The first cherry harvest starts in October/November in the eastern mainland states and extends through to late February with the majority of cherry crops harvested during December and January.
More than 15,000 tonnes of Australia’s premium stoned fruit is picked throughout this period with climatic conditions determining harvest time across the six main cherry growing states.
South Australia, Queensland, NSW and Victoria are the first to supply to market followed by Western Australia and Tasmania who reap their biggest returns in December and January.
Tasmania has the shortest harvest window - yet the third largest volume - at approximately eight weeks with the majority of the cherry growing states capitalizing on three to four months of harvest.
Varietal diversity impacts seasonality and timing of harvest in Australia with wide-ranging premium stone fruit varying in colour, flavour and taste amongst a short supply season.
Seasonal factors such as rainfall, humidity and frost have the capacity to impact the volume and quality of cherry crops with precise care and management required by orchardists at harvest to maximise crop output.
Benefits of Cherries:
Cherries are a potent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These cellular body guards slow down aging and ward off chronic illnesses - including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and obesity.
Cherries are an excellent source of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure by getting rid of the excess sodium in our body.
Eating cherries can help you lose weight and stay trim. A cup of cherries is less than 100 calories and packs in 3 grams of fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer. Also, these little beauties contain many B-vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B6; these vitamins are crucial for metabolism and convert nutrients into energy. What could be better than eating cherries to help you stay lean and skinny?
Cherries are not only healthy, but they are delicious and versatile. They can be added to everything from dairy, to pork; eaten raw or cooked down to make a sauce or strained for juice. Serve them by the bowlful for dessert at your next summer barbecue; just be sure to have plenty of napkins and bowls for the pits!