I’ve been planning to visit some PYO fruit & vegetable farms for a while so we finally made the time to go for an exciting day in the Farm Gate Trail of the Hawkesbury region.
PYO (pick your own) fruits and veggies is a great idea to get in touch with nature, pluck your produce straight from the trees and spend some relaxing time talking to some passionate and laid-back farmers in the countryside of NSW.
It is also a fun an educational experience for children, who can see where their food comes from.
So off we went to Hawkesbury, approximately one and a half hours north-west of Sydney. We checked the harvest calendar and knew what was in season and which farms to go to.
I was particularly interested in finding feijoa – a fruit that is originally from the South of Brazil and It is usually very hard to find in Australia.
It was a typical Autumn day: very sunny but cold and the colour of the vegetation had a stunning mixture of green, orange, brown, yellow and red. There was this amazing smell of cinnamon and apple in the air. So it is definitely not too hard to find a good apple pie in the region!
I really enjoyed our PYO stop at Bilpin Springs Orchard:we were guided by a young bloke that gave us a basket and pointed us to the middle of the orchard, where a farmer met us and assisted everyone very patiently on picking the best fruits without damaging the trees.
We were the only two interested on feijoas so we had a guided feijoa tasting with the farmer while filling up our basket.
We were charged $3.50 per kilo of any fruits. Apples, persimmons and feijoa are all in season so we got a bit carried away by the experience and ended up bringing home more food than what we actually needed.
Among numerous rustic roadside sheds selling fresh produces, we had homemade apple pies from The Local Harvest, from where we also stocked up some free-rage eggs and potatoes.
We finished our day trip at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden in the Blue Mountains where we had a late lunch in the terrace, overlooking the cool climate gardens and the endless vista of the foggy and blueish Mountains.