Doing Donnybrook

Donnybrook's Spring Valley Orchard is an organic wonderland of Pink Lady and Sundowner apples. We find EXACTLY the sort of hands-on orchard experience we have been hankering for - a tour of the sorting shed, meet and greet with the chickens and roosters in residence, a chance to pick from the trees til our buckets are full, topped off with a visit to the kitchen garden where the kids sample cherry tomatos and sunflower seeds straight from the earth. We leave an hour or so later with seeds in our pockets, silverbeet on our laps and ten kilos of fresh apples in the boot.

Apples lined up on the sorting belt in all their glory. Benji's first comment - "Why do the apples have leaves on them?" Unbelievable!
Intense concentration as Jack chooses just which rosy red apple to pluck from the tree next. We learn that the apple is not to be pulled or shaken or cut, but simply rolled backwards over the branch so that it snaps off by itself. We all master the technique and agree that there is NOTHING better than the taste of an apple freshly picked.
The happy apple picking gang with Spring Valley Orchard farmers Diana and Jeffrey. The kids are amazed to hear that Papa David actually spent six months on an apple farm in Shepparton after arriving in Australia as a toddler. Papa, a farmer from way back... who would've guessed!