Australian consumers are about to enjoy grapes, grown in the middle of Australia, on their Christmas tables as the harvest begins near Alice Springs.
The heat is intense, the red soil is dry, but thanks to irrigation the fruit thrives in the Red Centre and farms will now spend the next few weeks capitalising on a market window for the fruit.
The Ti Tree Grape Farm is the region’s largest supplier, with 3,000 boxes being picked every day, cooled down, and then sent to Irymple in Victoria for distribution to supermarkets across Australia.
Farm manager Tony Camera said the harvest was going well and the weather was ideal, although it had been exceptionally hot with temperatures forecast to reach 43 degrees Celsius next week.
“We have probably got about another six weeks [of picking], so we hope for no rain during this period.”
Farm manager, Tony Camera and white seedless grapes.
Farm manager, Tony Camera and white seedless grapes.Picked by hand Rural Newsletter Rural news in your inbox?
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Mr Camera said it was always difficult to get pickers to work in the remote region.
He said the table grapes required hand picking, not mechanical harvest as occurs with wine grapes.Read More at www.abc.net.au