Blue Hills Berries and Cherries

20151128_110323_HDRThere is something so festive about cherries.  They seem to pop up around the Christmas season then disappear for the rest of the year, leaving you with a longing that is so subtle you only realise you have missed and wanted the fruit when they reappear.  My love for cherries started way back, when we would go to church for midnight mass on Christmas Eve and on returning home we would find the table covered in seasonal fruit, Christmas cake and best of all Ma-made Breuder (a Sri Lankan style sweet bread/cake enjoyed with butter and Edam cheese). The table always looked amazing thanks to the brilliant colours of the mangos and cherries. So when I found Blue Hills Berries and Cherries I knew there was a berry picking experience to be had.

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Blue Hills Berries and Cherries is a family run business.  The Chapman family have been farming in Silvan since 1894 and know a thing or two about growing berries and cherries.  When you arrive the first thing you will notice is that this is a working farm, complete with mud, sheds and tractors.  It is not pretending to be anything other than a well-run orchid offering a UPick experience.  The uniform of the staff is weather appropriate clothing and footwear, a friendly smile and chatty demeanour. 

There are two properties to choose from when planning your Blue Hill experience and it is always recommended to check their website www.upickberries.com.au for a fruit report before you go.

The Cherries

Located at 30 Chapman Rd Silvan, Victoria

Cost is $10 an adult and $5 a child. 

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You will be given a bucket to place your picked cherries in and will pay $10 per kg for what you pick (Nb: you MUST pay for what you pick, so don’t go crazy and fill your bucket if you don’t want to pay for 5kgs of cherries).  There are plenty of cherry trees to pick from and tasting the cherries as you go is so much fun for the kids.  My son thought all his Christmases had come at once, being allowed to pluck ripe (and not so ripe) cherries from the branches and pop them in his mouth.  This is another chance for all parents out there to educate the children on where food comes from, how it is grown and what it looks like in its natural state – they won’t even know that they are learning!

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The Berries

Location: 27 Parker Rd, Silvan, Victoria

Cost: $12 an adult and $6 a child.

The cost here includes a 500g container for adults and a 250g container for the children to fill with fruit.  As long as you can close the lid it is included in your entry fee.  If you choose to pick more fruit you will be charged $12 per kg when you exit (please see www.upickberries.com.au for more information on Blueberry pricing).

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When it comes to properties this one will never be forgotten.  It is beautiful!  Standing in the bottom corner and looking over the property was a delight for this blogger.  You will see row upon row of strawberries ripening in the sun, the plentiful raspberry bushes standing tall dotted with the vibrant red of the bubbly fruit begging you to pick and eat it. As your eye follows the flow of the land, you will glimpse the cherry trees at the highest point and notice the young berries, blueberries and more strawberries flowing down the hill towards you.  It is a moment I am glad to have stopped to appreciate and capture.

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When it comes to a family outing this is the property to visit.  There is so much variety in what the children can taste, pick and see that you could spend most of the day there.  The flow of the land means that they will tire themselves out climbing the hills and picking their way back down again.  There is not much of a café within the property so you may want to plan your visit after your morning coffee and around meal times.  I also found it a little difficult with the pram and would recommend going with someone to help with pram duty.

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I would love to hear about your Blue Hill Berries and Cherries experiences in the comments below.  If you visit on my recommendation please let me know what you thought.

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