Farm Profile: Roche Bros. Orchard, Adelong
by Produce Coordinator on July 20, 2012
Lachlan has been supplying us with wonderful sweet and crunchy chemical-free apples from his family farm in Adelong. Adelong is just outside the ACT, in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, perfect apple-growing country. A combination of rich, deep, dark soil, high rainfall, cool summers and crisp winters enables him to grow the perfect apple.
Lachlan is a fifth generation farmer – the land has been in his family since the mid 1800’s. However the 15,000 fruit trees were only planted in 1987 and so can be seen as quite a recent addition. Previously, the land was used primarily for grazing. In addition to the apple trees, there are also stone fruits, though we’ll have to wait until summer for those delights!
Frosty mornings and sunny days are particularly important for giving the pink ladies their crisp and sweet finish. Lachlan doesn’t use any chemicals or artificial fertilisers on his trees.
The orchard is also home to 200 happy free range chooks. They roam freely amongst the trees by day and snuggle down in their very own caravan at night. They eat a diet of local grain and of course a lot of windfall apples and stone fruit! They, like the orchards they live in, are free from hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and other nasties. Actually, the chooks provide a great alternative pest control in the orchards and they even fertilise the soil as they go!