Woodstock Orchards Team
I was born and bred in the Huon Valley of Tasmania. In fact I was raised on an apple orchard at Lower Wattle Grove. On finishing school the intention was to help run the family farm. But with the sudden death of my father 6 weeks later and a downturn in the apple industry in the mid 60’s the farm was sold.
So I worked locally on apple orchards for a couple of years. After that I found work with the Tasmania Department of Agriculture at the Grove Research Station near Huonville in 1968.
Over the next 42 years I worked on all aspects of Horticulture with the main emphasis on orchard design/pruning, spray application technology, chemical thinning, organic fruit production and trialing potential new crops for the region. These included blueberries, olives and floriculture (protea’s and peony roses). The last 12 years were spent as manager of the Research Station until it was leased to a private company in 2009.
We bought the property at Woodstock in Jan of 2000 as part of a strategy for looming retirement. Planning for the orchard development was done and ten thousand trees were grafted in the nursery for planting in 2002. Bird netting was installed in 2005 and cherries have been harvested since January 2006.
My wife Carmel was born in Northam W.A. and moved to Perth with her parents at age 9. On leaving school she worked for Co-operative Bulk Handling, a wheat & grain export company. Thereafter she travelled around Australia & New Zealand. On her second trip to Tasmania to picking apples she met me during the harvest season and as they say “the rest is history”.
Time during the 70’s & 80’s was spent raising 3 sons and looking after our family home & garden.
In 1989 Carmel entered into a partnership with 2 friends to form Diamond Hill Nursery, a company which produced apple trees for the now buoyant apple industry. This continued until around 2004 with around 1 million trees being produced. However, another downturn in the fortunes of the apple industry saw the venture close.
As Woodstock Orchards developed Carmel helped in all aspects of the business, especially in the financial area. During the harvest season Carmel runs the farm gate “Cherry Tent” where our cherries are sold to the general public.
Andrew is our eldest son and a partner in Woodstock Orchards.
He is a qualified surveyor and was responsible for setting out the long straight rows of the orchard at Woodstock. When time permits Andrew helps out on any task that needs doing, eg. pruning, spraying, mowing the orchard etc.
During harvest season Andrew organises the picking crew & ensures harvesting standards are achieved by the pickers. He also helps to maintain the website & Facebook page and answer emails during the harvest season
Plus A Cast Of Many …
And not forgetting the dozens of people who help out every year along the way. It’s a massive task picking all the fruit during harvest time. With their help we are proud to have become Tasmania’s best cherry grower.