It’s generally agreed that Forest Orchards grow the best and most sought after organic apples in Australia. Their super sweet, wonderfully crisp Galas, Fujis, Pink Ladies, Jonathans, Golden Delicious and Granny Smiths are one of the highlights of autumn / winter produce. We enjoy them so much that we stock Forest Orchards’ varieties exclusively while they’re available- usually from about March through to September each year.
Forest Orchards is a family enterprise run by third generation orchardist Graeme Schultz, his wife Fiona and their sons. The property is located in Forest Range, just outside Adelaide, and about half the acreage is preserved as untouched bush-land. Forest Orchards was certified organic twenty years ago because the conventional trade emphasised the appearance of fruit rather than its quality, flavour and healthiness (see this article). The investment paid off and mother nature took over: as Graeme says in this interview “the longer we do it (organic farming) the less we do”.
The Schultz family is dedicated to the sustainability of their farming practice. Not only do they conserve a good portion of their property they also dispatch their apples in durable, reusable crates rather than disposable cardboard: retailers and wholesalers pay a deposit which is refunded on return. Forest Orchards’ apples are not refrigerated or sold to the large supermarket chains and are rarely exported: the Schultzes prefer to supply the local market, though a few do make it to Asia.
Forest Orchards are a great exemplar of mindfully produced food, and you can taste it in each crunchy bite!