Apples: why did we wait so long before writing about a Tasmanian icon? We had that very thought at Salamanca Market last weekend, as we captured an image of apples to share via Instagram. We’ve even written about chocolate and cheese beforehand. Never mind, we’ll write about apples now. More specifically, we’ll write about a Sunday drive to the Huon Valley.

Apples - Orchard

Red apples: Huon Valley

Apples: Good Excuse for Day Trip

Whenever we drive south of Hobart to the Huon Valley, we love to buy fresh produce from roadside stalls and sheds. It’s such a bonus to stop and collect a bag of apples only metres from where they’re grown and picked. Some varieties are the standard type you’d find in the supermarket, but others can be more exotic.

Apples - Spreyton

Apples: also grown at Spreyton, Tasmania (photo by Carol Haberle)

Buying Tasmanian Apples

Apples are seasonal, but the exact season depends on the variety. Some varieties (including the green cooking staple, Granny Smith) are available year-round, while others have a short season over the cooler months. We read somewhere that the Huon Valley is responsible for the production of about 85% of Tasmanian apples.

We sometimes buy our apples from Griggs. Heading south, their sales shed is just beyond Huonville on the left hand side of the road en route to the small Tasmanian township of Franklin.

Apples - Huon Trail

Fresh apples: Huon Valley

Apples - Varieties

Bags of apples: fresh from the grower

Honest to Goodness Apples

Farm-gate sales of apples are common along the Huon Trail, and promoted by the tourism industry as a highlight. One thing we love about the process of buying a bag of fruit is the system of trust. Growers leave their produce on the side of the road, and ask customers to make payment into an honesty box. Is Tasmania the only place that happens?

Customers need to have coins at the ready and drop their money into the slot when they make their selection.

Apples - Honesty Box

Honesty system: purchase apples

Apples - Cygnet

Apples from stall near Cygnet in Tasmania’s south

Not Just Apples

There’s other fruits available for purchase from the Huon Valley too. Pears and berries are two that spring to mind. We bought the most magnificent (and gigantic) punnet of strawberries straight from the grower on a drive between Geeveston and Dover once. The berries were divine, and very reasonably priced given their quality. We ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day!

Apples - Strawberries

Chocolate ice-cream with Huon Valley strawberries

And if you’re interested in something other than plain fresh fruit, look out for the option of apples dipped in toffee. Can you remember buying toffee apples at the annual school fete as a child? They were considered a real treat at our local. That was many (many!) years ago, and it was a long-forgotten pleasure, biting through solid, sticky, red toffee and into a juicy apple… until our last trip south, where we refreshed that memory.

Apples - Coated in Toffee

What’s red and delicious? Apples!

Apples - Toffee

Toffee apples: available on weekends

Plan your trip to the Huon Valley for a weekend if you want toffee apples, as they’re not always available. But don’t despair if you miss out on the toffee version. A-la-naturale… probably the best anyway!

You’ll find a wealth of information about apples on the Tasmanian Fruit Growers website. Click the ‘Industry Info” tab and read all about apples and many other varieties of fruit grown in Tasmania.

Apples - Blossom

Blossom: organic apples trees, Kelty Farm

Apples - Trial Bay Orchards

Trial Bay Orchards: farm visit with Herbaceous Tours

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