Ashbourne Valley Orchards continue to wow the crowds at Willunga Farmers Market with their world-first rare pears.
The only known commercial grower of the Durondeau pear in the world and the only commercial grower of a number of other varieties in Australia, the Boag family manage 30,000 fruit trees in Ashbourne Valley on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
David Boag, family patriarch, rescued a number of rare fruit trees from a research farm that closed down in the Adelaide Hills in the 80s. Keeping the best performing rare varieties the family have been able to carve a niche in the market.
‘The rare varieties we grow came simply out of my Dad’s experimentation,’ David’s son Ross says.
‘We grow and sell everything from the really tiny Paradise Pear to the huge Doyenné du Comice. The Doyenné du Comice is probably the best pear going but it’s just not grown commercially in Australia.
The Boags’ are also the only growers in Australia of Charles Earnest pears, which are large and green with fruit growing to up to 1kg each.
‘Most people are blown out by the fact that they look like large green pumpkins. They’re pretty special.’ Ross says.
‘While we like to experiment with rare pears we only persevere with the varieties that have a great flavour and texture.’
Ross notes that while shoppers are often interested in the unusual varieties many are too scared to try them and walk away, preferring to buy the varieties they know.
‘Only the shoppers that are used to the farmers market style of shopping and take the farmers advice to try new things give them a try. Once they get stuck in though they always come back for more,’ he says.
Ashbourne Valley Orchards is the only Australian grower of Keifer and Buerre Hardy pears, currently available at Willunga Farmers Market, with Doyenné du Comice pears due mid June.
For media assistance:
Willunga Farmers Market is a not-for-profit organisation.
The Willunga Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 8am til 12:30pm, and provides fresh, locally grown produce.
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Billy Doecke on 0416 174 375
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