About the Heritage Fruits Society
The Heritage Fruits Society is a not-for-profit group based in Melbourne, Australia. Our aim is to conserve heritage fruit varieties (also known as 'heirloom fruits') on private and public land.
We enable and encourage society members to research this wide range of varieties and to inform the public on the benefits of heritage fruits for health, sustainability and biodiversity.
You can read about our history here
You can find our list of heritage apples here
The Heritage Fruits Society will hold Working Bees at Petty's Orchard between 9am and 12 noon on -
* the first Sunday of every month
* some Wednesdays - see list on right
President's Report -
the summer of 2015
2015 promises to be an exciting year for the Heritage Fruits Society. We will be running tasting and grafting days as we have in the past. We also hope to run tastings at Werribee Park Heritage Orchard and The Briars Historic Homestead in Mt Eliza. We will participate in the grafting day at Werribee Park, as well as Werribee Park’s bud-grafting day in mid-February.
The Briars is very keen to expand their small collection of apples and plums, and this could be a major repository of fruit varieties in the future. The land seems very securely held by Mornington Shire Council. We supplied almost 100 varieties of apple scion to them last winter, and although not all have survived, they will have a lot of planting to do next winter.
Our nursery bed at Petty’s Orchard is going reasonably well, but holes have developed in the chicken wire fence, so that will need some extra work. There are about 50 varieties growing there that are not currently in the orchard, and we are always looking to expand our collection.
We sold apples to an organic fruit shop last autumn, and they are keen to sell more for us this year. The publicity from such an arrangement is enormous, and we have a sign on their shelf indicating the varieties for sale.
CERES nursery is interested in selling our one-year old trees on consignment, but we need to guarantee that we can regularly supply trees of a good standard.
Our attempts at growing rootstock, have not been very successful, so that is something we need to work on – so we can have our own supply. We are considering buying a ride-on mower to assist with grass-cutting, and with moving apples around via a small trailer on the back. We are also considering permanent netting over the orchard, to reduce birdstrike and remove the onerous task of putting the nets on and taking them off each year.
There are other projects too, for example, improving labelling of trees. Naturally we can’t do all this without volunteers, so we thank all those who have worked hard to get us to where we are now, and ask that you continue to volunteer at working bees, on the committee, and lots of other behind-the-scenes tasks needed to keep the society running. Contact us about things you might help us with.
Petty's Orchard in Templestowe, Victoria, Australia, is one of Melbourne’s oldest commercial orchards, and it holds the largest collection of heritage/heirloom apple varieties on mainland Australia, with more than two hundred varieties of old and rare apples. The maintenance of the apple tree collection is done by Heritage Fruits Society volunteers. Anyone can come and help. Find out more!
Please let us know if anything on the website is not working by sending us an email HFS
Visit Yarra Organics @ Petty's Orchard
Organic Shop and Cafe
open Fridays and Saturdays 9am - 5:30pm
and Sundays 10am - 4:30pm.