“My favourite type of strawberry is the Albion. We grow four varieties at Blue Hills Berries & Cherries and, for me, it’s the sweetest and juiciest of them all. The best way to eat a strawberry is picked straight from the plant. Just picked, they have the most flavour, and warmed by the sun they burst with juicy goodness,” says Tracey Chapman of Blue Hills Berries & Cherries.
“Our family has been farming in Silvan since 1894 and we’ve grown many types of fruits and vegetables. The summer fruits are a highlight of the year, and of the region. There’s a lushness in this part of the valley that has attracted many farmers and orchardists – in the 1950s there was an influx of Italian farmers and the way we all work together as growers has much to do with that influence. The Yarra Valley is one of the key areas for strawberry growing in Australia.
There are so many traditions that we have kept alive because they work best. This year we’re excited to be starting a new tradition – the ‘Sagra della Fragole’, our Festival of the Strawberry, which is a wonderful way for us to share the abundance of our harvest.
Sagra della Fragole is part the Ciao Yarra Valley Ciao Festival. On Saturday 9 November, we’re celebrating the harvest season with a day full of fun activities especially for families. The day will have an Italian flavour with food vans onsite and wood-fired pizza. We will be decorating in the Italian colours – green, white and strawberry, and we will have live music by a two-piece Italian band playing some of the classics that we know and love.
Strawberries remind me of little hearts so Italian songs like That’s Amore really capture the essence of the day and what we love most! There will be farm animals at the petting zoo, a jumping castle, popcorn, fairy floss, market stalls, free face painting and a great Italian vibe. But most importantly come along and pick your own sweet, fresh fragole to take home with you. Deliziosa!”
When: 9 November 2019
Time: 10am – 4pm
Face painting will be available 11am – 3pm
Price: Adults $12 ( includes approximately 500g of PYO strawberries and festival activities) Children* (3 – 14 years) $6 ( includes approximately 250g of PYO strawberries and festival activities)
*Children under 3 years free.