The phrase “She’ll be apples!” pretty well sums up Picnic Point Farm. This idyllic, eco-conscious and family-run orchard, established by Reg and Mary Baldwin, has been producing local fruit and vegetables since 1984. Stationed in Bairnsdale, the farm is known locally for its sumptuous deliveries of raspberries, rhubarb, quince, cherries and blood plums, not to mention jams and apple cider vinegar.
“ The Baldwins have transformed Picnic Point Farm into a formidable apple orchard ”
However, over the last 10 years, with the help of their son David, the Baldwins have transformed Picnic Point Farm into a formidable apple orchard, growing Royal Gala, Red Fuji, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious and more. The farm even grows its very own variety of apple, called the Picnic.
Currently at Picnic Point Farm, a whopping 10,000 trees produce around 200 tonnes of apples each year. The Baldwins hope to double these figures over the next two years, as their young trees reach maturity and start to produce. Situated on the banks of the Mitchell River, the farm boasts an ideal climate and location for growing apples. Unfortunately, this is not news to local populations of bats and lorikeets. To make the most of this setting, the Baldwins use an intricate trellis system, and a combination of drape nets and permanent netting, to ensure high productivity and to minimise thieving from the local wildlife. To give back to their environment, the Baldwins run a completely solar-powered business, and they are working to revegetate the river banks on their property to nurture the natural ecosystem.
The majority of Picnic Point’s apples are stocked in local greengrocers, or packaged up and distributed to farmers’ markets throughout Victoria. Fresh fruit is also available from the farm shed, which is open every day.
Even second-grade apples have a purpose at this orchard – they are shipped off to nearby Mt Markey Winery, to be turned into apple cider. When it comes to produce, nothing is overlooked at Picnic Point.