How sweet it is for region’s stone fruit fans
IT IS not just sweet stone fruits flourishing this festive season with the region's farmers' market operators noticing a large increase in the number of shoppers hitting the market scene.
Warwick Farmers' Market operator John Thornton said the number of people visiting the markets was very encouraging.
"I think people have better respect for farmers these days," he said.
"There has been so much publicity about getting behind and supporting Australian farmers and it is starting to pay off."
Sam "The Fruit Man" Sorbello has also noticed more faces popping in at his stall at the Pig and Calf Sale over the past few weeks.
Like Mr Thornton, he feels the extra publicity is also to thank for the extra support people are willing to give to our farmers.
And after a great stone fruit season there will be plenty of reasons for people to head direct to the source for their fruit and vegetables this Christmas.
"We have plenty of apricots and plums on the way and the strawberries are still flying off the shelf," Mr Thornton said.
"There are also peaches, nectarines and even mangoes.
"They have had a really good season which means the quality will be great and the prices will be affordable."
Senior extension officer for Horticulture and Forestry Science Agri-Science Queensland Clinton McGrath, who is based at the Applethorpe Research Station, said the hot dry conditions were to thank for the great fruit growing season.
"There will be plenty to choose from this Christmas," he said.
"The biggest problem for fruit growers is long periods of constant rain and we haven't had that this season."
Mr McGrath said supplies this December would be similar to those on offer last year.
"Last year wasn't too bad and this year is looking pretty similar and the great news for consumers is the prices will be low."