The Mirror News

Pick a Toora pear or two and have a little fun, too!

COME along and pick a pear or two at the Toora Heritage Pear Orchard’s Harvest and Family Fun Day between 10 am and 4 pm on Sunday March 7, 2021.

Organised by the Friends of the Toora Heritage Pear Orchard planning team, this year’s pear gathering celebration will be run on a smaller scale than the Friends’ usual annual Pear Party because of COVID-19 uncertainty.

“We’re inviting people to visit the Orchard in Mill Street during our Harvest and Family Fun Day and to pick some pears to enjoy,” Friends president Meryl Agars said.

“Many of the pears are ripening earlier this season, because of the weather conditions, and a lot are ready to eat now,” she said.

“We’re expecting the later varieties to be right for picking during the next couple of weeks or so, just in time for our harvest day, and people are welcome to choose which sorts they want at a cost of $6 per bag, which we supply at the orchard.”

And, quite coincidentally, the ABC TV program Gardening Australia segment on the Toora Heritage Pear Orchard, that was filmed by presenter Millie Ross and her crew at the 2020 Pear Party, will be shown on Friday March 5, 2021 at 7.30 pm.

This episode of Gardening Australia, the first in the program’s 2021 season, will be repeated on Sunday afternoon March 7, 2021 at 1.30 pm or watch on ABC iview after Friday’s screening at www.iview.abc.net.au

“Ordinarily it would have been the Friends’ tenth Pear Party in 2021, however we decided to organise a simpler event this year, with just a few plant and produce stalls, and musicians playing in a busker-like style,” Meryl said.

“We’ll also be having games and activities for the children, and the Toora Lions will be cooking for the Lions Biggest BBQ, which raises money for kids’ cancer research.

“While there won’t be any food stalls other than the Lions BBQ at the Pear Harvest and Family Fun Day, we’re encouraging everyone to support the Lions, as well as Toora’s cafes, the Royal Standard Hotel and our other great local businesses.

“The art and craft galleries in Stanley Street will be open to visitors on Pear Harvest and Family Fun Day, too.

“The Toora Heritage Walking Trail is a guided tour of the town and some of its significant architecture and is a wonderful way to explore our local history,” she said.

“Pick up a copy of the Toora Heritage Walking Trail brochure at the Pear Harvest and Family Fun Day and make up a full day in Toora.”

Meryl also suggested bringing “a rug or a chair and perhaps a picnic morning or afternoon tea so you can listen to the music in good, COVID-safe and socially-distanced company and comfort.”

Among the 80 or so types of pears in the orchard are the exotic-sounding Conseiller de la Coeur, Doyenne Boussoch and Shinsui, alongside Clapps Favourite and the Vicar of Winkfield, and more familiar friends like Bartlett, Corella and Beurre Bosc.

The orchard, described as a “living museum”, was established in 1996 on recreation reserve–zoned land first made available to the Toora community by the former Shire of South Gippsland and continued by the later South Gippsland Shire.

Meryl said the Friends were “very grateful to the present Shire’s parks and gardens staff who keep up so well with the mowing at the orchard.”

Entry to the Friends of the Toora Heritage Pear Orchard’s Harvest and Family Fun Day is by donation at the gate. Please use the hand sanitiser stations and bring a mask, just in case.For more information about the Toora Heritage Pear Orchard’s Harvest and Family Fun Day on Sunday March 7, 2021 and the Friends of the Toora Heritage Pear Orchard contact Friends president Meryl Agars on 0428 864 520.

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