We are a member based organisation with a mission to effectively support and represent the Harcourt Valley Community, always striving to support the Community develop in a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive way.
The Orchard Keepers are Alex,Ingrid, Terry and Yoann, a group offriends who have reached a point in their lives where they want to translate their skills, experience and values into the process of growing and selling fruit in an ethical manner.
Strong principles around climate change, nutrition, clean food and being in touch with the land have driven them to want to physically work the land and grow fruit which is healthy to eat. Yoann said, ‘We hope to achieve a balance between growing food and looking after country. That’s a challenge – a tricky balance – and we are prepared to learn.’
As the most recent lessees of the orchard (which is one of four businesses in the Harcourt Organic Farming Coop instigated by Katie and Hugh Finlay), the new business partners spoke highly of the guidance and mentorship of Katie and Hugh as they enter this phase of their business lives. The orchard was previously known as Tellurian Fruit Gardens and has 4 000 trees with over one hundred varieties of fruit including apples, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cherries and pears.
On the day The Core visited, the group was working with Hugh and Katie to replace trees burnt in the bushfire of February 2018 which spread from the corner of Picnic Gully and Reservoir Road into the organic orchard.
Terry said, ‘We’ve got lots of expertise between us that we can use for this enterprise, and we’re all confident that our mix of skills and perspectives will not be wasted here. As we begin to get to know the orchard in a practical sense, our first experience has been learning to prune and understand the trees.