About Stella Creek Cherry Farm
Stella(n) Italian for “star”. A self-luminous celestial body consisting of a mass of gas held together by its own gravity in which the energy generated by nuclear reactions in the interior is balanced by the outflow of energy to the surface.
Stella Creek is a delightful 42-acre cherry farm situated in the high rainfall cool climate region of the Adelaide Hills, about 30 minutes by road from Adelaide the capital city of South Australia. Merawyn and Alan Mayne and their daughter are joint owners having purchased in late 2001. Alan is fully occupied on the farm whilst Merawyn takes charge of the packing shed during harvest.
Apart from the 8 acres of permanently netted cherry trees the Stella Creek Cherry Farm is noted for its verdant pastures, the 15 acres or so of natural stringybark scrub with yakka undergrowth, spring wildflowers, tracks wandering through the scrub to the dams and orchards, waters coursing through the gullies, highly coloured and melodious birds including fairy wrens and scarlet robins, honeyeaters, finches many types of parrot and water birds. Several varieties of fish including Murray Cod swim in the dams. Kangaroos are often seen grazing in the paddocks and, more recently, koalas in the trees.
Extensive gardens surround both houses, developed considerably over the past two years. A wide range of European trees add variety to the grey green colours of the natives.
We are fortunate that the clay/loam soils are quite fertile such that most plants will grow with minimal assistance from fertilizers.
Being perfectly situated on a high ridge overlooking adjacent apple orchards and the Onkaparinga Valley the property affords splendid views over the surrounding countryside. The picture below shows the view over neighbouring apple orchards and dams with Mt Barker in the distance.
Our main cherry varieties are Stella, after which the property is named, Summit, Sam, Bing, Vic, Van, Dame Roma and Vega (a white fleshed variety). In all we have about 20 varieties ranging from early ones such as Australise, Moss Early and Vista through to lateish Dame Roma and Black Douglas. Colours range from dark, almost black, Sam and Ron’s Seedling through to mahogany red and light red.
In total, we have over 2700 trees in three orchards all totally protected by the 15′ high permanent netting – it certainly stops the birds but not always the kangaroos & koalas!!Just another job to attend to – mending the small to large holes in the netting!
Original plantings are trained in the Lenswood Palmette tie down form while the training system for the more recent plantings is Spanish Bush. The former offers opportunity for greater production but suffers from its labour intensiveness.
Stella Creek provides a wonderful lifestyle so close to the city……..we look forward to sharing this beautiful Hills environment with you during this much awaited harvest.