Bellarine Tast Trail

Highlights

 

Pick your own blueberries at Tuckerberry Hill

Summer is the time to come to Tuckerberry Hill and get your hands on some living fresh fruit. You might even leave with a blue tongue if you get a ‘gobblers pass’ to snack as you pick!

Picking season is from December to March and you can come for a pick seven days a week from 9am to 5pm from 20 December until 30 January. Cafe open weekends all year round.

Tuckerberry Hill was started by one of Australia’s pioneering blueberry farmers, Margaret Tucker (hence the name!), formerly of Yea, which is great blueberry growing country (that is, cold and wet). Moving to Drysdale presented a challenge that daughter Christine and her husband David Lean continue to meet after taking over the reins in 1989.

They are committed to growing organic and chemical-free fruit so they are liberal with the compost and the mulch and protect the fruit from birds with a huge enclosure of bird netting over the fruit bushes. Their 3000 blueberry bushes share space with lemon, fig and cherry trees.

Today the three-hectare farm produces between three and six tonnes of blueberries a year. What doesn’t get picked by punters like you, they use to make their delicious range of blueberry produce: ice creams, yoghurt, jams, chutneys, sauces, juice, muffins ... you name it!

They also sell bags of snap-frozen berries if you’d like to take it easy, enjoy the views (both towards Melbourne and south towards Tasmania) while you sip on a latte and still go home with a kilo or two of berries in your boot. If you’re not quite sure what to do with your harvest, they can sell you a blueberry recipe book.

The provedore and cafe boasts sensational sweeping hilltop views to the sea and has occasional art exhibitions. They serve coffee and tea, sandwiches and other non-blue things, but it’s hard to go past their blueberry specialities. They also sell other local Bellarine produce, including local olive oil and honey, as well as their latest growing venture, fully organic garlic.

There are also picnic facilities on site.

If you need any more encouragement, consider this: in most shops non-organic fresh blueberries cost $40 a kilo but here for a fresh-off-the-bush bag of berries with zero food miles you’ll pay just 40 per cent of the supermarket price. There’s no entrance fee, you just pay for what you pick.

Health benefits of blueberries

  • Blueberries are the top antioxidant fruit and also have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • They are being linked with the prevention of mental decline and also with improving colon health.
  • They are 40 per cent better for your heart than red wine (why not have both just for good measure).
  • They have a low glycaemic index for slow-release energy.
  • They contain pectin, which helps lower cholesterol.
  • They even help you to see in the dark.

Try these berry combos

  • Try combining fresh blueberries, segments of pink grapefruit, shredded mint leaves and crumbled fetta with a sprinkle of raw sugar for a sweet/savoury salad with a difference.
  • Blend a cup of blueberries with banana, 3cm fresh ginger, lime juice, shredded coconut, half a frozen banana, a handful of walnuts or pecans and half a cup of apple juice for a gorgeous dairy-free coco-blueberry smoothie.
  • Add blueberries to your regular scone mix.

Note

The season officially starts on Boxing Day (26/12), but can vary so it’s a good idea to call ahead before visiting.

Tuckerberry Farm: 03 5251 3468

35 Becks Rd, Drysdale

Cafe open:

9am-5pm 7 days 20 December-30 January

Weekends open year round

blueberry3.jpg

blueberry2.jpg

blueberry.jpg

blueberry4.jpg

blueberry5.jpg