South Gippsland - Victoria - Australia
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Toora Heritage Pear Orchard
A residential area (close to the town centre) in Toora, provides the ideal home for it's Heritage Pear Orchard. The area is zoned as a recreational reserve and is bordered by tea trees and houses, with heritage roses lining the front fence.
Research was carried out and information sought from nurseries, other Heritage Orchards, Royal Melbourne Gardens and Herbarium, all helping to make the establishment of this two acre site the success it is today with regular community get-togethers, grafting workshops and pruning days.
History Of The Heritage Pear Orchard - Although the idea was conceived in 1993, the orchard site was originally prepared and planted out with around 60 varieties of "heritage" pears cultivated from grafting stock in 1996, many taken from old gardens and long established farming properties in the surrounding area.
During Toora's early years, the site was a dairy farm and piggery which left behind excellent organic matter, perfect as a growing medium which now provides the base for the extensive varieties of pear trees grown today.
A short walk from the rose-bordered entrance brings visitors to a small bridge over Muddy Creek, before arriving at the well mulched orchard with its lush, neatly mown lawn pathways.
Orchard Maintenance - Regular mowing, weeding and pruning is carried out by a volunteer curator, interested garden enthusiasts and Horticulture Students from McMillan College (University Of Melbourne Leongatha Campus).
Organized Events - Friendly working-bees and pruning demonstrations are arranged regularly by the Toora Progress Association, to provide education and enlist support from anyone who is interested in getting involved. Fresh produce is also sold at local markets when available.
Access To The Pear Orchard - Entry to the reserve is free and available to both locals and tourists at any time of the year. A new colourful sign is about to adorn the front entrance which is easy to find once in Mill Street, which runs parallel to the Stanley Street, the main road in Toora.
Pear Varieties - Most of the pear trees are labeled with their various names, and include Broom Park, Grosse Louise, Black Achan, Beurre Mardy, Doyenne Ducomice, Conference, Clapps Favorite, Eldorado, Shinn Go, Josephine De Malines, Danbae, Jargonelle, Keiffer, San Giovanni, Red William, Winter Bartlett, Beurre Eastor, Newtons Orchard Flat, Butirra Rosata, Rosney, Okusankichi, Grosse Marie, Twyford Monarch, Doyenne Du Comice, De La Chine, Harrow's Delight, Beurre Diel, Dearborn's Seedling, Michael Archangel, Fondante Du Bois, Pre Di Fiorani, Napoleon Egan, New Norfolk, Vicar Of Winfield, Napoleon French Is, Glou Morleau, Flemish Beauty, Harrington, Dr Jules Guyot, Corella, Dorondeau and several others.
Community Support - South Gippsland Council Shire Officers, Horticultural Societies and the local press have been amongst the groups to support the concept, structure and functioning of the Toora Pear Orchard, but it would be nothing without the interest and dedication of the many community members who lend a hand ( and wield a useful pair of secateurs) whenever it is needed.
The Toora Wind Farm - This facility is located close to the Toora township and the viewing area us easily accessed by a short drive up Silcocks Hill Road. To read more about the debate caused by the construction of the wind towers, visit the Wind Farm page.
How To Get To Toora - Toora is located approx 179 kilometers south east of Melbourne on the South Gippsland Highway, between Leongatha and Yarram. A two hour drive from Melbourne and ten minutes from Foster, Port Franklin and Welshpool, this sleepy little town is only just being discovered as a place to find hidden treasures of all sorts.
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