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Byron Shire
February 26, 2024

It’s mango season at Everest Farm

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Mangotastic

by Victoria Cosford

Isn’t it the quintessential summer fruit? Sinking teeth into the flesh of a mango, juice everywhere, seems to be as much part of the hot summer experience as plunging into ocean waves (often the best idea after eating one).

According to Will Everest, it’s a good season. ‘It’s because of the earlier dry’, he explains. ‘Our trees are just laden with them.’ Will guesses there are about 600 of those trees on the hilly family farm behind Murwillumbah, and about seven varieties. It’s Kensington Prides now but soon will come those mammoth R2E2s, then the Valencia, Princess and Keats. ‘Our north-facing dry hills are really conducive to flowering’, he explains, ‘which is crucial to growing mangoes’.

These trees were planted about 40 years ago by a neighbour, who eventually sold the property to the Everest family. ‘We weren’t into mangoes,’ Will says, ‘but we inherited them.’  At this time of year it’s all hands on deck to assist with the picking – offspring and relatives. ‘It’s a big job and it’s all on mountains’, he tells me. ‘We took 65 crates the other day, and six people were required.’

I want to know what happens to the excess, given so many trees, such a good season and such an abundance of the fruit. ‘A quarter of our crop will go on the ground’, Will says, ‘the cows eat them.’

The cows like mangoes too? This is beautiful news to me – just the image makes me smile – but it gets better, because they not only love to eat the mangoes but the excess bananas too. ‘These are happy cows!’ Will says – of course they are!

No sprays or chemical dyes are used on the mangoes either. ‘We pick them then sell them – no storage’, Will says. ‘It’s tropical fruit time!’

Everest Farm is at New Brighton Farmers Markets every Tuesday from 8am to 11am and at Mullumbimby Farmers Markets every Friday from 7am to 11am.


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