Where the Eastlake fruit growing tradition began....
Bill and Leila Eastlake are Tom's grandparents and the patriarch and matriarch of the Eastlake family.
Bill and Leila inherited 'Fairfields' from Bill's mother and father and they were the ones to commence planting cherries on the property. These initial plantings packed in wooden crates and left to cool on the verandah at the homestead grew to a orchard and packhouse supplying domestically and exporting around the world. Still living in the area, you may catch a glimpse of Bill or Leila in the packing shed throughout the season.
Bill is a life member of the New South Wales Cherry Growers Association and has been described by growers as 'an innovator.'
Leila passionately supports her community and a lifetime volunteering in many community organisations including her notable lifetime involvement in the Young Show Society.
Owned by the Eastlake Family since 1862, Fairfields Orchard is just 10km from Young and is a multi-generational farm producing the highest quality cherries to meet stringent export market standards. The Eastlake Family has been growing cherries since the 1960s and although much has changed in this time, we still strive to produce the finest quality fruit each and every year. We grow our fruit to provide you with the best possible product. Grown using environmentally sustainable practices and picked at the optimal time to ensure maximum flavour, firmness, appearance and shelf life. We grow many varieties of cherry and these are available from fruit retailers and direct from the packing shed from early November to late December.
Tom has worked at Fairfields since 1996. Starting as a 'box folder,' he worked through various jobs in the packhouse and orchard before becoming Packhouse Manager in 2005. Tom bought Fairfields in 2008 before purchasing Maggadalla orchard in 2012.
Passionate about sustainable farming, fruit growing and the growth of the Australian horticultural industry, Tom is currently President and CEO of the Cherry Growers Australia and as a 2015 Nuffield Scholar travelled the world researching World's Best Practice in post harvest fruit handling.
Tina officially joined the family in 2019 and has helped out around the orchard since 2017 doing various jobs from folding boxes, making pies and ice-cream, mowing and packing cherries.
These days you will find her in the shop. She spends the off-season making produce for the upcoming season and investing in the next generation of Eastlakes. Her love of cherries started as a small child sitting in her grandfather's cherry tree eating the fruit straight from the tree and getting her clothes stained from the juice.
Why do you have a tree as your logo?
The Fairfields Orchard ‘tree’ represents our own family tree. The Eastlake generations that have come before us and our obligation to the next generation to ensure our land is in a better condition than when we bought it. Although we carry on a tradition, we do it with awareness of our obligation to the next generation to farm sustainably and produce the best quality fruit while improving our efficiencies, soil and plant health. We will always continue to grow through the adoption of improved farming practice.