News & Media

Get a head start in horticulture at Donnybrook Apple Festival

Released on

Released on:
Friday, 11. April 2014 - 17:00

A valuable guide developed by the Department of Agriculture and Food’s Small Landholder Information Service (SLIS) will be launched at the Donnybrook Apple Festival 19 and 20 April.

The Horticulture Handbook is a reference guide to assist businesses successfully establish a new horticulture enterprise in Western Australia.

SLIS Manager Jodie Whitfield said that high prices, climate suitability and identified market opportunities made some horticultural crops appear an attractive investment.

“The Horticulture Handbook is a valuable guide which includes a checklist and sections on key issues and considerations to assist people in getting a new horticultural business off the ground in WA,” Mrs Whitfield said.

“The focus of this year’s Donnybrook Apple Festival is on the International Year of Family Farming. Many small landholdings are family run farms that have the capability to produce crops such as fruit and vegetables and this guide provides a practical starting point for anyone considering developing a business.”

Mrs Whitfield said the festival provided a great opportunity for small landholders and producers to come along to the fruit pavilion and browse a wide range of information, from managing an orchard to fighting pests and disease.

“There is something for everyone this year. The department stand has a wealth of information on how to make the most of your property and sustainably managing your land and livestock with your family’s health and future in mind.

“Fruit growers and people interested in climate change will be able to access information on current research to understand apple and pear production systems in a changing climate.

“The department is investigating climate change adaptations and how this affects growth rates, fruit quality and maturity as part of a project supported by funding from Horticulture Australia Limited and the Australian Government.

“At the display, people will have the opportunity to see a portable weather station and live Mediterranean fruit flies, along with traps and management information.”

Free entry to the Donnybrook Apple Festival is provided by the State Government for children aged 16 and under, when accompanied by a parent.

For up-to-date information and tips for managing your small property, ‘like’ the Small Landholder Information Service on Facebook at or contact the SLIS team at

Media contact: Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison  +61 (0)8 9368 3937