Lychee farmer Derek Foley is expecting a good crop this season.
Lychee farmer Derek Foley is expecting a good crop this season. Mike Knott BUN231118LYC1

Lychee lover's delight: Mid-December expected to be fruitful

AS CHRISTMAS approaches for fruit lovers that means one thing - it's lychee season.

While a bowl full of the popular red fruit is still a few weeks away, Electra Farmlands owner and Australian Lychee Growers Association president Derek Foley says that it is shaping up to be a good season.

With about 4000 trees Mr Foley said they were looking to harvest a 100 tonne crop on his farm, while the nation was expecting to produce 3000 tonnes.

Mr Foley said while the middle of December was going to be the start of harvest, there was plenty of demand domestically with good prices up north and demand for exports.

He said his crop was left relatively untouched by the spate of hail the region was hit with earlier this year as the lychee was quite small.

But, he said, if a similar weather event occurred in December it would have be a very different story.

At his Electra property, Mr Foley said he had seven different lychee varieties, which would keep them busy for several weeks.

One of the varieties, kwai may pink variety (pictured) Mr Foley said was a sweet fruit.

Lychee farmer Derek Foley is expecting a good crop this season.
Lychee farmer Derek Foley is expecting a good crop this season. Mike Knott BUN231118LYC2

"There's about 10 growers (locally), some in Childers and north side,” he said.

"... The whole of Bundaberg would produce about 400tonne.”

Mr Foley said the lychee tree generally took about five years to grow and while his property was originally cane and cattle, the tree change, was one he's glad he decided to make.

Lychee farmer Derek Foley is expecting a good crop this season.
Lychee farmer Derek Foley is expecting a good crop this season. Mike Knott BUN231118LYC5

While the niche fruit has been around for thousands of years, Mr Foley said in the past five years with the increase of food shows, people wee becoming more adventurous and trying lychees.

Mr Foley said he enjoyed a lychee freshly picked off the tree, but for those who don't have that luxury he recommends trying it with a bit of ice cream.



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