Fankhauser Apples is a small sized family business found in Drouin (Gippsland) in Victoria leading in the implementation of new orchard systems and technology. The Fankhauser family has been growing apples in Victoria since the late 1800s and grow, pack, market and deliver our own produce to greengrocers throughout Victoria through the central market system. We also supply agents who supply the major chains.
Glynn and Liz Fankhauser are the founders and directors of the business along with their son Brad and wife Darlene whom now manage the business together. The original property is approx 80 acres and we have been growing apples on this property for more than 30 years, we also have a 60 acre property currently being planted about 2 km up the road. We grow a number of varieties with the main being Gala, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and club varieties such as JazzTM and Smitten.
The process of growing apples is very labour intensive and has four main seasonal jobs among many others…
During Winter the trees have lost their leaves and are heading into dormancy they are pruned and shaped to get the highest possible yield.
Spring is the time to plant new trees and the new fruit to be thinned by hand in order to leave the best quality fruit and achieve the best possible size.
Summer time requires constant watering and maintenance of the trees and they are monitored every day to optimise fruit growth and to keep temperatures down and reduce heat stress on the tree during heatwave events.
Autumn is when the fruit is harvested. Each variety must be picked within a very short time frame to ensure the best eating experience! At this stage, it is not uncommon to employ 30-50 extra casual staff.
In the year of 2000, we discovered a new strain of Gala on our own orchard. This was a whole tree mutation that has proven itself stable over many years. It consistently produces high quality flavoured apples and a very high percentage of colour deep within the tree.
Alvina Gala shows full red colour in all growing districts throughout Australia and is being tested in other countries worldwide and received a plant patency in Australia last year
A major advantage of the Alvina Gala is its ability to develop colour well before maturity. It was named after Glynn's mother who passed in 2001.