Cherry Valley Farm, situated on a hillside east of Manjimup along Muir Highway, is where Carol Dymock tends to over 500 cherry trees and countless other fruits and vegetables that are used to create her renowned jams, chutneys, marinades, and sauces.
Carol was one of the first producers on the Genuinely Southern Forests Cherry Trail to open her farm gate for fresh cherries and jams sales this season. Carol is blessed with some early cherries that have been able to satisfy those eagerly awaiting the arrival of the season.
Cherry Valley Farm consists of an established cherry orchard with trees that are over 30 years old featuring Lapin and Merchant varieties. The climate plays a huge role in how the harvest and yield turns out. The cherry variety Merchant for example requires the highest chill factor during the dormancy of winter for the fruit to come into full fruition. Unfortunately, this wet winter in the Southern Forests didn’t produce many frosts resulting in a low chill factor causing a lot of the Merchant cherries to drop off. Thankfully the diversity amongst Carol’s orchard helps mitigate light yields. As with most crops, cherries go through their light, average and heavy seasons. Carols tells us the 2021/22 season is going to be a light to average year for cherries.
It has been 10 years since Carol first started making jams for a living and since then her range has expanded to over 50 different types of jams, chutneys, marinades, and sauces. Carol’s sweet chilli garlic sauce has been nicknamed the “Happy Sauce” as is enjoyed by so many. Mix it with sour cream and it makes a lovely dip! On the sweeter side of things, Carol’s says you can’t go pass adding her cherry and blueberry jam to your homemade cheesecake.
Carol started preserving when her children were young as a way to keep them preoccupied and engaged. Her tomato chutney recipe is still the same recipe that originated from those early days of cooking with children. To this day it’s always a crowd favourite. And we can see why. What household doesn’t love a tomato chutney and cheese toastie?!
In 2016 when Tall Timbers Manjimup won WA’s Best Steak Sandwich competition, it was Carol’s BBQ sauce that was featured in the local sandwich. A huge credit to Carol to have an award-winning sauce.
All the produce featured in Carol’s preserves is grown on the property – from apples for chutneys, to the figs for jams – she doesn’t let anything go to waste. Over the summer and autumn months Carol is busy tending to the harvest and maintenance of the fruit trees, leaving the preservation and jamming until the cooler months.
If Carol has one piece of advice, it’s to cook with a smile and love. You can taste the difference. All she aims to do is create something that people will want to eat and enjoy. Well, the proof is in the pudding, as Carol has many happy and returning customers that come back for her quality products.
Keen to get your hands on some of Carol’s jams, chutneys, marinades, and sauces? Cherry Valley Farm preserves are stocked throughout numerous cafes in the South West, from Mount Barker in the South to Kirup in the North. Carol’s daughter and son in law, Debbie and Shane, also make regular appearances at local markets and every month you can find them at the Boyanup Farmers Market.
You can always call pass Cherry Valley Farm on Muir Highway to purchase directly from the farm shop. Find the details in our Genuinely Southern Forests Cherry Trail. A self-drive trail for visitors and locals to navigate their way around the region and purchase farm fresh cherries.
Visit the Cherry Valley Farm facebook page here.
Photography by Craig Kinder Photography for Genuinely Southern Forests.