Home' Grower : September 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- September 2012
Third-generation farmer Doug Bishop Senior, 89, still works on his
family property. The Bishops used to harvest apples, cherries,
vegetables, berries, nuts and flowers on their high winter rainfall
country east of Adelaide, but after the devastating Black Sunday
Bushfire in January 1955, apples and cherries became their main
Family committed to
By LIZ COTTON
ONE of South Australia's
oldest family owned
cherry orchards has been
built on the strength of an
ongoing commitment to
developing the operation, along
with plenty of hard work and
resilience. The story of Bishops
Adelaide Hills began more than
135 years ago. Third-generation
farmer Douglas Alan Bishop, 89,
still works on the 121-hectare
cherry and cattle farm at Basket
Range together with his family.
In years gone by, the Bishops
have har vested apples, cherries,
vegetables, berries, nuts and
flowers on their high winter
rainfall, high-valley country east of
Adelaide, but after the devastating
Black Sunday Bushfire in January
1955, apples and cherries became
the main orchard crops and more
bushland was cleared for pasture to
r un sheep for fat lamb production.
Today, the property is focused on
cherries and cattle, and the original
cottages on the property are
undergoing restoration to provide
luxury guest accommodation.
It is this diversity, along with a
willingness to adapt, that has seen
the operation navigate the
challenges and opportunities of the
Doug Bishop, son of Douglas,
works as a lawyer in Sydney but
maintains his partnership in
Bishops Adelaide Hills' primary
production arm Bishop Orchards.
He says cherries can be a difficult
crop to grow.
"They are quite susceptible to
damage from inopportune rain
events. We aim to produce around
20 different varieties of cherry each
year and have selected these
cultivars based on their attributes
including size, taste, resilience and
handling," he said.
"We are constantly looking for
better cultivars but it can take
around eight years or more before
we are able to assess a variety fully
and make a decision as to whether
it is suitable for our operation --
that is quite a long time to wait.
"Cherries are expensive to plant
and grow and there's a large gap
between financial outlay and
Cherry production is a year-
round operation involving the
planting of new trees, maintenance
of older ones and the picking
season which starts in early
December. Trees are covered by
nets to protect fruits from birds.
Bishop Orchards sells directly
into the Adelaide market and
exports interstate through local
agents. Cherries can be bought
directly from the company from
December to the end of January
each year but Doug says the
location of the orchard means
direct sales are not a major part of
"Situated slightly off the beaten
track means we are less likely to
capture the day trippers and
tourists travelling through," Doug
"This can often be a very
lucrative part of cherry operation
businesses, however our location is
slightly more remote. We sell a
third of our cherries each year to
Gac fruit key to cheaper drugs
EVER heard of the gac fruit?
Most haven't, but University of
Queensland researchers are investigating
a protein within the seeds of the fruit
that could lead to the development of
more affordable medicines made from
The red spikes on this oddly named
fruit seem to hide a world of medicinal
potential. The protein -- MCoTI-2 -- has a
circular shape and a stability that makes
it an ideal basis for drugs.
Producing protein-based drugs with
traditional synthetic methods on a large
scale is prohibitively expensive.
The university's Institute for Molecular
Bioscience and Harvard University, led by
IMB's Joshua Mylne and Prof David
Craik, discovered the genes that produce
"Knowing how these genes, which we
named TIPTOP, manufacture MCoTI-2
naturally in gac could allow us to co-opt
this process and use it to grow protein-
based drugs in plants," Dr Mylne said.
"We've already moved the system to
seeds of the model plant Arabidopsis,
where it worked remarkably well."
Plant production is cheap and seeds do
not require specialised distribution
channels factors that make plant-grown
drugs an attractive proposition,
particularly for developing nations.
Ginger aids diabetes control
A BIT of ginger zing could do
wonders for those suffering diabetes,
a study has found.
A University of Sydney study on
Buderim Ginger samples revealed
that by assisting muscle cells, ginger
could help control the blood glucose
levels that create complications for
long-term diabetic patients.
Pharmaceutical chemistry Prof Basil
Roufogalis, who led the research, said
extracts from Buderim Ginger-grown
ginger were able to increase the
uptake of glucose into muscle cells to
allow them to operate independently
of blood insulin levels.
"The components responsible for
the increase in glucose were
gingerols, a major part of the ginger
rhizome," Mr Roufogalis said.
"Under normal conditions, the blood
glucose level is strictly maintained
within a narrow range, and skeletal
muscle is a major site of glucose
uptake in the body.
"It is hoped that these promising
results can be examined further in
human clinical trials."
The pharmacy researchers
extracted a whole ginger rhizome and
showed that one fraction of this was
highly effective in reproducing the
increase in glucose uptake by muscle
This fraction was also rich in
gingerols, which showed an increase
in the distribution of the protein that
exists on the surface of muscle cells
and responsible for transporting
glucose into muscle cells.
Mr Roufogalis said that in type 2
diabetic patients, the capacity of
skeletal muscles to uptake glucose is
markedly reduced because of
impaired insulin signal transmission
and inefficiency of this protein.
Cattle operation adds diver-
Plans to streamline produc-
Luxury guest accommoda-
aims to produce
about 20 different
Links Archive August 2012 October 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page