Around 1935, when the house at Boronia Farm was being built an apple seedling grew up beside the house and after several setbacks eventually fruited. The fruit it produced was unlike any existing apples and it was recognised as a new variety which later became known as the Lady Williams.
You can hear Bob Williams telling the story of the Lady Williams apple by listening to Western Tourist Radio on 87.6FM in Bunbury or listen on Soundcloud. The modern varieties of Pink Lady and Sundowner are both crosses of the Lady Williams. So it can be said that the current WA apple industry owes a great deal to this tree which still grows by the original house.
Boronia Farm, near Donnybrook, still has the Lady Williams orchard that Bob Williams planted in 1986. The Lady Williams Apple ripens in June / July. Now that the orchard is netted we are able to leave the fruit on the tree to mature without the fruit “flying over the fence” compliments of the birds. We now aim to pick to supply select retailers direct rather than having to cool store the fruit.
If you are heading South, check out harvesthighway.com.au for more things to do, places to eat and places to stay along the South Western Highway from Armadale to Walpole.
If you are interested to know more about organic food and farming in WA check out organicfoodwa.net.au.