Time for a very berry Christmas

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Christine and Belmont Lallu of Christabells next to their new pink trailer.
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One of the staples of a classic Kiwi Christmas are berries, fresh from the farm on to the dinner table.

Christine and Belmont Lallu have that covered – if the weather behaves.

The couple have a nine and a half acre berry fruit farm in Eiffelton on the location where the town of Waterton once stood.

The couple started their farm Christabells four years ago and have turned bare paddocks into rows of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and red and black currents.

But Christine said because of unsettled weather, itwas fingers crossed if the majority of fruit will be ripe by Christmas.

‘‘The cold snap late in October is affecting us now because the fruit hasn’t set,’’ she said.

But the entrepreneurial couple do not only rely on fruit for their income, they also make plenty of other treats.

They also sell a popular gift basket range packed with a selection of preserves and other treats, perfect for a Christmas gift.

‘‘If fruit was our only income it wouldn’t be worth doing but because we have the kitchen side of it, that’s how we make our money,’’ Christine said.

‘‘We make jams, chutney, sauces, preserves, we try to grow as much produce as we can for those, we freeze alot of stuff so we can make them over winter,’’ she said.

They also make fudge, chocolates and marshmallows.

With the berry fruit they make juices and iceblocks and plan to make real fruit icecream to be sold in their new bright pink trailer that they have had made.

The trailer will be at the Hinds Domain on Wednesday’s, Friday’s and the weekends. They will also have a tent at the Ashburton Domain over summer.

The couple moved to Canterbury from the North Island 11 years ago for a change and run the entire operation themselves, without any staff, ‘‘it’s long hours, seven days a week,’’ Belmont said.

He said the weather and peoples buying habits were main differences they had noticed.