Community & Business

18 June, 2022

Skybury swinging into new season

WITH the cold weather coming in, the team at Skybury’s Coffee and Papaya plantation are making a few changes around the place to aid the growth of visitors and their plantation.

By Ellie Fink

The team at Skybury are swinging into the winter months and tourism season.
The team at Skybury are swinging into the winter months and tourism season.

As the cold months make their way to the Tablelands, papaya seedlings in Skybury’s nurseries are receiving a little more tender loving care with the use of a new hot room and exit nursery. 

An exit nursery gives the seedlings a chance to take “baby steps” when coping with the weather conditions over the winter months – meaning more papayas all year round. 

Manager Candy MacLaughlin explained that papayas had a better chance of survival with the new facilities. 

“An exit nursery is a hardening nursery, which means it has a slightly lower shade cloth than a normal nursery so they can climatise and get used to being in direct sunlight,” she said. 

“In a normal nursery, you control the sunlight, meaning you might have a 50 per cent shade cloth over it, but in an exit nursery, you have about 20 per cent so you have more light coming in so that when we eventually plant them in the field, they won’t get sunburnt.” 

The hot room will also allow the seedlings to keep warm as temperatures drop and give them a higher chance of producing the same quality of tropical fruits as they do in the summer. 

As the tourism season kicks off, the team have been adding a little more colour to the café with the introduction of some new plants and a set of swings. 

The idea of the swings came from the youngest members of the MacLaughlin family, with Candy’s nephews bring the idea to light. 

“My nephews, Stirling and Oliver, are always out on the farms and here at the coffee centre with their parents, Paige and farm manager Mark MacLaughlin,” she said. 

“The idea of the swings was theirs, in fact! We love it because our guests do – they say the awesome views are even better from a gently moving swing.”


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