Good news for feijoa lovers after early start to harvest season

Kaiaponi Farms' feijoa harvest for this year is in full swing already.
Kaiaponi Farms' feijoa harvest for this year is in full swing already. Photo credit: File / Getty

By Hugo Cameron of RNZ

Feijoas are expected to hit the shelves this week as good growing conditions have seen harvesting of this season's crop kick off a month earlier than usual.

Kaiaponi Farms has been growing feijoas in Gisborne for the past 20 years and sells the fruit through its Joa brand for both the local and export markets.

Spokesperson David Hansen said the first fruit would normally be picked at the start March but the harvest got under way last month and was now in full swing, with decent volumes coming through.

The farm had seen sunny conditions which was great for the crops, along with a decent dose of water, Hansen said.

"We've been pouring plenty of water on, they like irrigation so they've enjoyed a good season really," he said.

"Fruit size is good. Flavours are good. Good sugar levels. So, it's looking really good," Hansen said.

There were slightly fewer feijoas on the trees than usual but that actually helped to grow larger fruit, he said.

"Volumes are down a little, so just less fruit on the tree helps that tree size them up a little bit better.

"It does balance out a little and I think overall volumes won't be significantly down, it's just probably some varieties are down more than others."

People should enjoy feijoas while they could, as the season only ran for two to three months, Hansen said.

Produce distributor T&G Fresh said in a statement it was working with Kaiaponi Farms on a new social media campaign to drive consumers to feijoas, given the small window of opportunity in the short season.