Positives amongst the challenges – September 2021

By Jen Scoular

The NZ Avocado export season has got underway amidst a number of challenges, but the good news is that our avocados are looking great, quality is good, size is good, and our trees are looking healthy as they prepare for next year’s crop.

I’m a glass at least half full person and in times that are definitely uncertain, and times we know have challenges ahead, I’m going out there with a positive spin on the world. Lock down means we are cooking more, have more time to look for new ways to use the wonderful avocado.

Our Facebook post on growing your own avocado is getting a great response – having new project ideas to do at home is certainly something we are all looking out for. My working from home means I can nip out in my lunch break, often not until 4pm I must admit, and have 40 minutes on my little orchard.

We had a great pruning workshop a few months ago, where experts pruned about 9 of our 80 trees, so the rest were left for me to do. Avocado trees are fantastic climbing trees, so I’m able to get into the tree with my little hand saw and take out those branches reaching for the sky. Our rule is that if fruit are higher up than we can harvest with extension clippers from the ground, our foliar sprays won’t reach them, so it’s not adding any value growing fruit up there, and certainly not long branches with ambition like Richard Branson. So there I am, up high in the canopy of the tree, I take out the branches extending above me, and am left, almost literally, at the top of the world.

We had a great zoom call with the organisers of the Katikati avocado festival, set for 15 January 2022. Tickets are on sale and with Dave Dobbin performing, it is set to be a great day out. We are being innovative with how we incorporate more avocados into the festival, and would love to hear from any of you who have cool ideas. Katikati does have great ambition as the avocado capital of New Zealand and this annual event is an excellent way to demonstrate that. Having events booked in your calendar might also assuage that feeling that we are going to be cooped up forever. But of course the best booking to have is your jab – if you haven’t already booked both those appointments, I encourage you to do it.

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