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NADIA magazine features editor Fiona Ralph goes foraging with Nadia Lim and learns how fruitful it can be.

When I first heard about foraging, it sounded like fun but also a lot of work. I envisioned a full day’s excursion, an out-of-town drive, some fence and tree climbing, and the risk of being caught trespassing. Fun perhaps but a little freaky. I categorised it alongside dumpster diving and, while admiring the commitment to sourcing free food that would otherwise be wasted, was happy to leave the task to others.

Then I spoke to Christchurch baker Anna Worthington. Anna forages for fruit and flowers to use in the delicious cakes she makes for her business, Cakes by Anna. After hearing her talk of snipping lavender from the footpath, collecting rhubarb from her neighbours and ‘shopping’ for apples in the city’s uninhabited red zone, I wanted in.

But Auckland, where I’m based, doesn’t have access to anything like the red zone, which is full of abandoned fruit and nut trees. Luckily, a quick Google search showed me that there are foraging maps available for most of the.

The New Zealand Fruit and Food Share Map is user-populated, so people can add trees that are on public land as well as those on their property that they are happy for foragers to take fruit from. Nut trees, herbs, shellfish and some vegetables are also included, as are community gardens. Fungi are listed, too, but I’m steering clear of this category since I don’t have the expertise to ensure safe consumption.

I buy my groceries from one store, a foodie emporium with quality victuals.
Selling apples and pears by variety has become standard in the produce section.
But if you want to get a sense of just how limited our consumer fruit world has become, pick up a copy of the recently published Nursery Trade Census. Its prosaic title disguises the fact it is a cornucopia of the vast if somewhat hidden richness of fruits, berries and nuts grown in the United States by specialty nurseries and their customers, which include niche farmers and home gardeners. The number of grape varieties offered commercially grew from 770 to 823 between 2009 and 2015, according to the Seed Savers Exchange’s Nursery Trade Census. (Seed Savers Exchange)
The census was compiled by Seed Savers Exchange, the Decorah, Iowa, nonprofit that has been working for four decades to track, preserve and trade heritage varieties of flowers, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

Heirlooms, by definition, grow true from seed and can be passed from one generation to the next. No one owns them, but a given variety, selected and improved over the years, might pertain to one family, village, Indian tribe, ethnic community or religious sect.
The 310-page inventory is a snapshot of the heirloom fruit and nut universe in 2015, and shows that a total of 251 nurseries together offered for sale 7,945 varieties. The team that compiled it logged 256 varieties of pear and 21 varieties of rhubarb. This may not be so surprising, but to record 148 varieties of nectarine or 123 types of persimmon or more than 100 varieties of pecan must be delightfully remarkable to anyone interested in plant diversity and the gardener’s role in preserving it.
The most worrying aspect of the census is that so many of the varieties are available from so few sources, said Lee Buttala, executive director of Seed Savers. As a result, availability “can fluctuate greatly,” he said.
The most glaring example of that was the retirement of orchardist Nick Botner of Spearheart Farm and Orchard in Yoncalla, Ore., who amassed one of the largest collections of heirloom apples and other fruit in the country. With the closure of the nursery, more than 3,000 varieties of apples, plums and grapes “fell out of the marketplace,”
From an article by By Adrian Higgins Gardening columnist
Full article here

With the persimmon season approaching – heres another use, for those who enjoy tradition – and have a bit of time on their hands. Taken from an article in The Post and Courier, South Carolina.

Leading up to Christmas in Charleston, it’s not just stockings that get hung by the chimney with care. During persimmon season, chefs tack the strung-up fruit to their walls and rafters to make hoshigaki, a chewy dried treat.

In Japan, where persimmons are prevalent, eaters air-dry the fruit to create what Saveur has called “the Kobe beef of healthy snacks.” That designation doesn’t have anything to do with the fruit’s flavor. Instead, it’s a reference to the special treatment the persimmons receive.

Once hung out under the sun, the peeled persimmons are left alone for a few days, and then gently massaged on a daily basis for six weeks or so. The rationale behind the massages involves the conjuring of sugars concealed within the fruit, and the smoothing of its skin: If an aging persimmon wrinkles, the folds are at risk of developing mold. The goal instead is to produce what looks like a powdered sack of ochre-hued sweetness.

Also like Kobe beef, hoshigaki isn’t cheap. It retails for about $40 a pound. Last winter, The San Francisco Chronicle declared hoshigaki the season’s “breakout social media star.”

The 2017 AGM was held at the Emerald Hotel in Gisborne on 20 February.

It is an opportunity to look back on what has been achieved over the last year, and to appreciate is always interesting to look back over the year and review the work that is undertaken.

Market development remains a major use of our resource, with the China market opening up, and  the  application for access to the USA  making good progress over the last year.

Activities are funded largely by levy, which remains at 7 c/ kg.

The meeting continued on the next day with visits to NZ Fruits, the industry’s largest packhouse, and one of the local export orchards.

Commercial growers who would like to be part of these activities can contact PIC through this website.


An article by Joan Nathan, about several persmmons dishes that she had tasted, with the recipe for “the best quinoa salad I have ever tasted, served with—you got it—persimmons”.

This quinoa dish is a fitting recipe for Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of the Trees—in 2017, it starts the evening of Feb. 10—but is equally satisfying at any time throughout the year. This delicious salad is a global fusion of ingredients, combining the Andean grain with the Asian persimmon, once called “God’s pear” or “divine fruit.”

For the full article and recipe,  click on this link: The article appeared in Tablet, a daily online magazine of Jewish news, ideas, and culture.

From humble beginnings in 1989 Gisborne company First Fresh has grown substantially over the years to the point where it is now one of the leading marketers of citrus in New Zealand and certainly Gisborne’s largest.

The company is also New Zealand’s largest marketer of persimmons selling nearly 70 percent of the national crop. Kiwifruit is the third product category.

For the full article on First Fresh, printed in the Gisborne Herald, click on this link.

High hopes for citrus
From Country Life, 9:25 pm on 11 November 2016, an article on the Wi Pere Trust, an export persimmon orchard amongst other crops.

The Wi Pere Trust in Gisborne is looking at expanding its citrus crops due to market demand and aims to employ its stakeholders on the orchards.At present, the Trust has 100 hectares of citrus, kiwifruit and persimmons but operations manager Wayne Hall says in the next few years that will grow to 150 hectares

Wi Pere Trust is predicting strong growth for its horticultural operations in Gisborne.

For the original written article, and links to the radio interview, click on this link.

Persimmons feature in the TV programme “New Zealand with Nadia Lim”.

This programme has aired on the Food CHannel Asia, and TVNZ in New Zealand. To see the persimmon sections of the programme, in which Nadia visits an orchard and prepares Persimmon Pear Fennel Greek Salad , click on this link – Nadia.