Juiciest nectarines, plump peaches, red-fleshed plums, sun-ripened strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, chin-dripping apricots, poppin-good cherries, delectable melons – Hawke’s Bay does it all, and we do it best.
This is home to 31% of the approximately 1,840 ha of summerfruit orchards in New Zealand (Central Otago accounts for 59% and the remainder is grown in Marlborough, Canterbury and north of Auckland). Summerfruit is the term for what was previously known as stonefruit, and covers the delicious five – peaches, apricots, nectarines, plum and cherries.
In the autumn, the Bay is Apple Central, but in these hotter months, before they arrive, summerfruit is queen.
A major employer of Hawke’s Bay-based students, backpackers, seasonal workers, full-time horticultural professionals and RSE staff, the industry has plenty of innovation going on.
More modern planting techniques (trees closer together for more efficient land use), new varieties, increased machine harvesting and fresher marketing make summerfruit an exciting slice of Hawke’s Bay’s local primary economy.
But there’s still a sweet old-fashioned element to it. In the summer around here you’ll still find some of the finest produce at old-school roadside stalls, with friendly local faces manning the station or the classic honesty box standing watch.
Pull over, fill a basket of the colourful goodness. It’s a vibrant, healthy and cost-effective addition to any kitchen or gathering. Throw together a glorious fruit salad, blend some goodies up into a super smoothie, take the ‘seconds’ and get preserving for the cooler weather, or just make a mess on the steering wheel as you tuck into it on the road.
Fresh Hawke’s Bay fruit is health food and snack food, so efficient you can even gobble up the wrapper! Eat the rainbow this summer!