May 2017: Working together with Community Fruit Harvesting Rotorua, local community groups have been invited to harvest the fruit from the bountiful Agrodome orchards for a third year running.
Healthy Families Rotorua Registered Nutritionist Jasmin Jackson says volunteers have so far collected and distributed feijoas to Trinity Community Centre, Love Soup, Community Kai and Rotorua Intermediate.
“Other community groups such as the Ohinemutu Women’s Health League and Te Maru o Ngāti Wahiao have also been harvesting for kaumatua and local families in need. Feijoas are a good source of fibre and Vitamin C, so will keep people’s immune systems strong coming into winter.”
Jasmin says organising groups to harvest and distribute the fruit is a huge job.
“Having Sue White from Community Fruit Harvesting to assist with organising things has been fantastic. It’s enabled us to distribute the fruit to the groups who need it most, and has streamlined the process,” she says.
Ngati Tahu Tourism Groups and Events Manager Diane Curtis says the community picked up 740kg of feijoas last year.
“We actually grow the fruit for our tourists to see, but it’s such a waste not to pick it up and share it with our own community who need it, or can enjoy it. It’s also lovely to see children out here learning about picking fruit, as not everyone has fruit trees at home,” she says.
“There is still lots of fruit to pick and once this orchard has been harvested, there is another, with a different variety of feijoa ready to be picked as well. We also have a kiwifruit orchard which will
ripen in June and that will fit nicely into the end of the feijoa season. We want to be able to offer the kiwifruit to the community but we need it to be fine weather, as we can’t have people slipping down grassy slopes for health and safety reasons.”