Let the feijoa wars begin

Makaraka growers in running for district's biggest feijoas.

Makaraka growers in running for district's biggest feijoas.

BRANCH-BREAKERS: Lilia Mills shows off the two biggest feijoas discovered on her orchard so far this season. Pictures by Rebecca Grunwell
SCALES DON'T LIE: This bad boy weighed in at 360g and its sibling at 351.7g. These two will be the ones to watch.

GISBORNE'S biggest feijoa for 2017 might have been found.

Makaraka feijoa growers Michael and Lilia Mills are leading the pack with a massive 360 gram discovery at their property yesterday.

The couple have been growing feijoas for close to 16 years and produce a small number this size every year. But this has been the biggest so far this season.

It’s not the biggest feijoa the Mills have harvested; they claim to have produced a 460g monster a couple of years ago, which disapeared when they showed it off to friends.

This year’s 360g find won’t top a 420g feijoa produced in Hamilton that could possibly be the biggest nationally so far.

The Mills orchard has 330 Wiki Tu feijoa trees, producing five tonnes of marketable fruit every year.

It’s a case of eat, sleep and breathe feijoas, Ms Mills said.

“During the season we are out all day, morning and afternoon, picking them up. We have feijoas with our porridge and I make stews.”

Mr Mills decided to grow feijoas to keep him occupied when he retired from full-time work.

“It’s very labour intensive and certainly gives me something to do,” he said.

Earlier this month guava moth was suspected to have made its way to Gisborne from Northland and Auckland.

Larvae were found on a tree at a Kaiti property. The pest is detrimental to the plants, as it drills into the flesh of the fruit, creating a mealy substance and ruining it.

Mr Mills has not seen any sign of the guava moth on his property but has a clear idea of what to do if he does.

“I'll retire.”

GISBORNE'S biggest feijoa for 2017 might have been found.

Makaraka feijoa growers Michael and Lilia Mills are leading the pack with a massive 360 gram discovery at their property yesterday.

The couple have been growing feijoas for close to 16 years and produce a small number this size every year. But this has been the biggest so far this season.

It’s not the biggest feijoa the Mills have harvested; they claim to have produced a 460g monster a couple of years ago, which disapeared when they showed it off to friends.

This year’s 360g find won’t top a 420g feijoa produced in Hamilton that could possibly be the biggest nationally so far.

The Mills orchard has 330 Wiki Tu feijoa trees, producing five tonnes of marketable fruit every year.

It’s a case of eat, sleep and breathe feijoas, Ms Mills said.

“During the season we are out all day, morning and afternoon, picking them up. We have feijoas with our porridge and I make stews.”

Mr Mills decided to grow feijoas to keep him occupied when he retired from full-time work.

“It’s very labour intensive and certainly gives me something to do,” he said.

Earlier this month guava moth was suspected to have made its way to Gisborne from Northland and Auckland.

Larvae were found on a tree at a Kaiti property. The pest is detrimental to the plants, as it drills into the flesh of the fruit, creating a mealy substance and ruining it.

Mr Mills has not seen any sign of the guava moth on his property but has a clear idea of what to do if he does.

“I'll retire.”

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