Afeijoa considerably bigger than a tennis ball and grown in Raglan township looks to have set a New Zealand record, says local mum Heather Burke, whose nine-year-old son Ocean has been bagging and selling the fruit downtown for weeks now to help pay for his first season’s rugby.
The big find – a ‘mammoth’ variety of feijoa that’s now in the freezer at home – was triple the size of all the others this season from the same trees on the family’s “very old” orchard, she says.
Heather was so impressed she googled official records from the Bay of Plenty branch of New Zealand Tree Crops Association to discover the weight of the giant fruit, at 290 grams, was way more than that of the 233-gram feijoa claimed to be the country’s largest.
“I think this is a New Zealand record,” she told the Chronicle.
There was recently a Hawke’s Bay couple whose feijoas weighing in around 250 grams went viral on Facebook, she recalls.
“You get these odd freaks of nature,” Heather said.
It’s the end of the feijoa season now so the young Te Mata School student’s enterprising efforts selling the fruit – either in person or by way of an honesty box left with the feijoas outside SuperValue – is almost over.
Only once, says his mother, did the bagged fruit and the day’s takings disappear when they arrived back from Hamilton later than their usual 5.30pm pick-up.
“I’m really impressed with the Raglan community,” says Heather of the venture overall. “People are honest.”
Heather reckons she’s forever bottling feijoas during the season and has made jam from them – some of which her son’s sold downtown – but that freezing the fruit to use later in crumbles is by far the least work and the most convenient way to go.