OUR FRUIT - KIWI (Actinidia Chinensis)
The kiwi is a hardy creeper cultivated on trellis. The species is dioecious, which means that the male flowers (which produce pollen) and the female flowers (which produce the ovary to become the fruit after fertilization) grow on separate plants.
The kiwi fruit, also known as Chinese gooseberry, originates from South-East China, where it was not grown but simply picked in the forest.
The selection of large fruits and commercial planting began in 1940 in New Zealand. From there, it got the name "kiwi." The cultivation of kiwi is therefore quite recent on the scale of the history of farming.
The kiwi is rich in vitamins; for example, its vitamin C content is well known. It is also attractive because of its content in mineral salts and fibres.
The cultivation of kiwi is easy, because the species is not sensitive to insects and disease. The kiwi is espaliered, with a few male plants included to enable pollination and fructification.
After flowering, the fruits that do not develop properly or that are conjoined are removed by hand. This promotes the growth of the fruits left on the plant.
The kiwi is harvested in the fall, when it reaches a sufficient sugar level. At this time, the fruits are hard and will remain that way well beyond that if left on the plant. The kiwi is a climatic fruit that develops during storage : it softens and its sugar content increases. After 2 to 3 weeks at room temperature, it is soft and ready to eat.
The kiwi season
The Alimea orchard represents a very small production. Harvested from November, we usually finish marketing before the beginning of January.
Having said this, like apples, kiwis can be stored easily and for a long time in a cool place. Therefore, the marketing process for French organic kiwis stored in November continues until the end of April. Then we're done !
Kiwis that were marketed in the summer all originate from the Southern Hemisphere, mainly New Zealand. They are still found in stores in November when local seasonal kiwis arrive.
The kiwi is essentially a table fruit. It is enjoyed cut in halves peeled with a spoon of peeled. Some keep the skin.
It adds a colourful green note in fresh fruit salads.