16 Apr 2024

Nigel Ritson's quest to cultivate the perfect feijoa

From Nine To Noon, 10:10 am on 16 April 2024
The quality of feijoas this season is said to be excellent and volumes good. However, prices are back about a dollar compared to last year.

Photo: Supplied

Nigel Ritson estimates he's eaten more than 50,000 feijoas in his quest to find the perfect one.

His fascination with the fruit began in in the 1990's when be bought a tough piece of land in Takaka, with the dream of growing something.

Feijoas were one of the few trees which could thrive there. But simply growing feijoas in hoards wasn't enough for Nigel.

He wanted to cultivate fruit with the best shape, colour, resilience, and - most importantly - taste.

He now runs a breeding program at Foretaste Feijoa Fruit, which aims to grow varieties which could become popular with commercial growers.

He tells Kathryn Ryan about what makes the perfect feijoa.