Fruits

Hawke’s Bay awash with the tangy fruit as feijoa season gets under way

LR Thomas Barber age 10 and best mate Cohen Skews age 12 out selling feijoa’s for $4 a bag over the weekend. Photo / Supplied

It feels like everyone in Hawke’s Bay knows someone who knows someone with a feijoa tree in their backyard that is ripening at the same time.

One household can only eat so many, so the question is what to do with the abundance of fruit falling off the tree?

There are only three options: you either give your feijoas away, sell them or use the fruit in your baking and cooking.

Those living in Hastings have taken to Facebook community groups and created street-side fruit stands to offload their large amounts of fresh feijoa.

At supermarkets in Hawke’s Bay, you can find feijoas for anywhere from $6.50 to $8 per kg.

With Hawke’s Bay residents complaining about overflowing trees, I suggest first looking for a deal at street-side stands.

Best mates Thomas Barber and Cohen Skews were out selling bags of the fresh fruit for $4 a bag over the weekend.

In 2020 Thomas started up his feijoa stand after a neighbor asked if he would like to pick their feijoas to earn pocket money.

Thomas Barber back in 2020 when he first started picking up his neighbors feijoa's and then later selling them out and the community at is fruit stand.  Photo / Supplied
Thomas Barber back in 2020 when he first started picking up his neighbors feijoa’s and then later selling them out and the community at is fruit stand. Photo / Supplied

During feijoa season, Thomas spends his weekends selling the fruit outside his Nana’s house on Grays Rd and Dune Street, sometimes with help from his little sister Charli Barber.

On other weekends he will head over to his best mate Cohen’s house on Frederick Street, where the two will set up a stand and sell what they can.

Thomas is very dedicated to what he does and has given our readers some advice.

“You need to be dedicated and patient, some days I sell out, and [other days] I sell only a couple of bags,” he said.

Whether you have a tree dropping feijoas faster than you can collect them or you are going out and buying them, we have some recipes you might like to try.

Feijoa's are in season and Hastings residents have so much of the fruit they are unsure what to do with it.  Photo / Warren Buckland
Feijoa’s are in season and Hastings residents have so much of the fruit they are unsure what to do with it. Photo / Warren Buckland

We have a recipe for both sweet-toothed and savory favorites out there.

If you are looking for something sweet, may we suggest a feijoa loaf?

Ingredients
a handful of feijoas
1½ cups standard grade flour
1 cup white sugar
65g softened butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg.

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Mash feijoa, add all ingredients and mix well
Place into a greased loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until cooked.

And if you are after something a bit more savoury, check out the Central Hawke’s Bay famous Feijoa Steak Sauce.

Ingredients
1.6 kgs feijoas
1.3 kgs sugar
6 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
8 teaspoons ground cloves (one 40g packet)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1.5 liters malt vinegar (two 750 ml DYC bottles).

Instructions
Top and tail the feijoas (do not peel)
Put everything in a pot and bring to the boil
Simmer for two hours
Let cool and whizz in a food processor or with a stick blender.
Return to pot and simmer another 2 hours
Bottle in clean sterilized bottles.

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