Michael and Jenny’s orchard of 2500 trees was planted in 2009 and has also been managed as single stems, although branching starts lower than Mike Davenport’s trees.Continue reading Orchard visit: Michael & Jenny Petherick, West Melton
At the end of the orchard visits, Murray Redpath indicated that after 40 years driving NZ’s hazelnut industry, he is refocusing his efforts and he won’t be participating as actively in future HGA events in the South Island.Continue reading Passing the baton – Murray Redpath
After the session at the trial block, we visited Peter Barrowclough’s orchard of 3000 trees, planted in 2008. The main variety is Whiteheart with Alex and MDB pollenisers.Continue reading Orchard visit: Peter Barrowclough, Lincoln
Mike and Kathy’s orchard of 1000 trees was planted in 2006 and the management regime has evolved over time. From their early approach of regular fertiliser and “delicate” pruning to maximise crop, Mike now considers the orchard an amenity rather than a business and manages it accordingly.Continue reading Orchard visit: Mike & Kathy Davenport, Rolleston
HGA newsletter, Autumn 2004
In this issue we are visiting the orchard and business of Bev Taylor and Gordon Mounsey on the outskirts of Christchurch.
We bought our 11 ½ acres in 1990 and planted shelter trees. Over the next 5-6 years we planted the hazelnuts; Whiteheart with Alexandra and Merville de Bollwiller as their pollinators. We lost very few and the trees grew.
When they started producing nuts we found there was a shortage of processing units. We joined Ted Kempe, Bob and Grace Laing and Roger Rose in forming “Associated Nut Harvesters”, using Ted’s equipment at Amberley. This worked quite well for 3-4 years. We then disbanded this company. Ted continued north of Christchurch and we developed “Divine Taste of Canterbury”. Divine Taste has a small nutcracker that we use when we have groups on site. Most of the cracking is done by the Hazelnut Company Ltd. As I have found it a labour intensive activity.
Marketing is very select and Niche oriented. In the past we have targeted the supermarkets and to do this you need bar codes and good labelling. We maintain these markets but have not recently expanded in the supermarkets. A distributor may be necessary if we are to do so.
More rewarding financially is the value added products we do. The most popular is Dukkah followed by caramelized hazelnuts. I have worked with a chocolatier and two chefs – Phillipe Meyer (from Celia Hay Cooking School) and Mhairi Maxwell. We have experimented with a range of products. Now I supply gift boxes and boutique shops. I make up the products in packaging and price to suit.
After fourteen years we are in profit from our hazelnuts. Divine Taste has people on site by invitation and we have a selection of Canterbury products which they can buy ex. Kernelz walnuts, NZ kelp and Canterbury olive oils. Hazelnuts have introduced us to a wide variety of people from chefs and journalists as well as growers and nurserymen. We have found this rewarding and interesting.
Written by Mike Davenport. Originally published in the HGA newsletter November 2020.
Last season, Mike and Kathy Davenport purchased a John Deere tow-behind lawn sweeper, to conquer the mountain of clippings that spring and autumn grass growth causes. Mike realised that the basic principle lends itself to a wider range of orchard management, particularly pre-harvest preparation and perhaps even harvest itself. Mike has kindly agreed to share his experiences.Continue reading Using a lawn sweeper for pre-harvest cleaning