After a lot of anticipation and patience, our Golden Kiwi’s were harvested in the month of March this year. Redberry Farm planted 5,5 hectares of Golden Kiwis in 2018 and only in 2021 we had our first harvest as the vines take three years to produce fruit. This year marks our third harvest for the Golden Kiwi’s and we anticipate it to be the largest to date. The Golden Kiwis are exported to Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Europe as part of our export program, sold to local markets, and available in the Farm Stall.
Factors to Consider
Before a successful harvest, many factors must be monitored before we can start picking this delicious fruit from the vines.
The sweetness of the fruit is measured by a refractometer – and is measured by dropping a drop of liquid from the fruit into a refractometer. 1 degree of brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100g of solution.
How hard or soft the fruit is can be easily measured by squeezing the fruit in your hand or if you want an accurate reading, you make use of a penetrometer that measure firmness with the units kg/cm2.a
Dry matter is the ratio of dry weight to fresh weight (or weight of the fruit before drying). In the field, you can measure it by making use of handheld sensory instruments that rely on near infrared (NIR) spectroscopycopy
The flesh colour of Golden Kiwis should be a light yellow to gold tone when picked. If it is still green it is not ready yet.
% of black seed internally
If all the seeds are counted collectively. 90% or more need to be black in colour before harvesting.
mild temperatures are needed for picking to help with the cold chain and potential shelf life of the kiwis.
It is very important that the pickers are careful while transferring into the bins. Kiwis that are misshapen, too small and have blemishes are removed from the bins and kept aside to be packed separately as 2nd grade.
It is essential to follow the correct cooling down process to not have any drastic changes in flesh temperature. Ethylene is released from the kiwis as they start to ripen which enhances the softening process. Therefore, ethylene management and removal is crucial if the fruit is required to be stored for longer periods. Golden kiwis can be stored for up to 6 months if stored in the right environment.