There’s a nice sym­me­try to the lo­ca­tion of the pi­lot banana plan­ta­tion in Gis­borne.

The Orchardist - - Profile -

Kevin Brock­hurst and Ta­nia Kearns’ prop­erty, Or­mond Val­ley Or­gan­ics, as the name sug­gests, is lo­cated at Or­mond, a few kilo­me­tres out of Gis­borne city. In the same area, how­ever, had been an­other or­chard, Waimarae, owned by the late Len Grey who, though lauded for his pi­o­neer­ing of the av­o­cado in­dus­try, didn’t limit his grow­ing to prickly pears as he cre­ated a vir­tual trop­i­cana of fruits from paw-paw and cus­tard ap­ples to, yes, ba­nanas.

The Gis­borne Photo News of Au­gust 23, 1956 cel­e­brated the di­ver­sity of va­ri­eties thriv­ing un­der Len’s watch “in Gis­borne’s sunny cli­mate”.

“The proof, of course, is in the eat­ing,” it some­what breath­lessly re­ported.

“And when Photo News­men called at the or­chard, they dis­cov­ered thrilling new flavours they hadn’t dreamed ex­isted.”

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