Pomegranate facts

The pomegranate ( Pu­nica grana­tum) is a small-grow­ing, de­cid­u­ous shrub or tree that pro­duces orange-sized, thick­skinned fruit that con­tains pink-red ar­ils of sweet, juicy pulp.

The Orchardist - - News -

The seeds ger­mi­nate eas­ily, but cut­tings pro­duce bet­ter qual­ity plants.Trees are hardy in a range of soil con­di­tions but, to fruit suc­cess­fully, re­quire long, hot sum­mers.

The word pomegranate lit­er­ally means “grainy ap­ple” and the fruit has been men­tioned in art, lit­er­a­ture and recipes) for over 2500 years. In more re­cent times it’s gained trac­tion as a su­per­food rich in an­tiox­i­dants, vi­ta­min C, potas­sium, folic acid and fi­bre. The skin is also rich in tan­nin and is sought af­ter as a nat­u­ral dye.

The fruit keep well off the tree and ac­tu­ally sweeten in cold stor­age.

In the off sea­son im­ported pomegranates can sell for up to $6 each but in sea­son from Fe­bru­ary to May, New Zealand-grown fruit re­tail for about third of that.

The fledg­ling Aus­tralian Pomegranate As­so­ci­a­tion (APA) be­lieves there’s a world pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion of 4.5 mil­lion tonnes an­nu­ally. It’s hoped that coun­try’s pro­duc­tion will reach 30-40,000 tonnes within the next decade.

Each fruit yields about a cup of seeds and half a cup of juice.

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