Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I kid You Not!
I am so glad there are plenty of you out there who love Avocados...they are so good for you. I said I would tell you a little more about their strange habits ( sex life )...well here we go. Firstly it is very complicated so I will try and keep to the basics.
NZ only exports Hass variety. ( so that's what we grow).
Flowering and hence fruit set are very dependent on weather conditions, especially temperature. For about every 1500 tiny flowers One fruit may set.
Each flower had a female and a male phase ( yes the same flower). With Hass, when it is warm enough the very tiny flower opens as a female.( 20 degrees will see it open for 2-3 hours ) hotter = longer. The flower will then close and later open as a male. Avocados are pollinated predominately by insects - mainly bees. ( sometimes by wind )
The flowers can be self pollinated or closed pollinated ( another flower on the same tree ) or cross pollinated ( flower from another tree ). The cross pollinated are the strongest and are most likely to not fall off later. ( some orchard have other varieties just as pollinators ) As I am sure you all learned basic biology at school I will not go into how all the different parts of a flower work. But you can see why with Avocados the crop from year to year is very variable with so many dependent factors.
Needless to say this rain we are getting is just what we need. I wish I could send a few clouds over to my friends in Australia - where it is desperately needed.
The photo shows the small red netlon bags of reject fruit I got ready for callers who come by as little Christmas gifts...so if you are in my area....... ( the red looks nice with the green fruit)
* Shirley it is the freight to the South Is. that puts the price up so high. The grower doesn't get that much per fruit. ( the high air fares between our islands is a killer, that's why folk pop over to Oz instead cause it's cheaper to fly there - crazy eh )