Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do You Eat Avocados?

  Nothing happened with the avocado picking Monday as the hydralada drivers were still finishing the previous orchard. ( we understand that, as picking time is hard to judge. ) Yesterday (Tuesday) was a fabulous hot clear day and our 2 drivers arrived early. They picked to finish the job at 8.20pm last evening. was cool by then and  quite a relief from the heat. The bins were taken away to the packhouse in the dark and even later at 11.15pm the truck to take the hydraladas to the next orchard arrived. R had to take light down to them for loading. But they finished the job and the fruit is beatuiful. What price will it bring?  Not very much at the moment I'm afraid. Austalian markets have been flooded by unscrupulous traders who don't understand that the fruit needs to be feed to the market at a sensible pace,  continously so the supply is even. ( they dump huge quantities. )The NZ market has also got lots at the moment.A few spoiling it for everyone. ( we may get paid as little as a third or half what we sometimes get. )( the rep from the packhouse called in and told us the market price had risen yesterday so that is encouraging. )
      We decide not to ground pick like we usually do but to leave those fruit in ready access for our own use later. ( there weren't many low down as we had ground picked in during our first pick which was the last week in September. The fruit being picked at the moment has had all that time since then to size up and it really has.
Early morning the first bins full.

Then later a few more full.

    Here is what I spent the day doing. R transported the full bins from the avo blocks back to the house area where they were stored in the shade in the shed ( usually  this is the the tractor shed ) He brought back one partly filled bin so I could move the fruit around. Wearing gloves I pullled out all the leaves and twigs and inspected a lot of the fruit, to take out obvious rejects. ( just like fruit thinning in the kiwifruit really only these have got to picking stage cause I don't climb avo trees to thin them! ) The size the pickers were told to pick to was to weigh 220 grams ( 25 to a packed tray ). We usually pick way smaller than that.
 Here in my bin you can see rejects for colour; marks ;shape; possum bites and blemish caused by thrips; as well as smalls. So we have lots of reject fruit to share with friends and family. We try to have ripe avocados in the house at all times. Sometimes we run out if we have given too many away but we like to eat them  on a daily basis. They are so very good for us.( now recommended as a first food for babies. ) A little fattening if you pig out but so are lots of things.
There are not too many folk we know now who do not like avocados, but there still are some need converting. They are wonderful on vogel bread toast with a smear of vegemite and avo sliced or mashed on top. ( my breakfast most mornings ) They are wonderful in salads, as guacamole dip; nice with shrimp or other cold seafood. They can even be made into ice cream.
 Another good way is cut the avo in half, take a teaspoon and tuck in.

Avocados used to be called poor man's butter in Mexico where they were grown. A Spainish soldier Herando Cortez found them growing in Mexico in 1519. The Aztecs called them Ahuactl.  Today they are grown in many places with a temperate climate. NZ; California: Australia: Israel; Spain.
 The Hass variety ( that we grow and the only variety exported from New Zealand ) was discovered by a postman Rudolph Hass as a good seedling which he patented in 1935. This is  a good Summer variety. Other varieties are ready earlier and later.The avocado tree is related to the laurel tree - the genus persea. In Spainish  they  are called Abogado; in French Avocat.
 Some tips if you are buying avocados. Buy them when they are still firm and green, that way nobody else has squeezed them and bruised them. Take them home and put on your fruit bowl till just slightly soft. If you wish to hasten their ripening place them in a paper bag, with a ripening banana which gives off lots of ethylene, and secure the top to keep the gas in. Craddle them in your hand and if there is slight give they are ready. Once ready keep in the fridge for a couple of days if not eating them straight away. ( If unsure if they are ready rub the stalk out and if a tooth pick or needle will slide into the flesh  easily they are ready. ) Do not squeeze or pummel.
 Back to garden and kiwfruit work today. Everything here is now dry again and watering is necessary for the veges. It is another beautiful clear Summer day so other growers will be getting their avos picked too.
 Leanne has been showing all the lovely veges they are harvesting / growing. I agree it is so rewarding to pick things and be eating them within the hour. Last night our salad was made up entirely with lettuce, radish tomatoes ,chives and avocado we grew. Eaten with our  new potatoes and green beans.( The cold lamb was bought.)

 No sewing but I did tidy my sewing cupboard and iron some finished half square a glimmer of hope there.

( Blogger is doing some very strange things at the moment ! )


Cottage Tails said...

yum, yum, yum we always ask for extra avos in our organic box.

I do find they become all ripe at once - can you slow this down other than fridge?

Love Leanne

Meggie said...

I just adore avocados. When I first came to live in Oz I overdid it, and every time I ate any, was made very ill! After a break of a couple of years, I was ok again. Now I use them in place of butter or margarine. We eat them when we can afford them!
Though the markets are flooded, our prices don't drop much.

Molly said...

Very interesting post Ali! The Bean has tried growing them here but the frost killed them. The menfolk love guacamole, though it is one of the rare things that disagrees with me. Maybe Meggie is right---just a little bit at a time. I'll have to show this to the Bean at the w.e. He will be so interested to hear how you do all this!

By Hoki Quilts said...

Yummm crusty bread smeared with green butter and a slab of ham off the bone - devine.
You know I can't work the pricing thingy out as they are flipping expensive in our local supermarket - once again the middle man is getting rich I think.
Good luck for a great payout.

Jennifer said...

Hope you get a good price for your avos! I like Hass, they seem to last well.

Janice said...

You bet I eat Avos. They go into the shopping trolley every week. I remember in the early 80s when they first started to appear and were a new unknown taste. Now they are a standard replacement for butter on my sandwiches, as well as in salads etc. I can't imagine life without them. Here's hoping you get a good price.
The weather is crazy at the moment. You are having a hot spell, floods in Qld, heatwaves in WA and we are quite cool and drizzly - more like an English summer than an Aussie. We'll probably get a really hot February, now that I have said that.

Whee Gina said...

We love avocados. We get Haas here and also other varieties. We never put them in the fridge. If we buy them from the Mexican store they are ripe and good....when we buy them from the ordinary American supermarket they are either unripe or bruised. We eat them instead of mayonnaise in a sandwich, in a salad, guacamole (mole means ground or mashed)If they aren't ripe you put them in a brown paper bag with an apple and they will ripen. Of course, we are close to Mexico, here in Texas. By the way, I have never heard Abogado as meaning an Avocado.. here it means Lawyer. Strange, eh?

Ali Honey said...

Leanne you could put some in the fridge before they are ripe to hold them - like they do in the coolstore and bring them out to room temp for some days to ripen later than the others.
No other way I know I'm afraid.

Sooziii said...

Thought of you on Tuesday - bought 3 avocados and they had NZ stickers on them .... lol.
I love them with chicken - grilled chicken, a little honey mustard dressing, fresh beans and avocado ... yum!

Sujana said...

Funny, I was just thinking if I should buy avocados or not yesterday! I don't really eat them but that's cuz I don't know many recipes involving avocados. I do like its buttery texture though.

Farm Girl said...

I have to confess I don't eat avos, not that I don't like them, just something I never tried as a child, so haven't really eaten much of them. Not very adventurous am I! They always seem expensive so maybe that's the other reason I don't buy them, though it sounds like you're not the one getting rich off them either! Good luck for a lift in prices.

Isabelle said...

That's really interesting. Avocados grow on trees... didn't know that. (Don't know where I thought they grew!) I regret to say that I don't really like them (always think they taste a bit... like... soap...) but my mum is a great fan and she's nearly 90 so maybe they've kept her alive.

Ali Honey said...

Thanks all for your comments. That seems that 9 people love avocados and eat them often and 2 don't care for them. I guess that is quite encoraging for the grower.

If you think they taste soapy it can't have been a good mature one in my opinion. It should taste buttery and nutty.