The journey begun about 10 years ago when I started growing citrus and lots of NZ feijoa. From there I developed a stronger taste for unique plants that are hardly sold at local nurseries or big plant shops anywhere in New Zealand. I’ve come across a few kinds of root herbs like galangal, tumeric and even grown lots of lemongrass, curry leaves, and asian basil with great success.
Over the years I’ve been growing most fruit trees in pots, however back in 2018 I acquired three exclusive varieties of grafted avocado plants suitable for home containers and all three of them (Mexicola, Olivia and Hopkins) fruited on their first year of planting! Later on I went to get Haas, Reed and Helen as well. The avocado plants I had were growing so well in containers at home – I got more excited, so in 2019 when I bought an acre of land in Kaiaua this gave me the chance to put all sorts of fruit trees from my collection in the ground.
It didn’t take long for this hobby to get expensive, as in 9 months I planted well over 60 fruit trees at the bach single handed. I drive from Auckland to Kaiaua 2-3 times a week to tend and water those plants. That’s how much this hobby has got to me. My collection just keeps growing so I’ve recently expanded the operation further north as well.
Just a bit of my background for you... I grew up on a beautiful island in the northern part of Malaysia called Penang, though I've been in New Zealand for over 20 years. My father was a keen gardener and worked as a botanist for the city council and had a wealth of knowledge about plants and demonstrated great skill in propagating them by using all sorts of different techniques. Our family and friends all enjoyed the benefits of being friendly with him as they were gifted many interesting fruit trees over the years that he propagated himself. His trees continue to produce high quality and delicious fruit still today.
As we lived on a small family orchard I was my father’s biggest fan and often he taught me about plants and how to tend and propagate them. My father had a dream that one day we would create a food forest that feeds people and be the gathering place where people will learn gardening skills, exchange knowledge and be self-sufficient. I have been so blessed to be able to learn my horticulture skills from him.
Interestingly I have been able to germinate, propagate and grow many fruit trees that are quite rare and usually require special equipment given the climate and temperature in New Zealand. I have successfully grown mangoes, lychees, longan, pandan leaves, jaboticaba, jackfruit, passionfruit, pomegranate, all sorts of citrus, dragon fruit, soursop, cherimoya, cassimioras, hot chillies and many more.
My father unfortunately passed away in January 2015. Amongst other things, he left his well established small fruit orchard for us to enjoy now and for many more years to come. It was our family tradition that every year half of the harvest was donated to other people. I have started something similar in New Zealand in memory of my loving parents who were not only kind but also so generous. In early 2019, I planted a huge vegetable crop of all sorts in Kaiaua where 100% of its fresh produce has been donated to many people throughout the year and over the lockdown period. This practice is very similar to the spirit of Koha that I’ve learnt to love since living in New Zealand.
I hope that I can help many other plant enthusiasts in New Zealand, no matter where you are in this journey to find and nurture the love for fruit planting. If you’ll allow yourself some treats, have a look at our range of rare plant varieties. Soon we will add more products and in time a professional mobile service to marcot plants in some areas in Auckland. This service is currently on case by case basis.
Thank you again for your support. Rose x
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