Fruit grower extols the virtues of fruit as a snack

DIANE BISHOP
Last updated 05:00 23/05/2014
wayne mcintosh
DIANE BISHOP/Fairfax NZ
HEALTHY CHOICE: Earnscleugh fruit grower Wayne McIntosh is encouraging people to choose fruit as a snack instead of a chocolate bar.

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An apple a day ... well, you know how the rest of the saying goes.

Earnscleugh fruit grower Wayne McIntosh is encouraging people to choose fruit as a snack instead of a fat-laden chocolate bar.

"It [fruit] is good for you, and it's a healthy choice compared to a novelty bar," he said.

McIntosh, who won the supreme award in the 2014 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards, hosted a field day at his orchard, near Alexandra, this week.

Those who attended had the opportunity to sample his Pacific Queen apples straight from the tree.

"This sort of fruit sells itself," McIntosh said.

McIntosh has 34,000 fruit trees on the 64ha summerfruit orchard he farms in partnership with his parents, Stuart and Sharyn.

They grow cherries, which make up 40 per cent of their income, peaches, nectarines, apples and apricots, which are consumed from the Bay of Islands to Bluff, China and the United States.

McIntosh is passionate about growing top quality fruit and marketing it for the best return.

"Yield is determined by how big we can grow the fruit. If we can take a piece of fruit from 230 grams to 250 grams that changes the dynamics and profit."

McIntosh said fruit picked at the right time tasted fantastic and he encouraged people to snack on fruit instead of chocolate bars.

Novelty bars were popular with consumers because they could guarantee the taste every time the wrapper came off, he said.

"When it comes to fruit, the quality can vary in the supermarket and I think that can put some people off.

"But it's the healthy choice."

McIntosh has expansion plans and will soon plant another 3000 to 4000 fruit trees. He is also trialling feijoas, because he enjoyed eating them, and some kiwifruit to find out if they would grow in Central Otago.

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- The Southland Times

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