Meet our chief Kiwano grower Alan – or it might be more fitting to call him a Kiwano perfectionist.
When people ask me about Alan I say the first thing you need to know about him is that he is probably the only other person in the world as crazy about Kiwano as I am.
He’s been growing these “little beauties” (as he lovingly calls them) for 30 years and anything he doesn’t know about Kiwano, well, it probably isn’t worth knowing!
The second thing to know about Alan is that he is allergic to a laptop. It’s all I can do to drag him into the office to check this or that out on the computer. 10 minutes later and he suddenly has itchy feet and somewhere very important to be out in the paddocks. Know anybody like that?
As for getting this photo…don’t get me started!
Alan has been a man of the land all his life. We recently did an interview with Mike from Freshfruitportal.com where he explained how he came to be a dedicated Kiwano grower.
“I grew up growing kiwifruit on an orchard with my father. I was visiting my brother-in-law’s house and there was a Kiwano in the fruit bowl. I’d never seen anything like it – it just captivated me. I think that’s what I was put on earth to do. I’ve done it every year ever since.”
Over the last 30 plus years Alan has been perfecting his craft. He’s discovered the optimal growing conditions, soil composition and timings to develop Kiwano with a pure flavour and longevity. Over his growing career he’s has grown a variety of fruit – including watermelon, dragon fruit, kiwifruit (gold and green varieties), pepino, tamarillo, rockmelon, cape gooseberries, feijoa, passionfruit – quite a line up! But it’s the Kiwano that really captured his imagination, and for the last ten years growing perfect Kiwano has been his sole focus.
Alongside being a Kiwano grower, Alan’s big passion is for sustainable farming practices. His mantra is ‘respect the soil and the health of the soil’. At Enzed Exotics, we do not farm intensively and choose not to use harsh chemicals or pesticides, only using natural fertiliser on our plants. It’s hugely important to Alan that everyone on our team understands the growing process, respects the land, and respects the fruit.
Alan’s favourite way to eat a Kiwano? Like the man himself, it’s straight up. “Slice fruit long ways. Sprinkle chilli flakes, lime juice and a little salt. Tequila shot on the side.”