Okay, maybe not tons, but at least 50 or 60 lbs. of Kiwis, is my guess at this point.
Although in past years, I have grumbled and griped a lot about the lack of pollination on my Kiwi vines, this year we have a bumper crop, and now that we have had a few cold snaps, it is time to begin harvesting. If I had to guess, I would say there are at least 500 kiwis on the female plant this year. Don’t get me wrong, despite the hundreds of kiwi fruits, I still think the Tomuri, the male fuzzy Kiwi vine, is a poor pollinator for Vincent, my female plant. The blossom timing for Tomuri is a few weeks later than the majority of Vincent flowers, plus, Tomuri only set a few flowers sporadically. Luckily, this year about ten male flowers managed to bloom when all the female flowers opened. After the female was done, another 15 to 20 male flowers bloomed. As you can probably tell by the fruit set, I still got out the paint brush! I can only imagine how much fruit I would have if there were more male blossoms. Since Tomuri flowers so lightly, I still hope to locate a local source for Matua, an earlier male fuzzy kiwi and graft it on the Tomuri plant.
We started picked the kiwi fruits a week or so ago. They only need to sit on the counter for about two days to be just right for eating, with a taste similar to what most people are used to in a kiwi. If left more than a few days longer than that, the taste is almost too sweet and rich. I plan to use the majority of fruit to make my homemade Strawberry Kiwi Jam.
Update February 1st, 2014. We picked many dozens of fruit after I posted this. Yesterday my hubby and I picked what was left on the vines and weighed yesterday’s bounty. It totaled up to 74 lbs. Wow, I have a lot more than I thought. There is no way I can canned all of this in one day; that is a lot of peeling and I don’t have that much room in the crisper in the fridge. Its too much for keeping it all for our selves. Some was shared with neighbors and more will be shared with friends. I might also be making a trip to the food bank tomorrow. This year’s crop is definitely a year I need to give thanks for. For those of reading this that are friends, family, and teachers… I sure hope you like Kiwi Jam!