Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 20 January 2011 Contents LOCAL NEWS
20 January, 2011 | Page 3
Fiordland berry grower Prue Fraser
is marvelling at her largest ever
crop in 18 years of business.
Long sunshiny days towards
the end of last year ripened the
berries early, enabling her to
harvest before Christmas for only
the third time ever.
Mrs Fraser grows kotatas (a
breed of blackberry), tayberries
(a cross between a raspberry and
a blackberry), raspberries and
boysenberries from her property
on Milford Road just out of Te
Anau. Usually the black berry
varieties don’t come ripe until mid
to late January. This year picking
started on January 2.
The fruit hasn’t just come early –
there’s been heaps of it. Usually
the berry farm harvests yield an
average of 40kg to 50kg a day.
“This year a quiet day is 80 kilos,”
Mrs Fraser said.
Between January 12 and 16 the
pickers had brought in more than
100kg of berries every day. In her
entire 18 years of growing Mrs
Fraser could only recall one other
day when 100kg of berries had
“Over 100 is too much – it’s really
hard to cope with,” she said.
So far this season more than 1.8
tonnes has been harvested “and
we’re still picking heaps”.
However, there had been
some downsides to recent
weather patterns. While the
boysenberries absolutely thrived
in hot conditions, tayberries could
become too soft to pick. Recent
strong winds had also given the
bushes a battering, increasing the
quantity of jam grade fruit. While it
still tasted good, it couldn’t be sold
as premium quality, she said.
Fresh berries are expected to
be available for another few
weeks yet and frozen berries
will be available “until we sell
out” which could be some time
off. Fortunately this year Mrs
Fraser has secured the use of a
commercial walk-in freezer which
she has already loaded with
400kg of berries, many of them
In the meantime she’s asking
anyone with spare 2-litre ice
cream containers they’re
considering throwing out to
instead throw them her way – for
those not wanting to make the trip
up the driveway, in or beside the
letterbox is fine.
Bumper berry season
By Kirsty Macnicol
Two trailers being towed through
Southland have proved a treasure
trove of fun for youngsters
partaking in the Southland District
Council’s annual school holiday
The annual road trip visits rural
communities throughout January
offering holiday entertainment
for primary school-aged children.
The cost is $6 per child and the
sessions run from 10am to 3pm,
with the children taking their
own lunch. In some cases bus
transport is available from outlying
Venture Southland events
assistant Jalissa Gage said it
was a great way to keep children
entertained in the holidays.
She, along with teachers Hamish
McGregor and Melanie Bradley
and student Brayden McDonald,
brought two trailer loads of
gear with them on their journey,
containing everything from
paddle boats that could be used
in swimming pools to skipping
ropes and hula hoops; balls to
building blocks. There was also
an extensive array of craft and
“The rest is up to the imagination
of these guys,” she said.
The holiday programme arrived
in Te Anau on Monday for a
three-day stop where it was
overwhelmed with registrations
from 70 enthusiastic youngsters.
This was by far the biggest turnout
the holiday programme had
encountered in a single location
but typical of the support from
Fiordland which traditionally had
the largest participation, Ms Gage
The programme moved to
Lumsden today (January 20)
and Stewart Island tomorrow
and will be at Central Southland
College in Winton from Monday
till Wednesday next week and
Otautau on Thursday and Friday.
A bus will run from Wallacetown
to Winton and from Ohai and
Nightcaps to the Otautau
activities. Registrations can be
made at Southland District Council
offices or online at www.creative.
Trailer loads of fun at school holiday programme
LEFT: Paul Duvenhage, 9, grabs a few
minutes with a skipping rope.
BELOW: Olivia Norris, 6, demonstrates
her hula hooping prowess while
Danielle Taylor, 9, tries baton twirling.
Anthony Tutty, 10, tests his ball
handling at Te Anau on Monday.
Richard Crouchley, 12 (left) and Calvin Powell, 9, pick raspberries at Prue’s
Berry Farm in Te Anau which has produced a bumper crop this year.
ALL SLEEPING BAGS
(Offer available from 19/1/2011 until 25/1/2011)
QUEENSTOWN - WANAKA
TE ANAU www.outsidesports.co.nz
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