Western Australia’s only kiwi fruit grower achieves sweeter success

Delroy Orchards has been producing WA’s only locally grown kiwi fruit amidst Pemberton’s pristine karri forest since 1988. This year, production will top 4,000,000 pieces of vine-ripened kiwi fruit as a result of new techniques applied by a new generation of orchardists. 

Four years ago. Delroy Orchards owner, Russell Delroy was seeing declining yields and increasing production costs due to ageing vines. The curious spirit that led him to pioneering kiwi fruit production in Western Australia, led to an answer to reinvigorate the orchard’s 10,000 ageing vines. 

Boldly they embraced a range of new management practices. They meticulously pruning old wood from the 10,000 vines along 25km of trellis, during the annual winter pruning, then carefully nurtured the new growth through spring and summer. The result for their effort has sustained bumper yields for harvests ever since.

The Delroy team continues to improve farm management techniques to ensure optimal eating quality for consumers. Vine ripening of their kiwi fruit crop has created greater flavour and a naturally sweeter eating experience.

Other kiwi fruit producers around Australia and New Zealand strip pick and cool-store fruit. Vine ripening is a more labour intensive picking process but Delroy Orchards is committed to delivering the freshest, sweetest and most flavoursome kiwi fruit to consumers. 

“It has been a challenge to reinvigorate the vines but the results are incredible. We’ve doubled yields and continually improved our picking practices. This has resulted in an amazing improvement in flavour and sweetness. Being locally grown means we offer fresher fruit that has not been stored. Fruit is picked ripe and in store quickly,” said Orchard manager, Jamie Collins. 

Delroy Orchards’ kiwi fruit is grown free of any pesticides. Pollination is assisted by 800 beehives and pest insects are kept in check with the use of beneficial bugs. Fruit is all hand picked to ensure maximum quality. 

WA kiwi fruit, labelled with a red kangaroo sticker is easily identified from imported kiwi fruit; It is available in stores from late April through until mid July. 

Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, as well as Bunbury Farmers Market, Tony Ales and good independent stores will all be stocking this high quality, locally WA grown product this season with its fresh, local and flavoursome attributes.

Honeyed ginger jewels

Preparation: 10 minutes + 30 minutes to macerate; serves 4

This is a perfect combination for local winter WA kiwi fruit. Take a moment to check you’re buying local fruit with the red kangaroo sticker – it’s way fresher and supports local families. 

  • 4 Kiwi fruit, peeled, diced or sliced
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • ¾ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon sultanas
  • ½ teaspoon crushed fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoon natural muesli or sunflower seeds

Combine orange juice, sultanas, honey and ginger in a serving bowl. Fold through chopped orange segments. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving. Gently fold in Kiwi fruit. Sprinkle with natural muesli or sunflower seeds.

Pork steaks with fresh WA kiwi fruit and nutty rice

Preparation: 10 minutes; cooking 15 minutes; serves 4

The sweetness of fresh kiwi fruit goes beautifully with pork and will tenderise it due to a natural enzyme that tenderises protein.   

  • 4 pork steaks (600g)
  • 3 kiwi fruit
  • 3 cups liquid beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 2 tablespoon fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 2 spring onions, sliced

Combine raw steaks and the mashed flesh of one kiwi fruit in a large dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring beef stock and turmeric to the boil in a saucepan. 

Add rice, simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Test, then drain. Grill or barbecue steaks for five minutes each side or to your liking. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Fold coriander, pine nuts and spring onions into rice. Divide onto serving plates. Serve with pork steak, topped with sliced kiwi fruit.