I guess it’s not really a surprise, considering the subject line on this email, but we’ve decided to offer hardy kiwis on sale this month. Here’s the sale:
30% off if you buy two or more!
There are a couple of reasons we selected this deal:
We have a bit of extra stock (not gonna lie!)
Hardy Kiwi require a pollination partner to set lots of fruit (more on that below). In other words - buying two just makes sense anyway.
Hardy Kiwis can fit into a small to medium-sized yard (though it can be a little big for a tiny yard - more info to help with your choice follows below)
And of course, they have awesome fruit. Long story short: hardy kiwis are grape-sized kiwis that are not fuzzy, so you can eat the skin. They are also a bit sweeter than grocery store kiwis.
If you are sold, just go to the online shop, and add two or more hardy kiwis to your cart. Type in the coupon code: kiwi
To learn more about the glories of hardy kiwis, and important pollination details, read on.
Hardy Kiwis (Actinidia arguta)
These fruits are important to me - they were one of the reasons I wanted to start this nursery. Before I started ordering these in, I couldn’t find anywhere in Canada that had hardy kiwis, despite their being hardy enough to grow here.
So, as mentioned above, these are relatives of grocery store kiwis, and originate originally from China. Interesting fact - Kiwi Fruit originally had the common name Chinese Gooseberry, until some marketing genius discovered that they grew very well as an orchard vine in New Zealand, and re-christened them Kiwi Fruit. Hard to believe any other fruit could so recently break into that international pantheon that includes apples, bananas, and oranges, but kiwi basically did it.
The larger grocery store kiwi fruit are not quite able to withstand winter in Ontario, but hardy kiwi are. Their fruit are grape size, and they grow on a vine very similar to grapes. I can attest that the taste is excellent, a bit less acid than the grocery store ones, and since they are not fuzzy, you can eat the whole thing, skin and all.
The culture of growing hardy kiwis is also like grapes. They are an excellent choice to cover a trellis or pergola, and also do well trained along wires, as most vineyards do. A sturdy fence is also a good option, though sturdy is the key word. Another intriguing option is to plant them at the base of a tree, and let them grow up. Some suggest planting them at the base of a tree you’ve just coppiced, and they can grow up at the same rate that the tree grows back. One thing to keep in mind is how you will harvest them if they are up a tree. If you are not fond of climbing trees or reaching from high up on a ladder, maybe go the trellis or wire direction.
A word of caution: after the initial couple of years of establishment, hardy kiwis can go wild, especially if they are well-sited with good sunlight, soil and water. They can grow as much as 250’ of vine in one year. They adapt well to heavy annual pruning, like grapes. This concentrates the plant into a smaller area, and lets them put more energy into larger clusters of fruit.
Hardy kiwis are one of those plants that has distinct male and female plants. The females are the ones that bare fruit - and there are therefore lots of different varieties. The males are required for pollination - as with many other plants, insects such as bees are crucial to performing pollination, which leads to lots of fruit set. Unless you are growing one of the rare varieties (such as Issai) that has both male and female blossoms, you will need one male plant to pollinate up to 8 female plants. By the way - a note on Issai, I found it wasn’t hardy for me. Not to say you couldn’t grow it in a more sheltered area in Ontario, but I wasn’t happy with it when I tried it.
A third species of kiwi, Silvervine Kiwi (Actinidia polygama), has fruits that taste like hot peppers. We are not offering this one at the moment, but hope to be able to again in future years. There are actually dozens more wild species, but it seems only about 4 have been domesticated regularly.)
If you get your fill of fresh hardy kiwi (I’m not kidding when I say mature vines can yield 50 to 100lbs of fruit - seriously! Look it up!), there are lots of ways to preserve it, from dehydrating, to canned preserves. Juice? Fruit leather? The sky’s the limit. And by the way, while you’re eating that 100lbs of fruit, you’re also boosting your Vitamin C levels enormously. Hardy kiwis have 5 times as much Vitamin C as black currants, which are often cited as having the highest vitamin of any commercially sold fruit (4x as much as oranges - which would mean that hardy kiwis have 20 times as much Vitamin C as oranges - which is kind of staggering!)
Bonus - once your vines are established, they can also be tapped for sap. I can’t wait until I have some large enough, so I can try making syrup out of it...
This year we’re bringing in some new varieties we’ve never sold before. Don’t forget, if this is your first hardy kiwi, you’ll want to for sure order a male plant to pollinate up to 8 females.
Found near the border of North Korea by the Chang Bai Mountain Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agriculture, this unique variety of Hardy Kiwi is very sweet and has a unique almost apple shape to the fruit. Chang Bai hardy kiwi is great if you are looking to add some variety to your kiwi orchard or as your primary fruit producer.
A superior, large fruited hardy kiwi variety from Italy, Rossana bears abundant crops of sweet, very flavorful fruit, weighing up to 1/2 oz.
This unique and productive species of Hardy Kiwi, Early Cordifolia is prized for its very sweet and flavorful, large, dark green fruit.
Natasha Hardy Kiwi is from Vladivostok, Russia, this exceptionally hardy kiwi variety bears abundant crops of sweet and delicious, large round fruit.
This exceptionally hardy kiwi female variety, Tatyana Hardy Kiwi, bears abundant crops of tasty, sweet, large, lime-green fruit.
Andrey (male) Male
Along with Natasha and Tatyana, Andrey is a male Russian kiwi from Vladivostok, Russia. Andrey is very hardy and especially well suited to pollinate these Russian female varieties.
So that’s it. As a reminder, the regular price for these is $25 each, and with the sale, you pay $35 for two. It’s a great deal, and although we have a bit of extra stock, I don’t think it will last very long with these prices.
Enter the coupon code: kiwi at checkout to get the discount.
Bulk Nut Trees
New this year
If you have questions or want to talk to me about your nut tree/forest garden/permaculture project for advice, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m not going to up-sell you or try to sell you trees if I don’t think your project is ready - usually the best way to start a project is with a lot of observation.
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