Feijoas are as Kiwi as a meat pie and the All Blacks. The little green fruit are embedded in every New Zealander’s psyche. Every Autumn we get a little excited because for a few short weeks we get to indulge our tastebuds with a hit of our favourite, oh so delicious, fruit.
(Aussies pronounce the fruit as FUH-Jo-ahs, Kiwis say FEE-Jo-ahs)
For the 600,000 Kiwi’s in Australia it’s a bit harder to find feijoas. So, if you’re a Kiwi who doesn’t know about Hinterland Feijoas, read on!
Up on the Sunshine Coast, in Belli Park to be exact, is a delightful little farm called Hinterland Feijoas – nestled in the green rolling hills. The farm is home to an orchard of 800 feijoa trees, lovingly tended by owners Sally and Peter.
As proud owners of Australia’s first certified organic feijoa farm, their vision for Hinterland Feijoas has created a business that touches many lives; from local chefs and brewers, to families that travel across the country to collect their share of the highly coveted crop.
In the lead up to the annual feijoa harvest, Sally shares daily Intagram updates about farm life and the progress of her feijoa babies. Feijoa fanatics love her behind-the-scenes stories, and inevitably come to understand more about the challenges and joys of being a farmer.
Always, the crop is in the hands of mother nature. This year, because of the drought, Sally had to make the heartbreaking decision not to sell her feijoas, as they just weren’t up to scratch. The lack of rain and the high summer temperatures have impacted the region.
‘I’m a member of Farmers for Climate Action’ says Sally.
‘I will speak about climate change and soil and farming till the cows come home. It just takes a leap of faith for everyone to join in. Building soil carbon is the basis of organic farming, which is probably one of the best things that the whole world can do to stop climate change.’
Over the last ten years Sally and Peter have expanded their business from selling feijoas at the farm gate. They now have a little gift shop and a food truck on site. They host long lunches, special events and farm tours and have become well-regarded ambassadors for the region.
They also support the Slow Food movement, a global, grassroots organisation that links the pleasure of good food with a commitment to community and the environment.
‘It’s about sourcing and cooking your own food, and paying a fair price for it’, says Sally.
Sally makes an array of jams, pickles and chutneys from her feijoas, and is quick to point out how versatile the fruit is.
‘Feijoas can be used in sweet or savoury dishes. We provide fruit to a local craft brewer who makes a fantastic feijoa beer, and another local company uses our fruit to make feijoa kombucha.’
‘The flavour is sort of a pineapple and guava and strawberry all merged into one.’
As far as this Kiwi is concerned, feijoas are a firm favourite and a taste of home. I’ll be lining up at the farm gate next year to support Sally and Peter with their next crop, and I hope to see lots of my fellow Kiwi’s there!
Like so many businesses, Hinterland Feijoas have been hit by covid and the farm is temporarily closed to the public. But they’ll be back soon, better than ever. Sign up to their newsletter for updates from the farm.
Follow on Instagram at @HinterlandFeijoas
Listen to my podcast episode with Sally:
Hi, I’m Shannon, a travel and food blogger living on the Gold Coast in Australia. My hobbies are gin, cafes and food tours. Sign up for my newsletter and follow me on Instagram @_eatwelltraveloften_ for more of the good stuff.