New Zealand Walnuts Please
Food From Trees
Background to walnut growing in New Zealand
Walnuts are are now a commercial crop in New Zealand but up until recent years they were more of a private use kind of tree. However beginning in the early 1970’s many enthusiasts became interested in them through the Tree Crops Association and the idea of growing walnuts for an income took hold. The New Zealand Walnut Industry Group is a result of dedication to this environmentally sensitive way of producing food. We have a membership of about 80 people, mostly in Canterbury but also in other parts of New Zealand as well. Our largest grower now supplies approximately 40 tonnes per year. Walnut growing in New Zealand has certainly moved on from its humble beginnings.
The pioneers of the industry put a lot of effort into finding and testing local walnut trees that would produce well in our environment. Our two main commercial varieties, Rex and Meyric were chosen and are unique to New Zealand. Both have a fresh sweeter taste than many other walnut varieties. Contact details of retail outlets for walnuts can be found here.
At the end of July 2020 a great article about walnuts in New Zealand appeared in the NZ Gardner pages of the Stuff website. The article shares in depth knowledge about walnuts in New Zealand but begins in the times of Alexander the Great, the Silk Road and the Romans. It’s well worth reading. “The article is entitled Going nuts about walnuts: How to find the best for your region” and you can read it here.