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“It’s good knowing our satsumas are all around the country – a healthy product that’s feeding Kiwis from all walks of life.”
The Thurstons are three years into their satsuma-growing journey for First Fresh. On their 7.1-hectare orchard, they exclusively grow First Fresh satsumas. And they can’t get enough of these sweet, juicy lunchbox heroes. “We love growing satsumas. For one, they’re good to eat. And seeing the crop get better each year is rewarding,” says Kathryn.
Kathryn and Aaron’s highlight thus far has been watching a big improvement in the health of their satsuma trees since they took over the orchard. Their passion and talent at making good things grow – plus a little help from their friends at First Fresh – is responsible for tonnes of sweet, premium satsumas heading out into the world from the Thurston’s now-thriving orchard. But it wasn’t always this way, Kathryn explains. When they took the property on, some of the trees were not in a good way. “Seeing them come back to life and produce really well has been great – beyond our expectations, really.”
Aaron says, “Production-wise, we didn’t think we could get much better – but our output just seems to keep growing!”
It’s been a winding road to citrus orcharding for Kathryn and Aaron Thurston: they’ve been around the rural block, from kiwifruit, to cows, to citrus. It seems they’ve now found the rural lifestyle that suits them. “Previously, we had a kiwifruit orchard in Te Puke,” says Kathryn. “Then, we were dairy farming with a herd of 300 cows. So growing satsumas is not really many hours of work compared to that!”
For Kathryn and Aaron, the rewards come from watching their delicious fruit land in lunchboxes and fruit bowls nationwide. “It’s good knowing our satsumas are all around the country – a healthy product that’s feeding Kiwis from all walks of life,” says Kathryn.
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From our trees to your kitchen
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