BAGBANI


  

         KIWI ORCHARD                                     KIWI FRUIT

 

KIWI – GROWING IN THE GARDEN

Kiwi fruit is the edible fruit of Actinidia Deliciosa, and hybrids between this species and others in the genus Actinidia.

Kiwifruits owe their name to a bird, native of New Zealand, named "kiwi", and actually in many regions of Europe, North America and South America, kiwi fruits are generally referred to as "kiwi"

 

This fruit consists of a hairy, brown peel containing green flesh, with white pulp in the center, surrounded by black, edible seeds. The fruit has a sweet taste, similar to a mixture of banana, pineapple and strawberry. Kiwi fruits are native to China, where they were called "macaque peach".

 

Nutrition-wise, kiwi fruits contain about as much potassium as bananas, and also contain 1.5 times the DRI for Vitamin C. It is also rich in Vitamins A and E, and its black seeds can be crushed to produce kiwi fruit oil, which is very rich in Alfa-Linoleic Acid (an important Omega-3 essential fatty acid).

 

Sliced Kiwifruits

 

Studies have proven that kiwifruits are useful in improving conditions of asthmatic children, and in decreasing the probability of colon cancer by providing a good amount of dietary fiber, for more information please refer to our kiwifruit health benefits page

 

Please be aware that kiwifruits can be allergic to some individuals, since they contain the protein-dissolving enzyme "actinidin". The most common symptoms include itching of the mouth, lips and palate, but can range to a more severe level such as wheezing or collapsing.

 

The part where it gets more interesting is actually the history of kiwifruit : you will learn that they originated from China and were unknown to the western world until as late as the 20th century!

 

Enjoy the benefits of this delicious fruit and don't forget to bookmark this site for future reference!

 

HEALTH INFO

Kiwi fruits are rich in many Vitamins, flavonoids and minerals. In particular, they contain a high amount of Vitamin C (more than oranges), as much potassium as bananas and a good amount of beta-carotene.

 

Studies in Italy, though, performed on 6-7 year old children, have also demonstrated additional health benefits to the respiratory tract. In particular, children that were fed 5-7 portions a week of citrus and kiwifruits had 44% less probability wheezing compared to children eating less than once a week.

 

Shortness of breath was reduced by 32%,night time cough by 27%, severe wheeze by 41%, chronic cough by 25%, and runny nose by 28%. This results is not only traceable to the content in Vitamin C or Potassium, but in substances which are still largely unknown contained in kiwi fruit.

 

These substances are most likely flavonoids that help protect our cells from oxidative damage, and are therefore considered very helpful in protecting our DNA from mutations and damage.

 

Protection from Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)

A series of studies published by the Archives of Ophthalmology have proven that consuming 3 or more servings of fruit per day (including kiwi fruits) can reduce by 36% the risk of developing an eye-related disease called ARMD (the primary cause of vision impairment in adults), if compared to people who only consume 1.5 servings of fruit per day.

 

The study was conducted on 110.000 women and men and lasted several decades. Surprisingly, the study found that while vegetables were not correlated with an improved resistance to the disease, fruits containing high amount of Vitamin C,A and E (the most common antioxidant vitamins) helped significantly in protecting against ARM.

 

Anti Oxidant properties of Kiwi Fruit

It is important to note that kiwi fruits contain a remarkable amount of Vitamin C, E and A. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that has been proven to protect our body from free radicals, dramatically improving the health of individuals who consumed it regularly against all kinds of disease, from cardiovascular problems. to cancer and obesity.

 

Vitamin E has been proven to have similar effects, but is fat-soluble and thus is complimentary to Vitamin C in its functions. Kiwi fruits contain both these vitamins in high amount, which help protect our body against free radicals from all fronts.

 

Kiwi fruits have a high fiber content

The high content in dietary fiber helps improving diseases such as diabetes, by controlling sugar levels, and cancer color, since fiber binds to toxic compounds in the colon and helps us expel them.

 

Fiber has also been proven to reduce cholesterol levels, improving the conditions of patients with cardiovascular diseases and lowering the probability of heart attacks.

 

Summary of Kiwifruit Health Benefits

Eating kiwi fruit is clearly a healthy choice, and it is particularly useful in these cases:

  • Prevents Asthma
  • Prevents wheezing and coughing, especially in children
  • Protects our DNA from mutations.
  • Provides a healthy amount of antioxidants and vitamins.
  • Helps prevent colon cancer thanks to a high fiber content.  

CULTIVATION OF KIWIFRUIT

Kingdom

Plantae - Plants

Subkingdom

Tracheobionta - Vascular plants

Superdivision

Spermatophyta - Seed plants

Division

Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants

Class

Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons

Subclass

Dilleniidae

Order

Theales

Family

Actinidiaceae - Chinese Gooseberry family

Genus

Actinidia Lindl. - Actinidia

Species

Actinidia Deliciosa - Kiwi Fruit

 

The kiwifruit tree, or Actinidia Deliciosa is native of the Yangtze region of China, and was imported to New Zealand in the early 20th century.

 

Kiwifruit Adaptation

Kiwifruit plants need at least 240 frost-free days, and they're pretty susceptible to sudden drops in temperature in early autumn or late winter. They can withstand a temperature of about 10°F when fully dormant, but they're still vulnerable to sudden lower temperature and must acclimate slowly.

 

Late winter freezes will usually kill all the buds, and possibly cause trunk splitting which severely damages the plant. Generally, if peaches, almonds and citrus can survive, so can kiwi fruits.

 

The Hayward cultivar needs a winter rest of 800 hours between 32°F and 45°F, whereas the needs of other cultivars vary very widely: if the winter is too mild the plant may not lose its leaves and subsequently fail to flower.

 

Choosing a site for Kiwifruit Cultivation

The best site to plant a kiwi fruit tree in in moderately sunny place, where they can ramble across a trellising system. They will tolerate a light shade, if needed. Vines should be protected from strong winds, since they can snap off new growth.

 

The soil should be acidic, with a pH of about 5-6.5, rich in organic matter and not too salty. If the soil is too basic, leaves will show nitrogen deficiency.

 

Water is fundamental to kiwifruit plants: they should be planted on a well drained soil and watered constantly, especially in summer when they usually undergo the most stress. Water is the single most important cause of kiwifruit tree exfoliation: leaves will usually turn brown and fall off if the plant has to endure constant stress.

Kiwifruit trees need a lot of nitrogen, especially in the early season, so add a nitrogen-rich fertiliser early on. Adding nitrogen in late season may cause the fruit to store poorly, so it's a best practice to avoid overdoing it. Early fertilizations can be done with an avocado tree fertilizer, while watering well, around March. Subsequent fertilization can be done in early summer.

 

Mulching is also recommended, using manure or straw, even though the mulch should not come in direct contact with the vine.

Pruning is very important for adequate fruiting: since the vine usually grows on a wire or t-bar system, it shold be pruned where it forms a "pigtail" shape, at the end of the growth spurt.

 

How to plant a Kiwi Fruit Vine

You can purchase a kiwi fruit seeds in a store, and plant them in spring, in a moist planted (but not soaking with water). In about 5 weeks, the seeds will germinate: at that point they will need grafting to allow for better plants and to produce known sex plants.

 

If you intend to purchase a grown plant, it is slightly better to choose the cutting grown (the other choice being a grafted plant), since it usually withstands winter freezes better.

 

Pests and diseases are not a big problem to kiwifruit plants, since the soil they grow on is not usually home to pests. However, the plant attracts animals like cats (that love to rub against new shoots, damaging them), deer, garden snails and gophers. Be wary of root-rot nematodes that may weaken the plant, especially in its young stage.

 

Kiwi fruit should be harvested around mid-november, when the seeds are completely black. It can then be stored in a plastic bag, inside a refrigerator, where it can last up to several months. It can also be further ripened if kept in a plastic bag, at ambient temperature

 

 

 

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