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Greece starts harvesting organic kiwis this week

The organic kiwifruit harvest is getting started this week at Georgios Kyriakopoulos' company. The orchard is located in Agios Vasillios, three kilometres north of Mesolongi. The grower was visited on Monday, October 20. This visit was part of the press trip organized (between October 18 and 21) by Bio Net West Hellas.

Georgios Kyriakopoulos with some ripe kiwis in the orchard.

In addition to organic kiwifruit, Georgios also grows organic olives. "The kiwifruit harvest starts next week. We are expecting much better yields than last year, probably even double the yield. Even then, we can't call this season very good", Georgios says. Fellow grower Georgios Saltos' orchard was hit by a hailstorm earlier this month, which didn't affect Georgios Kyriakopoulos' orchard, fortunately.

The trees are rather full.

The main kiwifruit variety in his orchard is the Hayworth. On 5% of the acreage, he cultivates the Greek Tschelidis variety. "The Hayworth is the most well-known variety, and simply the best option for us. This is mainly thanks to better storage possibilities. The Hayworth kiwis can be stored under conditioning until May. The Tschelidis kiwis, while ripe about ten days earlier, actually have to be consumed by mid-December", says Ilias, Georgios' son.

Ilias, Georgios' son, shows how flies are attracted using these bottles.

Ilias confirms that the expected harvest is a lot better than last year, but doesn't speak of a very good year: "Last year, we only had a yield of 15 tonnes, now we're expecting a yield of 50 tonnes, while 80 tonnes would be perfect."

Ilias: "Plenty of shade is very important for the kiwis."

The kiwis up close.

The trees from a distance.

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