Avoland Avocados is owned and operated by Paul & Maria Bidwell who planted the first Hass Avocados in Tasmania in 2010.
Avoland is a 3 Ha Avocado orchard located in the Central Coast on the fabulous deep rich red volcanic soils of the North West.
Paul & Maria have been growing Avos for 25 years and chose to re-locate to Tasmania’s cool climate in 2009, to establish a commercial orchard, Avoland Avocados.
The orchard consists predominately of Hass with some plantings of Bacon and Reed Avocados.
The trees flower in November/December with the fruit fully mature 14-15 months later in February/March .
The low stress environment and lack of any insect pests in the North West allows us to grow high quality Avocados, pesticide free.
Harvest Profile – Avoland Avocados:
Local Tasmanian avocados are delighting Harvest Launceston Community Famers’ Market thanks to pioneering avocado growers Paul and Maria Bidwell. Since late January, eating local has achieved new heights with the second harvest of avocados grown on the North West coast by this ground-breaking couple.
The first commercial growers of Tasmanian avocados, Paul and Maria established the orchard in 2009. Following a Tasmanian holiday in 2007, the couple relocated from Western Australia, where they had been growing avocados since the 1980’s. Paul described how, after falling in love with the rich volcanic soils, they decided to make the big move to the island state. Their farm is at Gawler / North Motton at an altitude of 120m and 5km from Bass Strait. The area enjoys a mild temperate climate that puts little stress on the trees. This in combination with the soils, has seen Hass trees growing spectacularly well. The first fruit harvested in 2015 lived up to quality and size expectations for the young trees, aged four to five years. This season, their second harvest has exceeded expectations which means Paul and Maria will be at Harvest Launceston with high quality, pesticide free avocados with low carbon miles for a few more weeks yet.
Avocados take a long time to grow up, the harvest for 2017 is already on the trees, but the fruit has a short shelf life so Paul and Maria have some advice on how, with a little help and planning, you can get the best avocados.
Firstly, avocados need to spend a long time on the tree to reach full maturity and to maximise the oil content that gives the fruit its wonderful nutty buttery taste. Avocados do not ripen on the tree, but only after they are picked. Therefore says Paul, “Buy them green, hard and regularly, and you will never be disappointed or without a ripe avo. Once the fruit is ripe it can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, so there’s plenty of flexibility in enjoying your next delight. You know when they are ripe, as they are soft like pressing the front of your nose.”
However, avocados must not be refrigerated until ripe, as this will result in all the flesh going brown when ripe instead of the gorgeous green. Avocados have a very high vitamin E content and will oxidise to brown on the surface when cut in half. To minimise browning cover any uneaten flesh with a moistened paper towel and then plastic wrap. Remember the brown is not off, just the vitamin E (anti-oxidant) doing its thing, remarked Paul.
Paul notes that with climate change upon us, the future production of avocados is looking very positive for Tasmania, and he and Maria are eager to share with market goers the ins and outs of getting the best out of the fruit.
Rated by the World Health Organization as the most nutritious fruit, the tree originated in Mexico, Guatemala and the West Indies as a subtropical rainforest tree, as an under storey plant, it fed on the dense litter of the forest floor. The avocado species Persea americana is naturally found in the cool mountains of Central America and is therefore very much okay with being in the Tassie cool. In fact the cooler Tasmanian climate allows the avocados to mature slowly, producing a high oil content when allowed to fully mature on the tree. This growing process means picking of the fruit does not take place until some 14 months after flowering and fruit set.