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Olive oil and pop up stores

By Don Farmer

[email protected]

Wairarapa is an incredible place, of that there is no doubt and again this week we were reminded of our success rate.

This time it was being able to produce some of the country’s best olive oil, something our forebears would never had dreamed possible.

In days of yore Wairarapa was primarily a pastoral producing area, although apples, pears and small fruits flourished here.

Then lo and behold a serious wine industry arose mostly based in Martinborough but which has since blossomed into many other areas of the region.

Olives has followed along to the extent Wairarapa entries in New Zealand’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards dominated the winners’ table.

We won 55 of the 128 medals available nationwide, an incredible achievement and one that took a lot of people here by surprise.

One of the most successful olive farms was Juno Olives whose grove is just south of Greytown.

Karen Juno put their medal success, they won 12, down to several factors.

Good processing standards was one she earmarked as was overall good management and environmental factors.

The last named is very interesting as included in that must surely be soil suitability.

Greytown has bands of top class market gardening soil interspersed with lesser soils, which extend out over the Moroa Plains.

Obviously the stony regions which tend to dry out quickly in summer are no handicap to crops such as olives.

The Olive Press in Greytown won Best Processor for 2016 at the awards and won Gold and best in class for its olive oil blend Pressed Gold.

Managing director Bruce McCallum was naturally delighted.

There were other Wairarapa winners also and the bottom line is diversification that brings success such as this is to be welcomed and applauded.

Not so welcome apparently, at least with some Greytown people, is the arrival of The Warehouse Pop Up Store which is coming to town for the duration of this coming summer.

Critics claim “big box stores” are not part of the town’s boutique shopping experience.

The Warehouse on the other hand claims pop-up stores have attracted really positive feedback when installed in other centres.

It remains to be seen how things will pan out in Greytown.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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