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The Williamses brought some early corn, carrots, more turnips, and the last of their lettuce. The Haddads brought a bushel of potatoes, ginseng, and some precious Lebanese spices they’d managed to keep in the family for generations. The Wu family, who kept the orchard down the road towards Queenstown, brought Saskatoon berry and haskap preserves and fresh plums, and they promised that the kiwis and apples seemed to be coming along on schedule and would be available next month. All the families brought as much of what they could; celebrations were an important chance to balance their larders. What they didn’t eat, they would exchange when they parted ways.Saskatchewan seems like the most unlikely place in the world to have a thriving industry in kiwi fruit cultivation. And yet, this has been a feature of Saskatchewan's orchard industry since before The Cataclysm. Kiwifruit, also known as Chinese gooseberries or simply as "kiwis," are the edible berries of several related species of woody vines in the genus Actinidia. The most commonly cultivated species of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa 'Hayward') is oval, about the size of a large hen's egg: 5 to 8 cm (2–3 inches) in length and 4 and a half to 5 and a half cm (1 and 3/4 to 2 and 1/4 in) in diameter. Its light brown skin is thin, fuzzy, and fibrous, but it is edible, if tart. Its flesh is light green or golden with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit is soft and has a sweet and unique flavour that people compare to something like a citrus strawberry. It is believed that the kiwi originated in China, and its cultivation was spread to nearby Australia and New Zealand. A university in pre-Cataclysmic Saskatchewan began experimenting with kiwi cultivation a couple of decades prior to the Cataclysm. These experiments led to commercial cultivation, and after the Cataclysm, a number of orcharders worked hard to maintain their hard-won kiwi crops. Today, the kiwi has become naturalized to The Windpan, and is a highly-prized luxury fruit crop.
Genetics and Reproduction
Commercially, different breeds are used for rootstock, creating seeds that are crossbreeds of both a fruit bearing plants and pollinators. Even if the same breeds are used for pollinators and fruit bearing plants, there is no guarantee that the fruit will have the same quality as the parent. Seedlings take seven years before they flower, so determining whether the kiwi is fruit bearing or a pollinator is time-consuming. Therefore, most kiwifruits, with the exception of rootstock and new cultivars, are propagated asexually. This is done by grafting the fruit producing plant onto rootstock grown from seedlings or rootstock grown from cuttings of a mature plant.
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- Scientific Name
- Actinidia deliciosa
- Conservation Status
- Kiwis are still somewhat rare in the Windpan, doing best in the Qu'Appelle Valley, where conditions are ideal.