Meet the grower - Brydon Nisbet
Brydon Nisbet, along with his wife Sharon is one of our Rockit™ growers in New Zealand, we caught up with him to find out why he loves growing Rockit.
Where abouts is your Rockit Orchard?
Moteo Pa Rd, Puketapu, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand – “Global Harvest”
What made you want to grow Rockit?
In 2011 my wife and I were at the New Zealand Horticultural Annual conference in Rotorua. One of the conference speakers was Phil Alison talking about “Rockit Apples” he shared about the taste, sweetness, crispness and the innovative way of packaging these miniature apples into sealed tubes – perfect and ready for the international snack market. On each table were about a dozen tubes of these miniature apples – as we left the session we scooped up about 6 tubes and took them back home to the kids in Hawke’s Bay – they were an instant hit not only with the kids but also with us. Two years later in Sep 2013 my wife and I leased a 20 acre pipfruit orchard, we cut down all the apple trees to stumps and grafted Rockit apple on to them – we are expecting our second crop in March 2016.
What differences have you experienced growing Rockit compared to conventional apples?
I have been growing different varieties of apples for around 16 years. Like all apple trees Rockit trees need to be well cared for. One advantage Rockit trees have is that they produce a lot of fruit and because the fruit is miniature in size the trees can hold a good crop – even in the first couple of years of growing. The on-going challenge will be to make sure the crop load on the tree is comparable to the tree size – it is important that we get as much uniform size as possible.
What do you enjoy most about growing Rockit?
I really enjoy growing Rockit™ apples – it is the most talked about apple in the market today. When I tell different people I grow Rockit™ apples it always generates a good conversation – they either want to tell me about their experience eating Rockit™ or they want to hear all about them. I have around 10,000 Rockit™ trees on my orchard and I love seeing the trees going through the different seasons of growth.
What aspirations do you have for Rockit growing in the future?
I believe there is room to have Organic Rockit apples on the market one day – my background is in growing organic apples and I would definitely like to pursue this in time to come. I’m also looking to increase my production area in the next couple of years.
It is extremely exciting to be part of growing the world’s first snack apple and to be able to see the Rockit apples that we grew go to so many nations.