A Lime Affair, Clevedon
Greg McCartney and his wife Christine started growing limes on their Ardmore farm, in the Clevedon Valley, Auckland, just over five years ago. Having worked for many years in the catering industry, Greg and his wife knew there was a huge demand for limes to serve as a garnish for drinks and an ingredient for a growing number of Asian and Mexican restaurants as well as all other restaurants. The problem being that, out of season in New Zealand, the price and availability of imported limes spiked significantly. Even in season, in New Zealand limes are pretty susceptible to weather. The cold makes them turn yellow. The McCartneys had a number of disused hothouses and broken plastic houses on their property and decided to use them to grow hothouse limes.
“All our trees are grown in large pots and grown under either plastic or glass, so we can control the environment from adverse weather and produce limes all year round,” Greg says. “Our limes are all spray-free and we follow organic principles in growing as best we can. We use chicken poop from a local farm for fertiliser where we can too.”
Tip: We have an expectation that limes should be, well, lime. But yellow limes can be just as good as green limes with more favour and juice as they are riper, which can make them better for cooking