News to Nectar: Trudi Nelson's sweet transition from city mic to kiwifruit orchards
Food & Fibre
Food & Fibre

News to Nectar: Trudi Nelson's sweet transition from city mic to kiwifruit orchards

After more than 30 years as a broadcaster, news reader, voice artist and more, Trudi Nelson, told REX host Dom George about her radical career shift from a cushy city job to becoming an orchardist in Tauranga, New Zealand. 

Nelson explained that following a series of life-altering events, including turning 50, getting COVID-19, and losing her job, she decided to quit her life in Auckland to purchase Mawhiti, a 3.3-hectare organic green kiwifruit orchard. 

Nelson detailed her journey, discussing the history of Mawhiti, formerly known as Maldon, and its previous owners Malva and Don, who started the orchard in the late '70s. Despite the rigorous reality of everyday orchard life, Nelson expressed satisfaction with her new role. 

"I've never worked so hard in my life, but I can tell you that my legs are really brown and muscly now, so I'm happy," she admitted.

The pair touched on the business aspect of Nelson's new venture. She discussed the forecast for kiwifruit in terms of the orchard gate price, with better prices forecasted for kiwifruit growers. 

When asked about her prior knowledge of orchard work, Nelson revealed that she worked on a kiwifruit orchard during her high school years, but admitted that she's been learning a lot along the way. She also mentioned the assistance she gets from Zespri, a company that oversees all kiwifruit orchards in New Zealand, and Eastpac, who helps her manage the orchard. 

Despite the major lifestyle change, Nelson is content with her decision. She continues to maintain a balance by doing some food writing, hinting at her media roots. 

When asked about future plans, she teases the idea of doing a mini "Clarkson's farm" type video from the orchard. 

Listen to the full chat between Trudi Nelson and Dominic George above.

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