REELTOWN, Alabama – A small community in eastern Alabama is home to the nation’s only commercial golden kiwifruit orchard, an innovative operation that could lead the way in establishing a new specialty crop for growers across the Southeastern U.S.
The Southeast Kiwi Farming Cooperative, established in 2014 and located in Tallapoosa and Macon counties, grows varieties of golden kiwifruit developed and patented at nearby Auburn University, and aims to export them to far-flung global markets.
Golden kiwifruit, in contrast to its green counterpart, has bright yellow flesh and smooth, not fuzzy, skin. It also has a sweeter, more mellow flavor than the tart taste of green kiwifruit.
“The goal is to get it overseas to places like Japan and Southeast Asia where gold kiwifruit is in high demand,” said Clint Wall, co-op vice president and manager.