Veggie hybrids to greet visitors at TA agri-exhibit

The personal watermelon is the brainchild of the Israeli company Origin, which develops versions of the fruit in various sizes.

By
June 9, 2013 18:22
4 minute read.
Personal watermelons.

watermelons 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Origin Seeds)

 
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In the urban heart of the bustling Gush Dan this Tuesday and Wednesday, visitors from all over Israel and the world will enjoy an agricultural oasis where they will encounter fresh innovations like personal watermelons, fig-sized spinach leaves and a broccoli-bok choy hybrid.

These agricultural products and many others will be on display at the 23rd annual Fresh AgroMashov exhibition, which will be held at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on June 11 and 12. Farmers, buyers, exporters and agricultural marketers from Israel and around the globe will attend the exhibition and the several conferences taking place under its umbrella, and exchange knowledge and encounter business opportunities throughout the twoday event, which is produced by the Mashov Group Ltd.

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The importance of continuing to host such an exhibition in Israel stems from the country’s placement at the crossroads among Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as its status as a pioneer in agricultural technologies, the Mashov Group said.

The personal watermelon is the brainchild of the Israeli company Origin, which develops versions of the fruit in various sizes, including the “nano” watermelon – which weighs only about 1.51 kilograms and contains tiny seeds that are suitable for eating.

Also produced by Origin is a slightly larger personal watermelon weighing between 2 and 3 kg., as well as medium and large watermelons respectively weighing between 4 to 6 and 8 to 10 kg., the company said. The melons feature a bright red internal hue, high lycopene levels and a long shelf life, according to Origin.

“People always complain about the big size of the watermelon, and the whole idea was to create smaller watermelons with high sugar content that are easy to carry and will be enough for one person,” Dov Godinger, vice president and head of sales and marketing at Origin, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Such watermelons could be ideal for small families and for elderly people who do not want to deal with carrying and storing an enormous fruit in their fridges, he explained.



Thus far, Origin’s main markets for the personal watermelons are found in the US, South America and other locations outside Israel.

While in markets outside of Israel the watermelons can be sold by the unit, the fruits are still only sold by the kilogram in Israel, Godinger said.

“So sometimes it’s not worth it for the farmer to grow,” he continued, stressing that the whole watermelon industry in Israel would grow if farmers could sell by the unit.

At the AgroMashov exhibition on Tuesday and Wednesday, Origin aims to put its entire range of watermelon sizes on display. From there, Godinger said he hopes “to expose [the personal watermelon] again to the public, and to see how it will work.”

In addition to the watermelons, a wide range of other unique fruits and vegetables will appear at the exhibition.

Moshe Medini Agriculturalists, based in the Tamar Regional Council moshav of Neot Hakikar, will be showcasing specially cultivated spinach leaves that grow approximately to the size of a fig – around 20 millimeters – and have a much more dominant flavor than a typical spinach leaf. Also on display from the same firm will be specially developed radishes with a juicy texture that can be added as-is to salads.

A hybrid version of broccoli and bok choy (Chinese cabbage) in a shape reminiscent of asparagus will be on display at the booth of Carmel Yevulim, a family-owned vegetable cultivator located in Moshav Hayogev, just west of Afula. The product, called “Brocco-mini,” has a sweet and light taste with a kick similar to that of a pepper, the company said. Rich in vitamins A and C and low in calories, the Brocco-mini is ideal for cooking, steaming or oven-roasting.

The “spiciest pepper in the world,” estimated to be 150 to 300 times spicier than a regular pepper, will also be available for viewing at the AgroMashov exhibition, from the Yofi Shel Yerakot (Beautiful Vegetables) cooperative group from Ein Yahav in the Arava.

Ben-Dor Fruits and Nurseries, based in the Hula Valley Yesud Hama’ala community since 1880, will showcase a number of innovative fruits, including the “Lamoon Plum,” which resembles a lemon in its yellow color.

Also at the Ben-Dor booth with will be “Watermelon Plums,” which have greenish skins and insides similar to red watermelon flesh, as well as “Pita Peaches” and “Pita Nectarines,” with squashed shapes resembling that of a pita.

In addition to showcasing the fruits, vegetables, dairy products and agricultural technologies of farmers from Israel and around the world, Fresh AgroMashov will also host a number of conferences – including an international opening session on “Trends, Challenges and Opportunities in the Marketing of Fresh Agricultural Products Worldwide,” the AgroMashov Group said.

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