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Exotic produce grow in Nova Scotia greenhouse

Tart Chilean guava berries, plump persimmons the size of tomatoes, and pods of blue sausage fruit, also known as dead man’s fingers. This list sounds like an inventory of the world’s most magical fruit aisle, but in fact, all of this exotic produce (and more) is currently sprouting in a massive greenhouse located just outside of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Exotic Fruit Nursery, an operation built and run by biologist turned entrepreneur Annette Clarke, specializes in fruit varieties native to Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia, but it’s also expanding what the “hundred-mile diet” means to hungry East Coasters.

Clarke acquired her penchant for unusual fruits in childhood, during a family vacation to Lake Garda, Italy. She remembers climbing a tree loaded with sweet, ripe figs and eating them right off the branches. “They tasted almost like honey,” she says. “It was an incredible taste that I never forgot.” Clarke, who is originally from Neuss, Germany, first visited British Columbia in the late ’90s, while conducting fieldwork for her forestry and soil science master’s degree from the University of Bonn. She put down roots in the province after meeting John, her future husband, and they settled with their son, Nicholas, in Roberts Creek, a town on the Sunshine Coast. Clarke taught environmental education at public schools and ran a hobby farm, selling run-of-the-mill produce (like tomatoes and cucumbers) at local farmers’ markets in her spare time.

Read the complete article here.

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