Evidence of Climate Change: Kiwi in the Bronx

If anyone is looking for local evidence of global warming here in NYC, need look no further than a kiwi farmer in the Bronx

Barbara White, 70, planted two 4-inch seedlings that she received as a gift from her neighbor in the backyard of her Morrisiana home six years ago.

Now, the seedlings have grown into thick vines that rise over the retiree's second-floor balcony and yield about 2,000 kiwi fruit a year.

"I am so proud of this," said White, 70. "I'm a city girl, for me to grow kiwi, I'm like a pioneer."

I'm all for local and organic agriculture in NYC, but I find it very ominous that we can grow citrus fruits in NYC...

I'm not sure, but it could be this is not just a bit of climate change, but also a function of the urban heat island.

Kiwis rarely grow successfully in climates where the temperature can drop below freezing in the spring - such as in New York, where it snowed last April - said Edgar Valdivia, a researcher of rare fruits at Cal Poly Pomona University in California.

"We intensively farm them here, we spray them regularly, we even bring bees into the orchards to pollinate them," said Gavin Fleming, manager at Kiwi360, an enormous kiwi farm and cultural center in New Zealand. "When it gets too cold, we use helicopters to circulate warm air.

"For a person who's just doing it totally organically, she's doing a good job," Fleming said.

Helicopters to circulate warm air?!?! Talk about unsustainable agriculture!

Kiwis in the Bronx. She should definitely sell them at the greenmarket! That would just blow people's minds. What's next? An orange grove in Prospect park? grapefruits fresh from Central park? Mangos grown on Staten Island?