Hastings 79-year-old Bernie Caccioppoli is a dab hand at growing fruits in his garden, but bananas?
That's something new for even him.
Bernie enjoyed the fruits of his labour this week and his wife Bev Caccioppoli says they are the best bananas she has tasted since "back in the days".
She used to get her bananas from Slaters, now known as Turners and Growers, in Market St, Hastings.
"Bernie and I have been married for 56 years and we had a bunch of kids. I remember, back in the day, I used to get 40 pounds of bananas and from Slaters.
"Slaters had five ripening rooms, from one to five, and I would say I want bananas from room 2.
"They were nicer than what you get from the supermarket these days.
"I would take them home and my kids would demolish them. If I wanted to make a cake I would have to hide some under my bed."
Bev believes that the way the bananas are treated in New Zealand these days is different, which is why her husband decided to grow his own.
And with climate change causing rising average temperatures, Hawke's Bay is now ripe for growing bananas, she said.
"Bernie is a grafter and he does fruit grafting in winter. We've grown fruit all our lives.
"Ever since he had a stroke though he just potters around here.
"Growing bananas is just something he decided to go for, for the fun of it. It's the first time we tried and first time we got something," Bev said.
"Hawke's Bay climate is not as good as Whangārei but we are getting warmer."
The banana palm they have grown is two and a half years old and the type is Lady Finger.
"We had some bad rain, frost, the bananas did get hit a little, but we covered it with hessian and they are okay now.
"He [Bernie] has got 100 bananas from this crop, the mother crop."
Bev said while bananas were easy to grow they were a bit temperamental.
"You have to keep the birds and rodents away.
"You have to keep her warm and you need to find a place with a little bit of protection, and a little shelter."
They have planted another palm which is a year behind for fruits.
"The second one is more sheltered so we might get more bananas. But if we don't we won't lose any sleep over it."
Their banana-growing efforts have impressed Hawke's Bay Regional Council chairman Rex Graham.
Graham said while he was "really impressed" that someone in Hastings had made the effort to grow their own bananas, Hawke's Bay was still a long way away from growing bananas commercially.
"It would take a lot of global warming to make it happen.
"Maybe in 50 years time we could grow our own."