Heather Smith reckons she's never employed a more "grateful" workforce.
Smith, who owns an organic feijoa orchard in the Tukituki Valley just outside Havelock North, is using locals unable to work during Covid-19 restrictions to harvest her crop.
"They are early to work and happy to see each other - two metres away from each other the eye-to-eye contact is refreshing and gladdening," she said.
"I am so appreciative of them and that I have the opportunity to employ such a grateful workforce."
Heather's Feijoas as a business is diversifying in Covid-19 restrictions as well.
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Due to the Hawke's Bay Farmers Market in Hastings being shut down by Covid restrictions the fresh feijoas that are usually sold there have been taken up by a near half ton order to the Chatham Islands.
Backpackers and overseas workers would normally be working during the harvest but with the travel restrictions they are in short supply.
Smith said it was a way to help struggling locals locked out of their normal jobs, while keeping her production moving.
Orchard employee Shariah Wilson said that although times are strange because of Covid-19, it has been refreshing to work alongside Hawke's Bay locals.
"It is nice to be contributing in a positive way for a local business at this hard time and it's just a bonus I love feijoas as many New Zealanders do."
It has been a slow start to the feijoa harvest season, mostly due to the dry summer and autumn and the drought parts of the region are facing, on top of the pandemic restrictions.
The demand for organic feijoas is strong as the orchard supplies juice and fruit for other products, so very little is freshly sold.
Smith has been working on processed feijoa products for many years which are now in nearly 90 independent stores with the Freeze Dried Wedges and Whole Peeled Frozen, all certified organic.
"There is a real cry for feijoas from expats living in Australia and UK especially, with Kiwis just wanting a taste of home," she said.
The company now have an online shop and can ship anywhere globally.
"It is so heart-warming to see how much people love feijoas."