Summer in Hawke's Bay is synonymous with a bounty of fresh fruit, and local growers and retailers are reporting brisk sales leading into Christmas with expectations of a great season ahead.
Co-operative market gardening group MG Marketing Hawke's Bay representative Rob Hollier said it was winding up to peak activity, aided by great weather.
"We are just starting to harvest good volumes of peaches and nectarines, and they all look fantastic with the lovely weather we are having."
He said plums were just starting, expected to be at their best next week, and although apricots were a bit lower in volume than normal the fruit was in good condition.
"Go out and purchase these fruits now while they are at an optimum," he recommended.
At Kirsten's Corner on Longlands Rd, Kirsten Wilson said things were going very well.
"The fruit has got good flavour this year - the cherries and the stonefruit - if you are offering tree-ripened fruit you can't go wrong."
Marian Hirst from Bay Blueberries on Railway Rd, Hastings, said business so far this season had been very promising.
"We have had a great start - it's still early in the season and we are hopeful for the beautiful weather and the sun to continue, which makes the berries even more delicious."
At the Strawberry Farm on Pakowhai Rd, Hastings, Clive Kerrison said production was high for this time of year.
The season looked like it would be longer than normal, he added, with seasonal treats still available post the Christmas rush.
"I would have thought that we would have been out of raspberries by the second week of January but it looks like we will still be picking till the end of the month."
At the Orchard Store at Bay View fruit is always the biggest seller, popular with regular locals and travellers alike.
Trade was busier than usual, and the next summer staple for customers to look forward to was fresh season corn, a spokesperson said.
Summerfruit New Zealand's market update posted on December 21 noted that apricots were in light supply across the country because they were not ripening fast enough to meet demand.
In Hawke's Bay, although low in volume there was some good-sized fruit coming through.
Nectarines were also expected to be more consistent and in good volumes in Hawke's Bay early in the new year.