Anat and Meir Goldstein of POMIGOLD in Woodside with their pomegranates.

Pomegranates in the Hills

By Kendrea Rhodes

The pomegranate is an ancient fruit, popular for thousands of years as a medicinal food with important health properties. The pomegranate transcends culture, religion and geography — featuring in Greek mythology, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, ancient Egyptian medicinal texts, Art, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism and more. Originally grown in Iran, Turkey and Northern India, pomegranates now grace more of the world’s warmer climates in places like Israel, Spain, California, Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia.

Anat and Meir Goldstein of Woodside, both grew up eating pomegranates. Meir’s Israeli grandmother chopped the fruit for her grandchildren who visited every day after school. On reflection it’s not a great leap from a favoured food in your youth to planting an orchard, but Anat and Meir didn’t necessarily plan this venture from youthful dreams.

The Goldstein’s water automation business, GoldTech Control Systems, specializes in solutions for water fertigation, crop irrigation and climate control. A ‘sacrificial’ crop was required to test the systems and methods. In 2003 Anat and Meir decided to plant pomegranates as their test crop, not expecting that it would blossom into a successful family farm and business known as POMIGOLD.

POMIGOLD now boasts orchards in Woodside and Mypolonga, and a packing factory in Monarto. Their son works full time in the business and their daughter helps whenever possible. They employ 20 seasonal workers, 6 permanent employees and produced 500 tonnes of pomegranates this season — who knew that this ‘happy accident’ would create employment, good health and harmonious business relationships? Not to mention educating the general public on the pomegranate’s medicinal value and how to cut one open (more on that in a moment).

Today, research supports the pomegranate’s healthy reputation with high antioxidant levels outweighing green tea and many other fruits. Go ahead and Google the health benefits of pomegranates and you will find countless sites, journals and peer reviewed papers proclaiming medicinal rewards. It’s often touted that antioxidants found in unpasteurized pomegranate juice may help to fight cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure and boosts immunity.

POMIGOLD frozen juice is cold-pressed, unpasteurized and has nothing added. This preserves the fruit’s health properties and was a deliberate decision by Anat and Meir. Being entrepreneurial, they prefer to work harder with superior healthy produce rather than hitting the supermarket juice aisle with heat treated products. Pomegranates are in season right now, so look for the POMIGOLD 100% Australian label at your local fruit and vegetable shop. To support local produce in the off season (summer) go for the frozen South Australian pomegranate arils and juices.

You can find the Goldstein family’s frozen pomegranate juice in the POMIGOLD fridge at The Hahndorf Fruit & Veg Market and various other local retailers. To find out more, please call Anat on 8389 9477, visit their website (freshhealthytasty.com.au) or find them on Facebook under POMIGOLD.

Now the answer to that all-important question – exactly how do you cut open a pomegranate? Here’s how:  DO NOT CUT IT IN HALF – this is important (if you want to eat it and avoid a mess). Cut the stem end of the pomegranate by about 2cms, until you see the seeds. This reveals the natural sectioning created by the white pith. Follow these section lines by cutting the pomegranate all the way around the outside to the base of the fruit, with the point of the knife targeting the middle ‘crown’ where all the sections meet. Once you’ve cut each section, you can pull them away from the crown with your fingers. The pomegranate is now presentable, portable and easy to eat.

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