Living in a country with an amazing diversity of climates and geology, both of which are highly dynamic, creates many opportunities from a gardener's perspective. However, it does have its challenges when tropical or Antarctic storms, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions occur. Here in Northland, we are most fortunate to be less affected than other regions of New Zealand by all of these events, except for the occasional tropical storm.
Our maritime climate, influenced by both tropical and Antarctic weather systems and with the impact of our impressive mountain ranges that cut across the country, has numerous microclimates, bringing significant regional variations in weather and temperature. Combined with the wide diversity of soils from very recent basaltic lava flows to highly-metamorphosed schists, New Zealand has the potential for an incredible range of food plants to be grown. This is very much the case in Northland, and as Kiwi Gardeners we take full advantage of this.
We are able to grow a wide range of cool to warm temperate crops, including vegetables, herbs, flowers, berryfruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) and deciduous fruit trees (apples, pears, plums, etc.). Here in Northland, in some micro-climates we can grow subtropical fruits, especially certain crops from South America like the babaco and, with some extra protection, we can even grow tropical plants like turmeric, ginger and pineapple. Recently, some mango trees in the region have produced fruits, and there are now avocado trees everywhere and, of course, kiwfruit vines. Additionally, there are all the Mediterranean plants like oranges, mandarins & olives, etc... the list goes on and on.
From a practical perspective, this assists us in being able to support you in growing food plants, as unless you are living in the tropics or close to the Arctic, we will have had the experience of growing many of the plants you will be interested in growing in your own environment.