Grape and apple have been successfully cultivated in Sarawak for decades but mostly confined to the highland regions.
Ba Kelalan and Bario plateaus have a milder temperature compare to lowland areas make these places ideal location to grow temperate fruit varieties.
But, that have not discouraged people of lowlands – Miri, Sibu and Kuching attempt to grow grape, kiwi fruits – temperate fruits native to Europe, Central Asia, and North America.
Hobby growers in Miri, Sibu and Kuching have, in fact, successfully cultivated grape in their backyard garden for years now.
A school in Miri, SK Lutong are so inspired by the success of hobbyist grower elsewhere that they attempt to have their own vineyard in their school. It’s already blossoming and fruiting, to the delight of the school students and teachers.
HOW DO THEY GROW GRAPE
These hobbyist growers make it seems so easy to grow a grapevine – buy few grape cuttings, plant in your backyard then watch it grows.
However, according to Peter Wee it is not really that simple. It requires great patience, care, and regular pruning in order for the grapevine to grow healthily.
“Pruning is to maximize the production potential,” said Peter to maintain a balance between vegetative growth and fruiting.
Pruning also helps develop a structure that will aid the full utilization of sunlights.
Organic fertilizer is the preferred fertilizer for most of the grape growers in Sarawak and said to be effective ways of minimizing damaged caused by insects.
Grapevine also is known to have lasted for hundred of years. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest red grape vine in the world is in Slovenia in the town of Maribor. It is over 400 years old, still, bears grapes.
ANY GRAPE OR TEMPERATE FRUITS GROWER IN BINTULU?
I have not heard or seeing anyone in Bintulu growing grape or other temperate fruits. If you stumble into one or you are one – please share your stories with us.
Perhaps we can pay your vineyard a visit!