If you live in New Zealand and want to buy an avocado tree, you have a long wait ahead of you. Love for the creamy green fruit has apparently reached a fever pitch in Hobbit country, so much so that produce sellers are reporting extremely long waiting lists. According to Stuff.co.nz, “Waikato’s Wairere Nursery is sitting on 86 orders for Hass avocado saplings alone. Add the three other varieties stocked at the Gordonton nursery and the order total creeps past 200.” Some nurseries have been out of trees since April, and don’t expect any more until late September. And even if you’re lucky enough to get a tree, it probably won’t bear fruit for about three to five years.
So rabid New Zealand avocado fans are turning to crime, says the BBC, with “local media widely reporting on thousands of dollars worth of avocados being stripped from trees both under the cover of night and in broad daylight.” There are even tips on how to identify a black market avocado—it involves checking the length of the avocado stalk (Also, kudos to the headline writer: “How to spot an illegal avocado”).
Markets fluctuate, obviously, but those lucky avocado tree owners may be raking in some serious bank in three to five years—might be time to consider a local stand offering green smoothies and avocado toast.