Vis is one of a few places in Croatia where it is possible to grow the tropical fruit.
If you want to be a farmer, you have to be optimistic, says John Repanich with a big smile. He is an American farmer with Croatian roots and an address in Brgujac, on the island of Vis, where he retired with his wife Patricija and now enjoys Mediterranean climate while growing avocados, reports agrobiz.hr on April 21, 2016.
And he does this very successfully. His twenty trees of this tropical fruit are located at a bay on the south side of the island. This is the blooming season, but some of the ripe fruit is still there, on the branches. All around are pine trees, Mediterranean plants and vegetation. Everything is thriving, the air smells of the spring, and Repanich just keeps smiling. This kind of optimism has brought him and his wife to Vis, a place which he never saw before in his life until 1999. Neither did he ever imagine that he would end up living on the island of his ancestors and grow tropical fruits.
“The story about our little experiment is really simple. We had pine trees, which we removed because they were too close to home. But we still wanted to have some nice plants in the backyard and so we planted avocado. The trees are now three to eight years old”, says the former owner of a walnut plantation near Sacramento in California, which stretched along a river on 200 acres of land. However, on Vis he decided to do something entirely different and chose the fruit that comes from the rainforests of Central and South America.
“San Diego is probably the capital of avocado in the United States, and the climate on the island of Vis is quite similar to the one in San Diego, so we decided to try. Because we had nowhere to buy the seedlings of avocado, we were able to grow it only from the seeds of purchased fruit. We had a lot of experience with growing walnut and this has helped us a lot in our experiment”, says John. “Although it is necessary to consider all the advantages and disadvantages of serious farming in this area, I think that avocado is very profitable to grow, both on the island of Vis and in other parts of Dalmatia, as one avocado costs 10 to 14 kuna in stores”, John concluded.