The mighty quince

This post is about quinces. There’s a garden in my neighbourhood with a quince tree on the front lawn. At this time of year it’s festooned with fat yellow quinces. And the grass around the base of the tree is covered with windfall quinces. Quinces look like big blobby...

Chestnuts – catch them while you can

We’re in the middle of the brief and glorious chestnut season in the Waikato. Chestnuts are a seasonal treat, so I aim to make the most of them. For a few brief weeks they’re dropping off trees everywhere – and then they’re gone until next year. In this post I share a...

Plum bounty

At this time of year, plum trees are laden with fruit in the Waikato. But, these are backyard plum trees. It’s hard to buy locally grown plums. There’s only one kind of plum (which definitely isn’t local) at my local fruit shop, and none at the supermarket. The Divine...

Festive fizz

Seven gorgeous alcohol-free summer drinks. This summer, try making some of these delicious and interesting beverages.  Most ready-made drinks (healthy and otherwise) are very sweet. When you  make them yourself you’ll know exactly how much sugar you’re...

Asparagus: love it while it lasts

It’s the middle of the brief local asparagus season. We’re incredibly lucky to have superb local asparagus at the Waikato farmers’ markets. Bill and Irene Cummings of Greenfern-Les Asperges have been growing their certified organic asparagus since 2003. And they also...

Jersey Girls update

I’m a big fan of Jersey Girls milk. It’s locally produced, by a small herd of A2 jersey cows, on a family farm near Matamata. It’s fully certified organic. And, it’s superb milk. Here’s a post I wrote a while back about the Jersey Girls story. Jersey Girls –...

In love with tarragon

After I wrote the post about herbs and spices in the Waikato, my husband Matthew immediately said, “but what about tarragon?” Tarragon is his favourite herb. He means French tarragon of course. See further down this post for more about the different kinds of tarragon....

Better butter

Writing about butter is close to the top of my list of interesting things to do. After eating butter. It has always surprised me that the Waikato doesn’t have a premium iconic butter product. Our beautiful grass-fed dairy cows produce so much milk and cream, but up...

Living herbs and spices

My life would be boring without fresh herbs and spices. Here’s my guide to what herbs and spices you can (and can’t) grow in the Waikato. And also, where/ how to get them. This is a follow-up to Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Here’s a link to that post: Home-grown...

Whole hearted and local

Hamilton only has a few independent grocery shops, so each and every one is to be treasured. Whole Heart has been open since last year. It’s in Queenwood Village, a little block of shops on a sunny suburban corner not far from River Road and a few blocks from...