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...

Cheese cultures

This is the first of a series of posts about Waikato cheeses. One of the many great things about living in the Waikato is that we have excellent cheese here. I’m not talking about 1kg blocks of bland cheddar or colby. There are wonderful specialist cheese makers in...

Bananas in winter

I’m sitting in my kitchen on a frosty morning, thinking about winter crops in the Waikato. On the table is a basket of freshly picked locally grown bananas. That’s the amazing seasonal abundance of this region. My bananas come from the Raglan garden of Tom...

British pudding

Black pudding isn’t a dessert – it’s a kind of sausage. I love a good quality black pudding. It’s an arcane, weird, polarising delicacy that’s a cornerstone of British regional cuisine. My British father, Ralph Bulmer, enjoyed a traditional English breakfast, and...

Artichoke abundance

This week I’ve been enjoying a big bag of Jerusalem artichokes. Readers of this blog may be aware that I’m partial to weird vegetables. I’ve discovered that many people haven’t tried the interesting and delicious Jerusalem artichoke. The artichokes came from my friend...

Golden apples of the sun

Last weekend I spent a sunny autumn afternoon making apple juice with my friends and neighbours Clare Jackson and Tim Newton. I was helping them process some of their 100kg-plus apple harvest. I was very happy to take home a 5 litre bottle of sweet golden apple juice...

A fortnight of marrows

Recently our fridge has been stuffed with big green marrows. My son Tom’s friend had an abundance of marrows and we ended up with some of the monsters. Marrows are overgrown courgettes or zucchini. When you don’t check the garden for a few days at this time of...

The joy of celery

It’s a great season for celery in the Waikato. Last weekend the Suncakes Gardens stall had piles of beautiful fresh unsprayed celery at Hamilton Farmers’ Market. Celery is one of the unsung heroes of the vegetable kingdom. The celery we get in the supermarket...

Seedlings of success

It’s the time of year when plants grow like crazy as soon as they’re put in the ground. And, in Hamilton we’re lucky to have a source of great quality seedlings at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market. Mark and Nikita from Weathersfield Organics are selling their locally...

Jersey Girls: Cream of the crop

My article about Jersey Girls is in the current issue of OrganicNZ magazine. In a country full of huge dairy farms, it’s wonderful to be able to drink milk from this small family farm near Matamata. Every Sunday I bring home a couple of bottles of Jersey Girls milk...
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