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O is for organic

This post is about a subject that’s very close to my heart. Food quality! Good food that’s fresh, high in nutrients, and free from toxic spray residues. Sadly, these are things we can’t take for granted in our world of industrial agriculture. And the main way we have...

A handful of raspberries

Today I picked a handful of raspberries to have with my breakfast. This gives me an amazing feeling of wellbeing. I haven’t always had raspberries in my life. I spent my childhood in Papua New Guinea, where we had wonderful tropical fruits galore:  fresh pawpaw,...

Perfect strawberries

In my search for the perfect strawberry, I went to talk to strawberry growers Grant and Heather Kane, at their farm south of Cambridge. Kane’s strawberries have a great word-of-mouth reputation. They are reliably excellent in quality and they are often sold out at the...

Buried treasure

Just before the first new potato harvest, I paid a visit to Richard and Judy Cato, whose superb potatoes have been a highlight of the local farmers’ markets. We walked out into one of Richard’s potato fields. They could do with some rain, he said. This has been a very...

Great goats

The latest news in my household is a bottle of delicious Wairere Goat Creamery milk. Up till now there’s been no goat’s milk for sale in local shops, and I’ve wondered why.  I was delighted to speak with Claude Capon, the man behind this new Waikato business supplying...

Why local food?

It’s taken me a while to get around to writing this post, which goes to the heart of why the Waikato Foodbasket exists.  Here are three big reasons why I think buying and eating local food is important: 1. Local food is generally the freshest in season, because it...

Eat your weeds

I have to admit that my garden contains more than a few weeds. I don’t like using poisonous sprays, and I’m always looking for better ways to manage all these uninvited plants. So when I heard that edible weed expert Julia Sich was running a workshop in my...

In season: watercress

Fresh at the farmers’ market this weekend: wonderful, peppery wild watercress from the Roto-o-rangi free-range eggs stall. And there was also some in the Ooooby box, so we’ve had two watercress salads this week. Watercress is a cousin of garden cress, mustard and...

Keeping kombucha

Kombucha is turning up all over the place these days. There are bottles of kombucha in the drinks chiller of the Hamilton East Binn Inn. (All the way from the United States!) But it’s easy to make it at home. And if you’re brewing it yourself, it counts as local...

Remembering the leeks

Leeks are a low-profile cousin of onions and garlic. It’s easy to dismiss them, but they are easy to grow at home, and they go really well in all kinds of slow food. Leeks have a sweet, oniony flavour – an “x-factor” that gives depth to many classic recipes.  My...