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...

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...

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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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Seaweed: On beyond sushi

I started thinking about this article when we were on holiday at Matangi. There was beautiful fresh seaweed washed up on the beach. I collected some and made it into a Scandinavian-style smorgasbord salad. (See later in this post for the recipe.) I love sushi, but I’m...

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Buckwheat breakfast

My favourite winter breakfast is hot buckwheat porridge. With a spoonful of home-made Caspian Sea yoghurt, a dash of Sweetree honey and a sprinkle of Trade Aid cinnamon, it’s warming and sustaining. For the purposes of the Waikato Foodbasket, the locally produced...

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The fruits of winter

Last weekend my friend Jane texted: “Let’s go and pick persimmons!” So on a sunny Saturday afternoon we drove out to the persimmon orchard at Matangi and collected some huge bags of gorgeous orange fruit. It was by far the easiest and most rewarding "pick your own"...

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A lot of shallots

Shallots look like small, misshapen onions, or huge, bronze coloured garlic cloves. The Cato’s Potatoes stall at the farmers’ market sells them at this time of the year. These interesting members of the onion family can be easily turned into wonderful cold-weather...

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