Local and/ or organic food

Local and/ or organic food

This is a post about two (related) questions. One, is there a shortage of locally grown food in the Waikato? Two, where is the locally grown organic food? This post was sparked by two timely emails. The first was from Waikato Environment Centre co-ordinator Ruth...

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The Great Pumpkin

The Great Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a great asset in the winter kitchen. I love transforming pumpkins into soups, salads and much more. They keep well in a cool dry place, and if you don’t grow your own, they’re not expensive. And they’re beautiful, both inside and out.   Pumpkin seems to...

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Raglan Fish: The local catch

Raglan Fish: The local catch

Raglan Fish is great news for local fans of seafood. And you don’t even have to drive to Raglan. We can find Raglan Fish in three places: at Raglan Wharf, and at Cambridge and Hamilton Farmers’ Markets. In my household we’re very fond of their excellent smoked fish...

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Orange is for winter

Orange is for winter

Midwinter is a wonderful time for oranges and other citrus in the Waikato. There are trees laden with beautiful oranges, mandarins, tangelos and clementines in home gardens all over the place. We’ve been collecting clementines from a couple of neighbours who mostly...

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Gardening with garlic

Gardening with garlic

This time of year, many of my friends are planting garlic. I’d love to be planting garlic myself, but right now I’m stuck with a fractured foot and can’t garden. So, I’m writing about it instead. Growing garlic is incredibly satisfying. You (usually) get a great...

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Persimmons: for people or birds?

Persimmons: for people or birds?

There are bare-branched persimmon trees with clusters of beautiful orange tomato-shaped fruit, dotted around my neighbourhood.  Persimmons aren't just beautiful, they're delicious too (I like them, anyway). There are two main kinds of edible persimmons, astringent and...

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Fresh winter greens at Hamilton Farmers’ Market

Fresh winter greens at Hamilton Farmers’ Market

We came home from yesterday’s Hamilton Farmers’ Market with the most wonderful haul of fresh winter greens. There’s a new stall selling some terrific green vegetables. This weekend they were selling a couple of Asian style greens, my favourite daikon radish and some...

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Feijoa fortnight: Green eggs

Feijoa fortnight: Green eggs

This week there are feijoas everywhere in our neighbourhood. Green eggs start dropping off trees around Easter time. For a fortnight – maybe a bit longer – there is an amazing abundance of feijoas. We currently have four buckets full at the back door.  I love feijoas...

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O Kale!  Enjoy this virtuous vegetable

O Kale! Enjoy this virtuous vegetable

At the farmers’ market at this time of year, the standout seasonal green is kale. I buy mine from the Catos, who also sell excellent potatoes and garlic. This weekend they had two kinds of kale: green and red, which is actually more like purple. It’ll be even sweeter...

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Blueberry fields forever

Blueberry fields forever

Monavale blueberries are one of the great treats of my Sunday visit to the farmers’ market. And at this time of year they're at their best. There’s usually a line of people waiting to get their weekly fix of the delicious organic icecreams and smoothies. And they also...

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Plums, plums, plums

Plums, plums, plums

Meet Mr Billington, my wonderful plum tree. (Or maybe it’s Mrs Billington?) Either way, this tree is having a great summer. We have an amazing abundance of plums right now. We have so many plums that the birds can’t eat them all.  Mr Billington is a mere six years...

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Glorious artichokes

Glorious artichokes

Globe artichokes have always been a favourite part of a New Zealand summer for me. They’re beautiful sculptural plants, which look like giant, non-spiny thistles. Globe artichokes are delicious and they're pretty easy to grow, if you have a sunny, sheltered garden and...

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Volare: our daily bread

Volare: our daily bread

This summer my top choice of bread has to be Volare’s beautiful sourdough buns and Italian-style ciabatta. They’re perfect with a barbecue (or any other time actually). We’re so lucky to have Volare in Hamilton.  Volare is a fairly young business, started six or seven...

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Hobbit food

Hobbit food

Unless you’ve spent the last decade living in a hole in the ground, you’ll probably be aware that this part of the world is “The Shire” for Peter Jackson’s film versions of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.  The spruced-up Hobbiton film set near Matamata is now a...

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Loquat season

Loquat season

Our loquat tree has had a wonderful long season this year. There are still plenty of golden fruit on the tree in mid December. The birds get quite a few, but there are enough for me. This morning I had freshly picked loquats with yoghurt for breakfast. I love the...

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