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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...