Sunday, October 11, 2009

A great night out for a great cause!

Farmers Markets New Zealand Food Inc Movie

This Wednesday at 8:30pm NZ will see the premiere of the movie Food Inc.

It is probably the most important food movie of the last few years and is creating huge discussion overseas.

Food Inc is a movie about the food we eat. It challenges us to think about who grows it and what modern
developments in food production mean to our health and our environment.

You can see for yourself what all the talk is about by attending the open night screenings throughout
the country.

Farmers Market New Zealand is hosting this premiere in celebration of the new growing season and $5 from
every ticket sold will go directly to your local Farmers Market.

Greystone Wines from the Waipara Valley in North Canterbury will be providing a free glass of wine at
each of the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch screenings.

For more information and to purchase your ticket for only $20 go to

Show support for your local food producers and have a great night out at the same time.

Proudly supported by:
Radio Live - Farmers Markets New Zealand Food Inc Movie Greystone Wines - Farmers Markets New Zealand Food Inc Movie

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by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cabbage - why we love to hate it

The enduring memories of our childhoods often  come back to haunt us, that of cabbage being boiled for hours and the kitchen smelling of sulphur and a grey soggy mess appearing on the plate.  We would be served this unpleasant texture one night, stir fried the next night  and then even in the school lunch box the next day if it was not consumed (and mums and dads wonder why it is not consumed!).  We were told as children it would  keep our hair shiny (and?) and if we did not eat all of our vege we would not get any pud (we did not have pudding very often then)

It is a common fact known to the Greeks,  that grape vines, source of wine, do not flourish when grown near cabbage. The Greeks converted this agricultural knowledge to myth, the myth told of the god of wine, Dionysus, who wandered to Thrace accompanied by his loyal followers . Threatened by Dionysus arrival, Lycurgus captured both Dionysus and all the Bacchae.  To revenge this action, Dionysus had Lycurgus driven mad.  Not in his right mine, Lycurgus mistook his son for a vine and cut his son to pieces. Learning what he had done, Lycurgus wept, and from the tears that fell to the ground sprang cabbage.

It is interesting that the Egyptian Pharaoh used to consume immense quantities of cabbage before setting out for a night of merriment and drinking. They believed that consuming the cabbage gives them freedom to drink more alcoholic beverages without fear of its adverse side effects. This ideology still stands today, with people still practicing the use of cabbage cooked with a bit of vinegar as a cure for hangovers. 

This may explain why Alister sells so many cabbages at the market, it could explain why my hair is not shiny and it could be the reason why there are not many cabbage growers in the Marlborough region.   It could just explain that while you cant force little kids to eat their cabbage the  first night the fear of getting it as left over three days in a row is far greater than any smack as part of good parental correction

BRAISED RED CABBAGE                                                                


200                         G             ONIONS (THINLY SLICED)                                                                             

1                              TBSP      CRUSHED GARLIC                                                                            

800                         G             RED CABBAGE                                                                  

200                         G             BROWN SUGAR                                                                               

200                         MLS       WHITE WINE VINEGAR                                                                 

200                         MLS       RED WINE                                                                           

1                              TBSP      SALT                                                                     

1                              TSP         BLACK PEPPER                                            







Thursday, July 23, 2009

Eggs Anybody?

You can tell a lot about a person by the type of eggs that are sitting in their fridge.

Are they free range? SPCA approved? Organic or barn raised, battery/cage? Or, these days, even vegetarian (funny, I had always though that chickens ate a diet of grains and cereals but when you think about it, free-range chooks eat worms, insects and other small creatures in their habitat).

Mass-farmed chickens will also be fed certain amounts of fishmeal, bone meal or animal byproducts (don't ask too many questions), so it all depends on what side of the chook yard you sit.

New Zealand exports more than 2 million free range eggs a year and has just developed a technique to differentiate free range eggs from cage eggs by using isotope analysis, ie the difference in the carbon and nitrogen found in the hens' diet which makes up the isotope fingerprint of the egg let's keep it simple.

Now this is really interesting stuff because we will soon be able to buy a gadget that sits on our kitchen bench, which we can use to test our eggs, green for free range eggs and blue for battery or cage eggs.

This will be extremely useful and will sit beside the other great kitchen inventions of the 21st century, including the pizza scissors (for cutting the perfect pizza slice), the frozen ice tray smiles (yes, they do look like granddad's dentures in your glass) and the portable toaster (that fits in your handbag).

Yes, I do look forward to the day that my kitchen bench has in place an egg isotope analysis machine. Until then I will just have to keep buying my eggs from my trusted local egg man whom I look in the eye each week when handing over my cash, whom I know produces the best eggs a chicken can lay, whose reputation relies on good old person-to-person contact that can only be done by buying direct from a trusted food producer.

Try this, the perfect skiing breakfast, for when a hard day on the slopes requires a protein-packed start to the day:

6 eggs, well beaten

2 cups milk

1 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper



6 slices cubed wheat bread

1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (grated)

Chopped meat or veges (optional)

Spray an ovenproof pan well with oil. Lay cubed bread in the pan and any meat or veges you like. Add egg mixture, then sprinkle cheese over egg. Cover casserole and place overnight in the fridge. Bake covered at 350 degrees Celsius for 45min, then 10min uncovered.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Going Nuts in Marlborough

When you start scratching the surface of what is in your back yard you come across some hidden talents, and that was the case last week at our monthly slow food event.

Our group of intrepid Marlborough Slow Food foodies were privileged to visit Uncle Joe's hazelnut and walnut factory (I won't even mention that they won Oil of the Show Canterbury two years in a row or a top 10 Artisan Cuisine Award) and Annies Marlborough, followed by a hot glass of mulled wine at the Grovetown Country Hotel.

While I knew that squirrels hoarded nuts over the winter, I had no idea that Malcolm and Jenny's Uncle Joe's orchard would produce such a multitude of nuts, and that their gathering skills would see them become the caretakers for many tonnes of nuts in their Grovetown premises, for eating and cooking as well as for processing into walnut and hazelnut oils and pastes.

The fact that Uncle Joe himself is the legend that sat around the fire cracking nuts with a hand cracker conjures up product integrity.

Leaving the warmth of the nuttery, we travelled in convoy to Annies, where Graeme Giles, enthusiastic as ever, talked to our group about the highs and lows of his business as well demystifying the human digestive system.

After 20 years of Annies products and establishing the standard for healthy fruit bars around the world, there is not much that they have not encountered, and it makes you wonder, where to next?

Well, if you know Graham, he is already looking at the next mountain to climb (which is really no different to selling into international supermarket chains do it one step at a time).

It was time for our group to move on to our last location, the Grovetown Country Hotel. Here we were met by the publican and a hot brew of mulled wine that ended an informative and interesting tour of all things foodie in Grovetown. It never ceases to amaze me what is in Marlborough's backyard.

I am now in Palmerston North. Here is another community in New Zealand looking for information on how to establish a successful farmers' market and food network in its backyard. I wonder what its people will uncover when they start scratching the surface in their region.

Recipes from Uncle Joe's:


5 large eggs, separated

Cup caster sugar

250gm Uncle Joe's sliced hazelnuts

125g best-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

250g dried apricots, sliced

125g fresh dates, stoned, chopped

Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 120 degrees Celsius. Line a 24cm-diameter cake tin with baking the egg whites until they just hold soft peaks and no more. Beat in the sugar a little at a time until all is incorporated Fold in the hazelnuts, chocolate and fruit. Pour into tin, smooth the top and bake 1 to 2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven, cool and serve dusted with icing sugar.  Serves 8-10.


Delicious and super easy


175g ground or chopped Uncle Joe's hazelnuts

100gm sugar

2 Tbsp cocoa

75g melted butter

1 egg

Pinch baking powder

Mix ingredients together and bake 30 minutes at 150C. Just top with blueberries or any other berries (fresh cherries if you are lucky!). Cover with whipped cream and grated chocolate.


Friday, July 3, 2009

FMNZ Update and Chairpersons report 2009

To all Farmers Markets and Food Producers of NZ

FMNZ is pleased  to announce the success of our Buy local Campaign which has seen the majority of Farmers markets in NZ commit to Authenticity  - " An Authentic Farmers' Market is one which consists of at least 80% certified local stallholders".      This includes Feilding Farmers' Market, Farmers' Market Taranaki, Southern Farmers' market, Orewa Beach Farmers' Market, Hamilton Farmers' Market, Cambridge Farmers' Market, Marlborough Farmers' Market , Wairarapa Farmers' Market, Christchurch Farmers' Market, Oxford Farmers' Market, Whanganui Farmers' Market, Parnell Farmers' Market, Nelson Farmers' Market, Waipara Valley Farmers' Market, Little River Farmers' Market, Central Otago Farmers' Market..........just to list a few.

FMNZ with sponsorshop from our new webprovider Marketground we  will soon be going live with our Buy Local milestone 5, that of a national database of Authentic Farmers' markets and food producers of NZ.  For more information on the website development or Authenticity please contact Kerryn directly at

Chairpersons Report FMNZ 09 (abridged below and full copy available from FMNZ website)

Looking back 12 months ago it would have been hard to imagine that the world would have been plunged into economic depression, that swine flu was the animal favored disease of the year and that general  food prices would have increased by 12 to 30%,  and also that Bernadine Prince would want to endure another 17 hour flight to join us on the other side of the world for a Farmers Market forum.  While both large and small countries have struggled with social and economic issues I have yet to hear of a real farmers market in NZ who has not increased in either local food producers or customers, or a real farmers markets who has had to close it doors or pull in its high flying executives and close their expense accounts. 

While the past has been written only by our success and failures we must look forward to the next 12 months and beyond to ensure that what has begun with passion and commitment is now actioned and driven by great business and organisational skills, for passion is something that can not be bought or sold.    FMNZ is a inclusive organisation and we were founded on the belief of sharing information.  We need to share the right information in a manner that emulates what our organisation and individual markets really stand for that.   Value; not just for our farmers who sell their crops each week, but to our consumers who support our farmers each week, rain or shine.  When we  talk about Value we are often confused with what high street does, value in the money sense, therefore we need to promote the value in the social sense, the value of what our farmers' markets do to enliven and make our communities prosper, what the value of children who attend our markets and interact with food and what this does to the culture of our communities and the value of what keeping real money in local communities does for the whole social structure of NZ and beyond. 

No farmers' market organiser or manager would have envisioned that when they had the great idea of putting a Farmers market in their back yards that they would be the catalyst for the way people change their lives as the social values of a farmers markets are felt over a greater area of NZ and the world.  This applies to our smallest markets with just one stall in Diamond Harbour to our largest farmers markets in Southland and Northland and cuts through all boundaries of social behaviour.  The real benefits of Farmers markets are sometimes misunderstood or poorly communicated due to a number of reasons, the main being that we as managers and organises  are in the business of providing a venue for our farmers to be able to sell directly to consumers. This does not mean that we should not be doing everything we can to promote the full circle of the food chain, and we can see this  happening in our communities and markets with gardens in schools, communities gardens plots, box systems, sustainable agriculture programs and localvore awareness

I implore that our members put faith into the executive of FMNZ to enable for them to do what we have been entrusted to do, to promote and to educate the benefit of Farmers markets and local food distribution systems.  I believe that we have the expertise and we are beginning to have the resources available for us to make a real difference in the way the people shop on a regular basis.  While FMNZ can not be held responsible for the weather at your markets each week we do need to be held responsible for the protecting of the words "farmers' markets" and the real value of our markets, that of being a food market where local growers, farmers and artisan food producers  sell their ware directly to the consumer.  Vendors may only sell what they grow, farm , pickle, preserve, bake, smoke or catch themselves within a defined local area.  

Authenticity is our main issue moving forward and  the energies of the buy local contributions and the 6 milestones have all led  to Authenticity and what it means to farmers and consumers. I implore to all people who eat, (which is everybody)  to embrace food as a part of our culture and life, that when you sit at the table that you commuincate, laugh, cry, get angry, be happy, network, negate and most of all support our farmers and food producers as a part of our families and as a integral part of our communities

For any further enquires regarding FMNZ and for prompt service please e-mail or contact



Chris Fortune

Chairperson FMNZ


Chris Fortune
(03) 579 3599 Home

021 935 995 Mobile (marlborough farmers market)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Soup Kitchen

Soup: " is a food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables in stock or hot/boiling water, until the flavor is extracted, forming a broth"

If you told me that people would be lining up for soup on the streets of Marlborough 12 months ago I would  have crossed the road and walked the other way.  If you told me that there would be a farmers' market in the middle of the central business district selling  hot soup to promote its producers I would  have told you that you were dreaming as we would only ever trade on Sunday mornings during the summer  and that was that.   Both are now reality and I take my apron off to the consummers of Marlborough for supporting local food producers

Soup is as old as boiling water (clever), and I can still remember being taught how to boil water in a paper bag as a boy scout so that is starting to show my age.  Soup orginates from the word "sop" and was advertisied in early  french market stalls as a antidote to physical exhustion (more commonly known as three thirty ises).    "Sop" recipes started to apprear in cookbooks such as Accomplished Gentlewoman's, The Frugal Housewife and the ever essenetial The Complete Housewife.   While cooking techniques  come and go  there is always the trendy fashions and fads of styles of soup  that appear and dissappear from our dinner tables (what ever happend to the classic consumme soup or the chilled  beetroot soup) but you just cannot beat a good old fashioed pot of slow cooked winter vegetable soup

Cambells soup Company (yes they are trying to register the brand name Farmers' Market Soup and have done so successfully around the world)  sells 2.5 billions bowls of there three most popular soups alone.    The Marborough Farmers' market sells 40 L per week on the streets of Marlborough and will with the support of Farmers' Market New Zealand will be opposing Cambells application for brand registration – yes I can see potato peelers being sharpened now as we sip on our antidote for physical exhustion.

Matt from Highfields Winery Farmers' Market Soup (traemarked and registered version)

 Matt's Leek and Potato soup with Sherrington's feta and cracked pepper (Highfield Estate)

For a full flavoured soup firstly, preferably a day ahead make a court Bouillon, you will need about 3 Litres.
Take 3 carrots, 3 celery sticks, 1 fennel bulb, 3 cloves of garlic, 5 peppercorns, 3 star anise, 6 Bay leaves and a handful of herbs.

Roughly chop vegetables and place in stockpot with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes remove and allow to cool.
The next day sieve off all the ingredients so as to leave yourself the liquid place back in pot and gently reheat.

To make to soup:
2 Tbspoons butter
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic crushed
600g potatoes peeled and cleaned, cut into small cubes
200g chopped and washed leek
3 litres of court Bouillon
1 Litre of cream
salt and pepper
200g Sherrington feta
cracked pepper

Melt butter in pot adding onion and garlic, gently brown until translucent, add potatoes and leek and gently sweat.
Add Bouillon and simmer for around 30-45 minutes take soup and pass through a moule or food processor transfer back to pot and gently reheat adding cream and feta. Season to taste and finish with cracked pepper. Yum.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to avoid the Swine Flue

What a really interesting week I have had, I am not sure if it was good or bad but it certainly had its highs and its lows and by the end I felt like a  free range chicken gently roasting in a hot oven with salt and lemon.   Now how does a free range chicken feel I hear you ask, well it has led a happy and fulfilled life on the farm and now that it is in my oven it will be loved and cared for by the lemon and salt!    I  have meet some of most interesting and sincere people  and also dealt with people and things that I would normally avoid like the swine flue (sorry to the pigs , I mean the Influenza H1N1)


Lets  rewind the clock  -  it all started with a meeting with the Senior advisor for the Equal Employment Opportunities and Crown Entities and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner on Monday or to be more precise the Kaihautu Oritenga Mahi.    No I have not done a Gordon Ramsey and abused my staff (humm now there's a idea!) but rather we discussed the bigger picture of what is happening in NZ in regards to the opportunities in Hospitality and the fact that I have had more people applying for cooking positions in the last two months than I have in the last two years.    Moving along to a meeting  with a local butcher talking about Beef and the quality of what we export versus what we can purchase as consumers, a wild foods tasting competition using four different parts of Goat from Premium Game, hosting a tour group and serving lamb racks and local seafood, serving up Crayfish and Kai Moana (thanks Ted you are the real star ! ) to 330 guests at the Stars in Your eyes  Competition  for the Spring Creek and District Lions Club to raise funds for distribution amongst Marlborough youth and youth Groups. 


To finish off the week it was my great privilege to be involved with Brayshaw park and the Marlborough Community Gardens,  everyone  has to put on there list of once In a lifetime experiences of running around town with a vintage tractor collecting tools and Donations followed by a sausage sizzle (thanks mike from Meaters) and a cup of tea. 

Now the swine flue things and people  that distracted me during the week,   I think that I will leave the that Chapter for my new book as I would rather remember the good things in the week rather than the negative!


How to avoid the H1N1 flue


1 Free range Chicken

Marlborough Flaky Salt

Marlborough olive oil

3 Lemons

12 tea bags

A mixture of Community Groups

A handful of Children and laughter

8 Vintage Tractors

3 Flat white Lattes at Raupo Riverside Café

Sausages from Meaters (they are the best!)

White toast bread and tomato sauce (wheat bread if you  must)

Ted and his Kai Moana

Wild food from Premium Game

A Flock of great Kitchen staff


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, sprinkle the salt over the chicken and squeeze the lemon over the top,  drizzle with olive oil and put the lemons inside the chicken, place in the oven for 45-60 mins or until the juices run clear ( The secret is to leave it to rest for as long as you have cooked it, and this is the hardest part).  Take the remaining ingredients and scatter them around your week allowing enough between each so that you can spend time with your family and friends, if you do not scatter them evenly then repeat the following week ensuring  that you get a even spread of all.  You can add different ingredients into the recipe but ensure that you leave the negative stuff to the side otherwise it will taint all of the good stuff.   Once the chicken has rested serve with roasted winter vegetables gathered from local food producers and enjoy.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Cook or the Garden

Have a look in the back of your tool shed, in the corner of the garage or at the back of the house and see if there are any tools you would like to donate to the annual tool drive

Everybody thought that the spiced pumpkin soup Marcel served up at the opening of the twilight farmers' market last week was great.

Comments like "Tastes like my mother's" and "Interesting and flavoursome," and "Nearly as good as my wife's" were all testament to Marcel's cooking or were they?

The pumpkins he used for the soup came from the the Marlborough Community Gardens, located at the end of Ralph Ballinger Drive off Budge St. The garlic came from Springbrook in Riverlands and was grown over a long Marlborough spring on the fertile Wairau Plains. The olive oil came from last year's batch of local olives, and pickers are frantically harvesting the new season's variety as we speak.

Thymebank supplied the herbs that topped off the soup, and Marcel used some coconut cream and soy sauce to help develop the body of the soup. Is it the cook who makes food taste so good (yes it is, Marcel) or is it also the quality of the ingredients?

From a winemaker's point of view, all the work is done in the vineyard before the fruit reaches the winery. The winemakers are then the caretakers of the grapes, carefully extracting and building layers of flavour. Of course, some grapes need more attention than others, and this is where the winemaker's experience and knowledge come into play.

It's the same in the kitchen, where a cook takes good-quality products and nurtures them. Or do we need to work hard with different ingredients to produce tasty results?

We would love to hear your feedback. The question is: how much of a role does the cook play in producing a meal, compared with the ingredients 30 per cent, 50 per cent, or more?

While you are thinking of this, why not have a look in the back of your tool shed, in the corner of the garage or at the back of the house and see if there are any tools you would like to donate to the annual tool drive supporting the Marlborough Community Gardens. For more information, go to This is a way we can encourage more people to grow a diverse range of food products in the Marlborough region.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Omaka Marae - Marlborough

The Real Local Experience

The Real Local Experience

Once again I have been very pleasantly surprised, yes it does happen now and again, that I find something that I believe is a real asset to the Marlborough community
Slow food Marlborough was hosted by Kiley Nepia at our the Local Omaka Marae’s, and while I have been on many Marae’s before in the North Island this was my first experience in the South Island and what a great experience it was. Hosting our group of 32 Marlborough and international guests, Kylie and his family welcomed us with open arms and I urge all restaurateurs and hospitality people to take a leaf from their book. It is not about the food, or about the wine, it was not about the furnishings, or the heat (or lack of as it was about 2 degrees C) but it was about the welcoming and respect that we learnt for the meeting house and there customs and culture of the Maori people of Marlborough. If this could be emulated into our own restaurants and staff then we would tbe the Official Gourmet region on NZ If only we could all take a little of this back to our own houses and families then I believe that our community would be a stronger place. We paid respect to the ancestors, to the woman and children, to the food and land where we sourced our meal from and more importantly there was the respect to other cultures and people around us who shared the food.
There are two paths we can take, the Americanised path of preserved and processed with little regard to the sustainability or long term harms of the fuel we call food. Or there is the other path which we can take which follows the European and Maori cultures where food is a part of your culture and life, that we sit at the table and communicate, laugh, cry, get angry, be happy, network, negate and love as a family and friends.
It is about balance, about ensuring that people live enriched and fulfilling lives and if we can do that around our breakfast, lunch and dinner tables then we are sure to be building healthy and strong individuals and communities
Thank you to all those people that emailed and phoned in with regards to last weeks photo of the Buddhas Hand. You can buy them from the Devon Nursery in Marlborough. The fruit has a thick peel and only a small amount of acidic flesh (if any) and is juiceless and sometimes seedless. It is very fragrant and is used predominantly by the Chinese and Japanese for perfuming rooms and personal items, such as clothing. The peel of the fruit can be candied into succade. Once again I was pleasantly surprised

Succade of Buddhas Hand
Recipes vary from region to region, but the general principle is to boil the fruit, steep it in increasingly strong sugar solutions for a number of weeks, and then dry off any remaining water.
The high sugar content of finished glace fruits inhibits the growth of microorganisms, and glace fruits will keep for a number of years without any additional methods of preservation.
Fruits that hold up well to being preserved in this manner include buddhas hands, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, pears, starfruit, pineapple, apples, oranges, lemons, limes and clementines

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Egg seller voted top stall at market

Happy free-range chickens lay great eggs, and great eggs have made Jono Lovatt's stall at the Marlborough Farmers' Market a winner.

Mr Lovatt, of Manuka Hill Free Range Eggs, was named supreme stallholder of the season by customers who voted for their favourite stalls through the season.

Market manager Tina Fortune said the egg stall was in a three-way tie with Gourmet Deli and Hewton Plants, until one vote on the last Sunday of the season decided the winner.

She said the most common comments about the stallholders were that they were friendly, cheerful, reliable and consistent, and had great products .

The best-chef award went to Margaret McHugh, of Gourmet Deli, who created delicious baked items from local produce.

Most improved first-season stallholders were John Soper and Matt Thomas, of Johns Quality Greens, for their move from the Community Stall to their very own stall with a bigger product range.

The Out-There-Cafe's Ben and Heather McAlpine were named the most steadfast stallholders, because they had been at every Marlborough Farmers' Market from the day it started.

Sherrington Grange was recognised for its commitment to product quality and consistency. The company and owner Lisa Harper has received prestigious awards and featured in magazines.

The unique product development award went to Heaven Scent, owned by Neville and Sharon White, with their gardening philosophy and the creation of their Heritage product range.

Jordan Shallcrass was given the staff award for 2009 because of his ability to work with teenage boys and still smile, his reliability, initiative and punctuality.

The awards came as the Sunday market season draws to a close this weekend, but a new season of Thursday afternoon twilight markets will begin next week.

Held at the Forum in Blenheim, the markets will be held from 3.30pm to 6pm.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Marlborough FM food producers Awards

Press Release
End-of Season Gathering
Raupo Riverside Cafe, Monday, 25th May 2009

The Marlborough Farmers’ Market management team would like to acknowledge the consumers of Marlborough who all play an integral role in promoting local food and produce– by recommending the farmers’ market as the ‘community social hub’ on a Sunday morning and a great source of produce for the weekly shop, to both locals and visitors to the Marlborough region.
Special thanks go to all of our permanent and seasonal stallholders, the businesses and individuals for their ongoing support and the Marlborough Farmers’ Market volunteer committee.
Also, Councillor Francis Maher and his wife Annette, The Marlborough District Council, , Nige & Josh of radio fame - More FM & Breeze, Mike & Leanne of A1 Drycleaning & Laundrette, NZ Home Loans , A&P Marlborough Association committee ,
Alice Boyce of Marlborough District Council , Roz Davenport of Marlborough Express, volunteer Sandra Morritt and
The farmers’ market team of Katrina, Naomi, Jules, Ali and the boys and girls of the very busy breakfast kitchens.


BEST CHEF: Margaret McHugh, Gourmet Deli - recognising innovative use of local produce to create delicious baked items

MOST IMPROVED FIRST SEASON STALLHOLDER: John’s Quality Greens, John Soper & Matt Thomas - Recognizing development from the Community Stall to an individual stall site, increased product range and presentation

STEADFAST STALLHOLDER: Out-There-Café, Ben & Heather McAlpine - Recognising true loyalty to customers and the Marlborough Farmers’ Market by attending every Sunday from the first day the market opened in Blenheim

COMMITMENT: Lisa Harper, Sherrington Grange - Recognising commitment to product quality and consistency. Attaining national recognition through prestigious awards and most favoured by magazine photographers.

UNIQUE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: Heaven Scent - Neville & Sharon White - Recognizing development of a unique Heritage product range whie remaining honest to their gardening philosophy


Jordan Shallcrass recognising reliability, punctuality, initiative and the ability to work with a team of teenage ‘boys’ and still smile!

STALLHOLDER of the SEASON 2008-2009
As voted by the customer

A 3-way tie ensued until one vote on the last Sunday decided the leader. Those stallholders were Margaret McHugh of Gourmet Deli, Richard Grylls & Dai of Hewton Plants, and Jono Lovatt of Manuka Hill Free Range Eggs

The voters common comments for these 3 stallholders were; Friendly, Cheerful, Great product, Reliable and Consistent

The overall winner was:
Jono Lovatt of Manuka Hill Free Range Eggs

Tina Fortune, Market Manager
Manager Marlborough Farmers Market
021 024 23496 fax (03) 579 3598

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Hungry Localvore

I am a bit of a Hunter and Gather, not in the sense that I go pig or deer hunting (yes Alan from Premium game I am going to join you soon), its not that I spend the weekends in the sounds gathering (I did have a great time with Cloudy Bay collecting wild Pico Pico and mussels), or that I gather from the Urban Gardens of Marlborough ( yes I did borrow some quinces from a abounded tree on the side of the road and am involved in the Marlborough community gardens project). Even though I don’t really fish (although I did catch a Regal Salmon on one of there farm visits this year), or forage for wild herbs on the wither hills walkways (ummm I did jump the fence and gather wild fennel for the mussel festival) I still consider myself resourceful and useful as the male provider to my 2 little ones and wifey
While the need to hunt and gather by the human race now manly exists between the fridge and dinning table, the supermarket and the car, there is one common things that human kind does every day and that is to refuel our bodies. We will consume over 51,000 meals in our lifetime (and that only based on lunch and dinner) so the desire to refuel our bodies over the desire to have a varied healthy diet is dictated by marketing and time rather than our physical Hunting and Gathering abilities. If we had to could we fend for ourselves?, could we be sustainable and do without our Vertes de Puy (they are a very good fine lentil from France, please don’t take them away from me!) and our Parmigiano-Reggiano (yes we do need it !). the Question (or answer) is what we don’t need – the cheap and nasty garlic bulbs from China, the imported strawberries in winter and the imported pork that we know has been raised in a unhuman farming method yet we as consumers are more interested in the price of it rather than where it has come from.
Now when somebody rings me up and tells me I may be interested in a ……………………………….. you have my full attention. Please help, while I am a Marlborough Localvore I don’t know everything, your comments and recipes for this ………..………………….. would be appreciated

……………….………….. recipe

1 kg of ………………………………….
1 Hungry Localvore
30,000 Marlborough Locals
1 Marlborough express newspaper
1 Email Adress
1 pen
1 PaperMethod.

Step 1: Take a Photo of the ………………………….
Step 2: Put it into the Marlborough express and let the 30,000 local people read it. Get the Local people t to use the email address or substitute it for 1 pen and paper if email is not in your kitchen.
Step 3: Give the information to the Hungry Localvore and educate him on how to use the ……………………….
Step 4: Take the ………………………………… and prepare it the best way that the 30,000 local people recommend
Step 5: Publish the results so that the other 29,999 local people know what to do with the …………………….

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Twilight Farmers Market - What will they think of next?

Local Locals

What up with this whole local thing?  Only in America do they take things to the extreme, food miles are not measured in Meters – how far did the cow travel to get to the restaurant dinner table?  How many meters were the winter spuds grown from the restaurant kitchen.  Yes you are right it is all getting just a little bit OTT

But wait a minute – you are happy to buy plums in winter time from Chilli, 10,000 km,  and  happy to purchase Garlic from China, 11,000 km so you tell who is a little bit OTT. Right lets meet in the middle and lets think about the middle ground.  Do you think you could eat well if you only purchased NZ grown and produced fresh product ?(I am talking about fresh only not processed goods).    Now that would be interesting, you would have to eat seasonally, no more strawberries in winter time, no more rockmelons in winter time from Australia, you would have to find NZ tree ripened Pears,  feijoas, persimmons, Oranges, Passionfruit, Bananas (yes they do grow in NZ), cranberries, grapefruit etc etc etc

Yes could be interesting, now the first thing that you going to say is where do I find all of this fruit throughout winter time, golly gosh I would have to start thinking about it, I will have to start keeping a calendar!, it all sounds to complicated and a lot like hard work – which is what we really don’t want to be doing in the kitchen after a hard days work.  Rest assured there will soon be a way to find all of the NZ produce with the touch of a button.

Well this is where we can help, eating and cooking should be a enjoyable experience (keep that mental picture in your head when it is -2 degrees ) and it does not matter what time of the year  it is there will always be NZ products available.   Look in your own backyard first you may be surprised that there really is a hidden localvore in us all

Poached Persimmons

6              x              Firm-ripe  persimmons,

1/2         cup         Dry white wine

3/4         cup         Strained fresh orange

1/4         cup         Sugar

1              tsp          Minced peeled fresh gingerroot

1/4         tsp          Cinnamon

Method :

Stem and peel the persimmons, discard any seeds, and cut each persimmon into 8 wedges. In a saucepan combine the persimmons, wine, orange juice, sugar, gingerroot, and cinnamon, bring the liquid to a boil, stirring occasionally, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the persimmons are tender. Transfer the persimmons with a slotted spoon to a bowl, boil the syrup until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup, and pour it over the persimmons. The persimmons can be served warm or chilled over ice cream, rice pudding, or bread pudding.

Friday, May 15, 2009

What do you mean you are a localvore?

Now you may think that this is just a phase and if you close your eyes really tight it will go away,  that when you wake up there will be no more new silly words to describe something that is so blinding obvious and  that you would have to be a fool to think any different.   We are all Localvores at heart but there is something that makes some of want to go that little bit further.

I only buy NZ fish that has been caught and processed in NZ – you may (or may not) know  that a large % of our seafood is processed and value added in china and then shipped back.

I only buy NZ Olive oil that has been grown and processed in NZ – you may (or may not) know that a very large % of imported olive is  rancid and thinned out with Canola Oil

I only buy NZ Lamb and beef  - you may (or may not ) know that when I first arrived in Marlborough nine years ago the butcher would send me Australian beef and lamb because that is what everybody else in town was using

I only buy Marlborough Garlic – you may (or may not) know that a very large % of imported Garlic is bleached white and has no flavour or aroma

I only buy Marlborough Mussels and Salmon – you may (or may not) know that we have one of the worlds best sustainable aquaculture industries, the quality and taste speak for them selves

I make lots of decisions daily as to what I purchase and buy from individual companies and business in the Marlborough region.  While I am not a mateyer and will not die for my cause (so please don’t take away my Italian Arborio  rice or French de puy lentils) I strongly believe that the money that I spend in my local region benefits the families  and people of my region and that is more important to me than supporting large multi global empires and business’ with no names or faces to them  who have different goals and objectives

Yes I hear you say, sounds good, but local products are much more expensive and I don’t have the time – well if you eat seasonally from your local region and use what is plentiful at that time of the year then it is cheaper and if you plan your meals and put the same amount of energy into them as you spend deciding what beverage you are going to drink or sport to watch on telly then time becomes irrelevant.

A real localvore is not just about somebody who eat local food but it is about a person who  has a appetite for supporting all things local – locally owned shops, local events and organisations, local neighbourhood groups and local projects.  Most importantly a localvore is somebody who is proud of there region and the people who live in it

Local Feijoa, pear and crystallised ginger jam

Feijoa, Pear and ginger are great partners. Crystallised ginger imparts a zing and flavours that will make this jam a family favourite.



1.5 kg fresh pears, peeled, cored, diced into 1 cm cubes

1.5 kg Feijoas

225 g crystallised ginger, roughly chopped

2 kg sugar

zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 cup water


Bring all the ingredients to the boil in a large pot. Simmer for approximately 2 hours or until the jam sets. To test for setting point, pour a little jam onto a cold plate, let it cool for several minutes, then run your finger through it – there will be a trail left through the jam if it is ready. Pour into sterilised jars and seal