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-CafĂ©, 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