ARTICLES ARCHIVE

  • 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...

  • Jersey Girls: Cream of the crop

    My article about Jersey Girls is in the current issue of OrganicNZ magazine. In a country full of...

  • Seaweed: On beyond sushi

    I started thinking about this article when we were on holiday at Matangi. There was beautiful...

  • Buckwheat breakfast

    My favourite winter breakfast is hot buckwheat porridge. With a spoonful of home-made Caspian Sea...

  • The fruits of winter

    Last weekend my friend Jane texted: “Let’s go and pick persimmons!” So on a sunny Saturday...

  • A lot of shallots

    Shallots look like small, misshapen onions, or huge, bronze coloured garlic cloves. The Cato’s...

  • Madhur's potatoes

    Last weekend my husband Matthew made his favourite spicy Indian potato dish to take to a potluck...

  • Land of chestnuts

    This time of year the Waikato is full of delicious chestnuts, falling off the trees, waiting to be...

  • Happy hot cross bun day

    There are very few sacred foods in my British-Anglican backstory, and one is hot cross buns. In...

  • A taste for honeygar

    My latest favourite home-made beverage is honeygar.  It’s simply my home-made apple cider vinegar,...

  • Fruits of autumn

    Late autumn is the time to make my favourite fruit salad, with crisp juicy nashi from Grant and...

  • Golden grapefruit

    I started today with freshly squeezed, wonderfully ripe grapefruit juice courtesy of our vintage...

  • Water: the Blue Spring

    Recently I sampled the beautiful water at the Blue Spring near Putaruru. It tasted like the...

  • Scallopini summer

    Round about this time of year Clif from Clif’s Gardens sells bags of bright yellow scallopini...

  • Media splash for Soggy Bottom

    Fans of Jono Walker’s superb bacon and sausages will enjoy Nadene Hall’s excellent profile of...

  • Too ugly to eat?

    A huge celeriac turned up in the last Ooooby box. (Sadly, Ooooby have centralized their operations to...

  • Almost too pretty to eat

    I bought a container of edible flowers from a stall at the farmers’ market.  They were almost too...

  • Taro time

    As the weather warms up, I’ve been watching the taro plants growing in the southeast corner of the...

  • Raw milk: the road gets longer

    I’m sad to report that we picked up the last delivery of raw milk today. We’ve been happily...

  • Perfect beets

      For the last few weeks there’s been plenty of beetroot at Hamilton Farmers Market. So it must be...

  • Real food in real time

    One of the interesting food events in Hamilton this weekend is the local Weston A Price group’s...

  • Beer and cheese to celebrate

    Craft beer and superb artisan cheeses are riding a wave of popularity in the Waikato local food...

  • Jersey Girls: legends in the milking

    When I first moved to Hamilton I wondered why the Waikato – the land of dairy farms – didn’t have...

  • Winter fruit

    When you eat locally, you become very aware of what’s in season. Right now, in mid-September,...

  • Duck egg omelettes

    The top favourite breakfast in my household is duck eggs. We’re lucky to get them from Ian, who...

  • A new home for the market

    The Hamilton Farmers’ Market has recently moved to its new permanent home in Claudelands Park. The...

  • Mizuna, mizuna

    We bought some beautiful feathery red and green mizuna from David of Suncakes Gardens at the...

  • Time for tea

    I’m very fond of tea in all its forms. (No tea bags in our house!) And I’d often driven past the...

  • What to do with daikon

    A huge daikon radish arrived in the Ooooby box last week. It was over 1kg, with a crown of...

  • Local sweetness

    One of the biggest practical challenges when eating locally produced food is sugar. It’s an...

  • Organic kiwis in season

    I’m delighted to report that we can now buy locally grown kiwifruit at Hamilton Farmers’ Market....

  • Autumn kitchen

    The kitchen is full of autumnal produce. In the vege box there are plenty of pumpkins. Also beets, bok...

  • Easter eggplants

    There were eggplants galore at Hamilton Farmers’ Market this morning. David from Suncakes Gardens...

  • Champion hot cross buns

    This morning my favourite local baker, Meg Daly of Celtic Kitchen, was selling superb hot cross...

  • Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

    We’re lucky in the Waikato - all kinds of herbs grow year-round in this region. This is a post...

  • The art of bitter greens

    Curly endive is the one salad green that grows in my garden all year round. It's my essential salad green....

  • Kawhia Kai Festival

    The Kawhia Kai Festival is an annual food event celebrating Maori food and culture. It takes place at...

  • Ducks in a row

    On a sizzling hot summer’s day, good icecream is a great idea. And the place to go for locally...

  • More than an apple a day

    This is a great time for backyard apples. I’ve just started my first brew of home made cider...

  • Out of the box

    The vege and fruit box arrived this morning. The fridge is stuffed to overflowing, especially the...

  • Laughing at vegetables

    This week we got a big laugh out of the Ooooby box. Kohlrabi is one of those things that reminds...

  • The redcurrant challenge

    I went for a cup of tea with my friend Clare Jackson and came home with a kilo of beautiful,...

  • O is for organic

    This post is about a subject that’s very close to my heart. Food quality! Good food that’s fresh,...

  • A handful of raspberries

    Today I picked a handful of raspberries to have with my breakfast. This gives me an amazing...

  • Perfect strawberries

    In my search for the perfect strawberry, I went to talk to strawberry growers Grant and Heather...

  • Buried treasure

    Just before the first new potato harvest, I paid a visit to Richard and Judy Cato, whose superb potatoes...

  • Great goats

    The latest news in my household is a bottle of delicious Wairere Goat Creamery milk. Up till now there’s...

  • Why local food?

    It’s taken me a while to get around to writing this post, which goes to the heart of why the...

  • Eat your weeds

    I have to admit that my garden contains more than a few weeds. I don’t like using poisonous...

  • In season: watercress

    Fresh at the farmers’ market this weekend: wonderful, peppery wild watercress from the...

  • Keeping kombucha

    Kombucha is turning up all over the place these days. There are bottles of kombucha in the drinks...

  • Remembering the leeks

    Leeks are a low-profile cousin of onions and garlic. It’s easy to dismiss them, but they are easy...

  • Local and/ or organic food

    This is a post about two (related) questions. One, is there a shortage of locally grown food in...

  • The Great Pumpkin

    Pumpkins are a great asset in the winter kitchen. I love transforming pumpkins into soups, salads...

  • 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....

  • Orange is for winter

    Midwinter is a wonderful time for oranges and other citrus in the Waikato. There are trees laden...

  • Gardening with garlic

    This time of year, many of my friends are planting garlic. I’d love to be planting garlic myself,...

  • Persimmons: for people or birds?

    There are bare-branched persimmon trees with clusters of beautiful orange tomato-shaped fruit,...

  • Fresh winter greens at Hamilton Farmers' Market

    We came home from yesterday’s Hamilton Farmers’ Market with the most wonderful haul of fresh...

  • Feijoa fortnight: Green eggs

    This week there are feijoas everywhere in our neighbourhood. Green eggs start dropping off trees...

  • 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...

  • Blueberry fields forever

    Monavale blueberries are one of the great treats of my Sunday visit to the farmers’ market. And at...

  • Plums, plums, plums

    Meet Mr Billington, my wonderful plum tree. (Or maybe it’s Mrs Billington?) Either way, this tree...

  • Glorious artichokes

    Globe artichokes have always been a favourite part of a New Zealand summer for me. They’re...

  • Volare: our daily bread

    This summer my top choice of bread has to be Volare’s beautiful sourdough buns and Italian-style...

  • Hobbit food

    Unless you’ve spent the last decade living in a hole in the ground, you’ll probably be aware that...

  • Loquat season

    Our loquat tree has had a wonderful long season this year. There are still plenty of golden fruit...

  • Amazing asparagus

    Tonight I'm cooking some beautiful spray-free Les Asperges asparagus from the Hamilton Farmers'...

  • The Farm Shop at Gordonton

    If you live at the north end of Hamilton, The Farm Shop is a great place to buy local food. It’s...

  • Silverbeet and oyster mushrooms

    It was a blustery kind of Sunday, coming up to the spring equinox. We rolled up to the farmers’...

  • Pure gold: New Zealand grapefruit

    At this time of the year, we have a glorious grapefruit bonanza (or glut). This is exciting,...

  • CAFE AT MONAVALE: Blueberry tarts forever

    On a beautiful day, just ahead of spring, a friend and I went to check out Café Irresistiblue at...

  • Superb savoy cabbages

    Last Sunday the rain was pouring down, but we still needed to eat, so we ventured out to the...

  • Local fruit in all seasons

    Fruit grows all year round in the Waikato. All kinds of fruit. Well, okay, we don’t have the...

  • Celtic cuisine: Deliciously retro baking

    Meg Daly’s Celtic baking is one of my favourite reasons to go to the Hamilton Farmers’ Market on...

  • Soggy Bottom: where the bacon begins

    On a sunny Sunday afternoon in midwinter I went to find out where my bacon comes from. I joined up...

  • Fieldays: Looking for local food

    When I lived in Auckland, I’d barely heard of Fieldays. But when I moved to Hamilton, I quickly...

  • Kumara harvest at Grandview Community Garden

    Despite the autumn drought, this has been a good year for growing kumara or sweet potato in...

  • Change of season chicken bone broth

    This is great comfort food for when the weather starts getting colder and you feel a bit out of...

  • Gouda Cheese Shop

    The Gouda Cheese Shop is the best place I’ve found to buy cheese in Hamilton. It’s like Aladdin’s...

  • Southern Belle – superb sweet peppers

    Southern Belle’s sweet bell peppers speak for themselves. You can buy them on Sundays at the...

  • Aroha organic goat cheese

    A small farm near Mt Te Aroha is home to one of New Zealand’s top cheese makers.  At the national cheese...

  • Three top chestnut recipes

    I love chestnuts – they’re one of my favourite things about autumn. They’re in season right now,...

Eat your weeds

I have to admit that my garden contains more than a few weeds. I don’t like using poisonous sprays, and I’m always looking for better ways to manage all these uninvited plants.

So when I heard that edible weed expert Julia Sich was running a workshop in my neighbourhood, I jumped at the chance to find out more about what I could be doing with weeds.

Read more ...

In season: watercress

watercress salad

Fresh at the farmers’ market this weekend: wonderful, peppery wild watercress from the Roto-o-rangi free-range eggs stall. And there was also some in the Ooooby box, so we’ve had two watercress salads this week. Watercress is a cousin of garden cress, mustard and rocket (not surprising because it tastes a bit like cress or rocket). It belongs to the Brassica family, and its Latin name is Nasturtium officinale, but it isn’t closely related to garden nasturtiums.

Read more ...

Keeping kombucha

kombucha

Kombucha is turning up all over the place these days. There are bottles of kombucha in the drinks chiller of the Hamilton East Binn Inn. (All the way from the United States!) But it’s easy to make it at home. And if you’re brewing it yourself, it counts as local food. 

If you’re new to kombucha, it’s a sour-sweet fermented beverage that is packed full of probiotics, micro-organisms that are essential for human health. 

Read more ...

Remembering the leeks

leeks

Leeks are a low-profile cousin of onions and garlic. It’s easy to dismiss them, but they are easy to grow at home, and they go really well in all kinds of slow food. Leeks have a sweet, oniony flavour - an “x-factor” that gives depth to many classic recipes. 

My fondness for leeks is in some ways cultural. They’re one of the national symbols of Wales (but I reckon the red dragon looks better on the flag). Both my dad’s parents were born in Wales.

Read more ...

Local and/ or organic food

asparagus

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 Seabright. She suggested I write about the issues Ooooby, the local food box business, is having with finding enough local suppliers to fill their Waikato orders.

Read more ...

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 be “under the radar” as an ingredient in my house. When I buy pumpkin it often sits in the fridge or on the shelf until it’s my turn to cook. Oh well, that means I can plan my cooking ahead of time!

Read more ...

Raglan Fish: The local catch

snapper

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 and their beautifully fresh squid, just for starters. And it gets even better – most of the fish they sell is caught locally, by three fishing boats based at Raglan Wharf.

Read more ...

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 leave the fruit to rot in piles under the trees. I guess people are so used to easy-peel, seedless mandarins, that they won’t bother with a freshly-picked clementine.

Read more ...

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ABOUT THE WRITER

My name is Alice and I love local food. For more, see the "About" page.