Markets: Cambridge 21st & Hamilton 22nd September

As I write this, the America’s Cup is still polarizing everyone in New Zealand. Last Sunday (15th Sept) the market went quiet around the time of race 2. There were no customers to be seen except a few huddling around a laptop computer which was live-streaming the race. There were abandoned stalls all over the place as vendors disappeared to catch a glimpse of the heart stopping action wherever they could find iPhone coverage. And then after the race, we had an influx of adrenalin fuelled customers all babbling excitedly over the oh-so-close 45 degree almost capsize. Total strangers were heatedly comparing their reactions and their relief that the boat and the crew survived what could have been a complete disaster. Even today I went into the Brew Your Own shop and today’s races were being broadcast loudly on the shop’s radio. I have no interest in boat racing normally but this race is something that brings the passion, normally confined to rugby, surging to the surface for every common or garden non sailing New Zealander. Remember the Red Socks campaign all those years ago when we all knitted and sold red socks to raise funds for the poorly funded NZ underdog boat skippered by the legendary Sir Peter Blake? Our nationhood was founded on such moments.
Anyway, hopefully, by the time this blog is published to the Waikato Farmers’ Market Website, the cup will be safely in NZ hands although it is always bad luck to pre-empt success.One must be humble about such things..
Stephan Low from Plainsview Nurseries sent me some detailed information about his Microgreens this week and I have synopsized the info as much as possible as it was extensive. He tells me that he will be bringing his Oscar Cool Juicer to the market next Sunday 22nd Sept to demonstrate how wheat grass can be made into a delicious and highly beneficial drink with fresh apple juice. Free samples for all!

WHEAT GRASS is baby wheat and is gluten free.Wheatgrass juice is a fast and effective way to eliminate internal waste from the body.This cleansing allows the proper absorption of nutritious foods. Wheatgrass is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin A, complete B complex, B-17, C, E and K.Calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, sulphur, cobalt, zinc, 17 forms of amino acids (including the 8 essential aminos acids) and enzymes. The juice contains high amounts of chlorophyll enzymes, many anti-anti aging properties and nutrients, which have been linked to many medical benefits.
KALE, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.
Eating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin K is abundant in kale.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

RADISH MICROGREENS are germinated radish seeds, which have just put out leaves. Like other sprouts such as alfalfa sprouts and sunflower sprouts, radish micro greens have an excellent nutritional value. Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K are all present in radish, along with zinc, calcium, and iron. Radish micro green also has a mild delicate peppery flavor, just like radish plants, and some people find this flavor enjoyable. Since other sprouts can be a bit bland or dull, radish micro greens can make a pleasant contrast with their brief hit of spice.

These are just 3 of the many types of Microgreens available all year long at the Plainsview Stall. Others include, Broccoli, Fiji Feather Pea Sprouts, Mustard and Cress, Fenugreek and new to the stable, Chives.

What I have learnt from the information is that you only need a little snipping of the Microgreens scattered over your salad, put into a sandwich, popped into your juice or on top of your mashed spuds to gain the benefits of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids. They are an enhancement to your vegetables and not a vegetable in themselves. Treat them as a superfood and a $3 punnet will last you for a whole week.

-With a sorry heart we have to inform our customers that Ian and Denise from Organic Herbs and Seedlings will not be returning to our markets. Their wonderful stall will be sadly missed but others will be stepping in to fill the breech. Jen’s Plants will have a range of spray free vegetable seedlings in a few weeks. Roach’s also has seedlings and an exciting new stall with Herbs and Heritage seedlings will be coming soon.
-Te Awamutu Market starts again in tandem with daylight saving as usual. The first market of this season will be on Thursday 3rd October at 2.30 at Selwyn Park opposite the Rose Garden. We are all looking forward to getting back to Te Awamutu which is a small but vibrant and growing market with a wonderful loyal customer base.

-The Fritterman van is now being run by the Frittercouple! Damien and Nicky are pleased to serve up the bestest Mussel, Corn & Bacon or Pumpkin & Feta Fritters at the market. Whitebait Fritters may also be on sale depending on availability. Check out their new Mussel Chowder too.

-Big Berry is back with their scrummy delicious strawberry and raspberry icecreams (just to cool you down after the Mussel Chowder!) I pass their strawberry fields on the way to the Cambridge Market and can see the strawberries flowering right now so the fruit is only a matter of weeks away.

-Grant and Heather Kane have been fussing over their strawberry plants too especially when the nights are a bit frosty but the crop is looking good and their big and juicy early variety is due at the beginning of October – can you believe it?

-Asparagus and Avocados are not far off and we are hoping for a bumper crop this year. Those two are wonderful harbingers of Spring and Summer.

-Scallops are now available at the 2 Salmon stalls up until December.

-Bubble and Squeak has got to be on the menu this week as there are tons of cabbages and potatoes.

-The Lettuce Man is now selling $5 bunches of mixed greens and herbs. Just point to what you want and Ian will bundle it up for you – includes: spinach, kale, parsley, bok choy, lettuces and coriander.
Check out the flowering Kowhai trees at the Hamilton Sonning Park Market. Just gorgeous. They mightn’t be around for too much longer as the Council owned carpark has been sold for development in 2015 so enjoy them whilst ye may.
Talk next week!
Meg Daly
Celtic Cuisine