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Super Lively Markets

We Have All You Need

We have had super lively markets recently. When the sun comes out so do all the people looking for fresh vegetables, cheese, organically raised meat, fish straight from the trawler at Raglan, boutique olive oils, honey straight from the bees via their beekeepers, free range eggs including quail eggs, strawberries, asparagus and avocados harvested just hours before the market.
As well as all that we have the start of the blueberries, Waikato grown tomatoes, courgettes, Lebanese cucumbers and jersey bennes. We have broccoli, carrots, beets, fennel, microgreens and smoked salmon and scallops. Cherimoyas and limes and lemons too at Cambridge. There is fresh silverbeet, radishes, Waikato oranges and organically raised vegetable and herb seedlings.
We have jams, chutneys and preserved lemons, kasundi and harrissa. We have goat cheese and sheep cheese, salamis, oyster mushrooms, chorizo and Cumberland sausages, Cornish pasties and Scottish and Welsh baking. We have sour dough and gluten free breads.
We have chocolate croissants, date scones, filled breakfast baps and bags $1kg bags of locally roasted coffee beans . We have home made chocolates and authentic Italian gnocchi and pasta.

Sorry To Interrupt, But We've An Announcement!

Due to Round the Bridges, the Hamilton Farmers Market will be located on the Mill St Field, click here for map on Sunday November 17th. The market will operate its usual hours and there is off street parking at Gate 1A on the Tristram Street extension. We are going to replicate the Sonning Carpark market layout as much as possible, but there are likely to be a few changes. If you could help us get the word out that would be brilliant- why not post this link to your Facebook page today to let your friends and family know.

Korean Pancakes

Apart from all of the above we have Korean pancakes, Dutch waffles with organic blueberries and organic cream. We have posh hot dogs, white bait fritters and fresh fish and salad wraps AND we have entertainment – opera, child prodigies, banjo pickers, human statues and one man bands. Let’s face it, we have it all.

Markets Attracting People From Wider Afield

Our Farmers’ Markets in Hamilton and Cambridge and Te Awamutu have come so far in the past seven years. Those of you who have been loyal customers will agree that from little acorns, great oaks do grow. Our Waikato based Markets are now attracting people from wider afield. It not uncommon for Aucklanders to make a Sunday trip to Hammy for a morning at the market and an afternoon at the Gardens and what a nice way that is to escape the big smoke.
In Cambridge on the other hand we meet Wellingtonians who are usually passing through on their way north on a Saturday but who can’t resist the sign that says ‘Farmers’ Market on here”.
Thursday afternoons at Te Awamutu attract out of town farmers as the Stock Sales are on Thursdays and they often turn up to the market with a shopping list from the Missus!

Caring By Sharing

An article in the AA Directions magazine extolling the virtues of sharing to build a stronger more collaborative community brought to mind the sharing that goes on behind the scenes at the Farmers’ Markets that you may not be aware of.
Heather and Grant Kane often give away their surplus seconds of their strawberries to local resthomes as do Bill and Riria from Big Berry. The strawberries that are not turned into mousses or tarts are boiled down by some of the more able residents for home made jam which they give away as gifts at Christmas.
Other vendors have been known to give their surplus baked products, eggs or vegetables to the local food banks.

Coffee Grinds To Deter Slugs

Coffee Grinds left over from the coffee carts are now finding their way to the HerbsPlus stall where they are given away with every purchase of coriander. Why? To sprinkle around the baby plants to deter slugs and snails of course.
Some customers are taking advantage of the City to Soil Initiative where they bring their kitchen scraps to a worm farmers (also HerbsPlus). These are turned into the super organic fertiliser -vermicast (worm poo) and this is used to create biologically grown vegetables for sale at the market. Customers are entitled to a bucket of vermicast for their own gardens after 6 months of regular scrap delivery if they so desire.
Recycling egg cartons has been going on for years and now you can recycle your plant pots too. Jenny Cotterell from Jen’s Plants and Wendy Oates from HerbsPlus will happily take them off your hands.

Community Stalls

The Market Trust encourages charities to run stalls selling animal manure as garden fertilizer or produce which does not complete with existing stallholders’ produce. There is even a community stall where you can sell your excess turnips or quinces etc. A single charity can run up to 3 stalls a year. See the manager Amanda, if you have an idea

Community Collaboration Spirit

Continuing the community collaboration spirit, some customers have been known to part with secret recipes, bring in favourite cakes to share and compare and come Christmas, some favourite stallholders get pressies of home-made limoncello or Seville marmalade!
One customer has been supplying organic lavender flowers for the lavender shortbread maker in return for free passionfruit once the season starts. A bit of bartering is not unknown – some biscuits for a recipe or a pot of herbs for a cutting of a rare plant. All of which is great for growing healthy communities and developing a sense of belonging. The market raised $2,000 recently for Luca Cittadini – a stallholder’s child who was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year. Makes you proud to be a New Zealander.
Did you realise that New Zealanders are returning home from Australia in droves? They say, and I quote, that life in Aussie has become ‘a bit too commercial and shallow’ and returnees have finally realised that there really is no place like home.
When the weather is kind and the flowers and lime green leaves of spring are at their most stunning, celebrate being alive by caring for yourself and others. Eat healthy and give a salad to a friend! Thus ends the sermon for this week…
See you at the markets.