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The Countdown Is On!

Countdown To Christmas

There are less than 2 more weeks to go until Christmas and the last market at Hamilton will be on Sunday 22nd December. We have a special Christmas Eve Market at Cambridge between 1pm and 4pm on the Tuesday before Christmas, click here for all the details.

Post Christmas, only the Boxing Day market at TA on the 26th will be cancelled, otherwise it’s all systems go at the other 3 markets over the holiday period.

Message For Hamilton FM Attendees

So that the next two markets on Dec 15th and 22nd are a great experience for all those who attend we'd like to make the follow requests:

Get cash before you come, there are ATM machines close. The Eftpos machine will be available, but if it's not too inconvenient think of us as a backup over the next two markets. The queues could be long and it would be disappointing for you if we'd run out of cash.

Make use of the side streets for parking, if you are able to walk a few hundred metres, as the car park is likely to be full to overflowing.

Please take extra care to check for pedestrians when entering and exiting the Sonning Car Park driveway.

Please be patient when exiting the car park, traffic will be slow, and if we all only make a right turn holdups shouldn't be too bad.

Thanks for taking this into consideration.

Schmoozing At The Markets

Danielle Paul is a regular visitor to the Farmers’ Market. Despite the bumpy ride over the potholed asphalt in her zippy wheelchair, she and her siblings Emile and Stacey and grandparents Robert and Pam enjoy cruising around the stalls on a Sunday morning, buying up the week’s groceries and listening to the music on offer while devouring a fresh fruit blueberry ice-cream or some other yummy treat. Danielle will be the one dropping the coins into the hat.

Cheerful Smile

And here is a photo of our esteemed market manager Amanda Ratuki taken at the Te Awamutu market. Amanda (almost) always has a cheerful smile on her face despite the everyday setbacks which occur such as torrential rain and gale force wind, keys being dropped down the portaloo, the electric cable falling out the back of the trailer and too many stallholders to fit into too small a space. Juggling the needs of almost 60 stallholders, the city council’s traffic control requirements and ensuring that she is there to dispense cash to queues of cashless customers requires calmness and self-control beyond the usual call of duty. Thanks Amanda, you do a great job!

Classic Jono Moment!

Keeping to the theme of people photos this week, here is Jono Walker from Soggy Bottom, slacking – a fairly rare occurrence for Jono who is usually run off his feet selling his top class sausages, patties and classic pork pies. He is probably checking his times for his latest marathon or iron man competition. Yawn.

Tea and Sandwiches?

And I caught another two slackers taking a quick break last Sunday. Jenny and Brian Cotterall from Jen’s Plants are pictured here sneaking a flask of tea and a sandwich after the big rush of the morning. They must be exceptionally well organised to have all the plants, signs and tables on board their van as well as a decent lunch, before they depart Te Awamutu at 6.30am every Sunday morning.

Another Emigrant Sees Sense

Emma Kane (pictured above) who normally resides in Australia, has come back to Cambridge for 3 months to help her parents with the strawberry crop over the busy period. In fact she misses NZ so much that she has decided to repatriate and will return for good towards the end of 2014. Hurray, another emigrant sees sense.

Impressive Dreads

This customer displays an impressive head of dreadlocks as he purchases strawberries from the Strawberry Farm. And no, it’s not Tandor.

Consultant Chef

Consultant chef and author Jimmy Boswell has known Ron the Salmon man for a few years now so he kindly stepped in last week and helped out at Ron’s Salmon stall. Jimmy who is the author of The New Zealand Gluten Free Cookbook has recently moved to Cambridge from Auckland (wise man) and you are going to be seeing a lot more of him in the future. He has a website and blog with an international following and he will be filming an 8 episode TV food show called ‘So Fresh, It Still Has Dirt On It” early in 2014. Jimmy has a passion for seasonal locally produced food as well as gluten free cooking and he is keen to share his knowledge with the world starting with the Waikato Farmers’ Markets. Jimmy is planning to do some cooking demonstrations at the market using produce available from the stalls that day. Can’t get much fresher or more local than that! Check out his blog.

A Raglanesque Wedding

We won’t be seeing much of Lennart Prinz next weekend as he is getting hitched to long time partner Jody. It’s going to be a Raglanesque wedding decorated with home made bunting and brightly dyed doilies The groom will be wearing a second hand pin striped suit he tells me proudly and there will be lots of live music, homemade wine and wholesome natural food, doubtless including Lennart’s very own Oyster Mushrooms. He promises me photos, which I can share on the blog. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Bennes For Christmas

Clif assures me that he will have masses of Jersey Bennes for Christmas having planted them way back in August. He plans to take an extended break after Christmas prior to the melons coming on stream, so you will need to get in and buy up now.

Stock Up For Christmas

According to tradition, the last two weekends of December are the busiest at the FMs, with customers wanting fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries as well as new potatoes, asparagus and avocados, smoked salmon, sour dough breads, goat cheese and shortbreads, Christmas cakes and mince pies for the Christmas feast.

You can get free-range hams and chickens from Soggy Bottom too and a range of lovely salad vegetables including tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and capsicums. In fact just about all you need can be source locally at the Farmers’ Markets in Hamilton (Sunday mornings), Cambridge (Saturday mornings) and Te Awamutu (Thursday afternoons). Markets times and locations are available here

The countdown is on…
See you at the markets!