May 2014 Bring You Peace, Calm, Health & Local Produce!

We At The Farmers' Markets Can Help You!

Happy New Year. May 2014 bring you peace, calm, health and great fresh local food. We at the Farmers’ Market can help out with the last one!

After a quiet start to 2014 due to both customers and stallholders taking some chillax time out, the buzz at the markets is definitely growing again. Summer is such an easy time to write about as the terrific variety produce speaks for itself. I tend to prattle on about the locally grown fruit and veg but we do of course have the whole fresh grocery range on offer, meat, fish, eggs, bread and baking.

This weekend at the markets you can expect the first of the fresh Sweetcorn from Linnehans, which never fails to please on flavour and price. The first few weeks when fresh corn appears at the market, it is usually flies off the back of the trailer but this is typical of seasonal eating. Doing without fresh corn for up to 10 months of the year is worth it because that first annual taste of those sweet juicy kernels slathered with butter is mouth wateringly delicious. If we had it all year round, it would be ho hum. Yes, it can be bought frozen or canned but obviously this doesn't come near the flavor and texture of a corncob that has just been picked and is still plump and shiny beneath its numerous sheaths and threads.

Another seasonal special is Water Melon from the Melon Man – you won’t find better quality melons than here at the Farmers’ Markets straight from the fields to you. No chilling takes place. No weeks pass in storage before the melons on put on sale. Here the melons are harvested the day before the market and Clif selects only those that are perfectly ripe to sell to you.

Courgettes, zucchini, squash – whatever name they go by, are in huge supply at the markets. Clif sells scaloppini or patty-pan squash right now. These are the flying saucer shaped yellow courgettes, which have a firmer texture than the long green variety. Clif suggests cutting them in half then plonk the big cut side on the hot BBQ for 3 or 4 minutes, turn them over to cook on the other side and while that is happening spread on some pesto on the bigger cut side and let it warm up. Delicious on their own or as a side to steak or chicken.

Plenty of new potatoes on offer now and you can still get them as well as your greens in the form of broccoli and kale from Richard and Judy Cato. Capsicums and those lovely sweet point peppers are in great supply from Southern Bell orchard. You can eat them like apples they are that sweet!

We welcome Wonderland Cupcakes to the market. You can find them opposite Cato’s potatoes and Kane’s strawberries. Their pretty stall is a delight and if you want a delicious and beautiful to look at cupcake, (and who doesn’t as a special treat every now and again) you needn’t look any further than Wonderland. The two ladies are Auntie and Niece and they have put their collective talent and business know how together to start up this little stall. They will do special orders, birthday and wedding cupcake extravaganzas too. Pick up a treat and a card the next time you are passing.

Tomatoes are steadily marching towards their production peak. We still have lovely hothouse tomatoes but the end of the month will see great big buckets of outdoor tomatoes from Plainsview Nursery, The Tomato Man, Pirongia Harvest and Mike Roach. Think about 2014 as the year of the homemade tomato chutney, relish and sauce and how about giving slow baked oven tomatoes a go. Once they are done they can be packed in fragrant garlic infused oil and they will outshine the flavour of any commercial bottled sundried tomatoes, no contest. The very best basil and garlic are on offer at the market too so all you need is here.

Welcome to summer. Revel in the variety of summer vegetables available right now. Strawberries continue for another few months. We may even get some raspberries. Passionfruit comes in mid Feb and of course, melons and grapes are not far off now.

We've had a lot of discussion lately about pooches at the Cambridge Farmers' Markets. As a health and safety practice no dogs are allowed in any of the Waikato Farmers' Markets. As Victoria Square Park, where the Cambridge Farmers' Markets are held, is a dog free zone by order of the Waipa District Council there will no longer be pooch parking. We apologies for any inconvenience this causes, and suggest that you discuss this with the council directly.

Our youtube film of the Hamilton Farmers' Markets by Brooke Baker, is now available for viewing, check it out here.

See you at Te Awamutu on Thursday afternoons, Cambridge on Saturday mornings and Hamilton on Sunday mornings. The markets run weekly with Te Awamutu operating during the daylight saving months of summer.