2nd & 3rd February

I thought I would talk about a few of the more quirky stalls we have at the Hamilton Farmers’Market at the moment. Did you know that there is a stall dedicated entirely to dogs? Yes, Woofas is the place to visit for those healthy treats for Canines. In fact the quality of the product is so high that humans can also partake, that is if you care for liver flavoured Tonsil Ticklers or Doggone Delights in funky bone shapes. Their latest innovation is just fabulous for puppies. It is called Pupcorn and no I haven’t made a typo thanks computer. Pupcorn is popcorn but flavoured with liver or chicken and molasses and it is easy to eat for lickle puppies who still have their milk teeth. (Collective Awwwww please). I think the packaging that Woofas do for their doggie treats is really attractive and their display is top class. If you want quality hand made treats for your dog or your girlfriend’s dog or your granny’s old mutt, Woofas is the only place in town to go on a Sunday at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market.

Just so you humans don’t feel left out, I can assure you that there are lots of treats in store for you too at the Farmers’Market! For instance we want to welcome Taunga Kereru from Raglan who has been quietly working away introducing an extraordinary range of gourmet products to an ever growing and eager Hamilton audience. Rick and his wife Liz are famous characters in their stomping ground of Raglan where they have been involved with organic growing and recycling for many years. They are nationally(possibly internationally) famous for their genuine NZ Garlic. This organically grown garlic is sold singly, in hanks or mixed into delicious harrissa pastes and herb pestos.  Check out their range of products and taste some of the more usual mixtures such as lime and coriander pesto with coconut. These goes well with Celtic Cuisine’s oatcakes and you might be able to taste both if you get to the market early this Sunday.

Another treat which really should become a necessity is a weekly bunch of flowers from Margie who can be found beside Clif Fyers, the Melon Man , each week. Margie has a clever eye for colour and her bouquets of mixed flowers are always devine. Her price for a made up bouquet is a very reasonable $12 and she has smaller posies or single stems for you to make up your own floral masterpieces at even cheaper prices. Buying direct from the grower is always the best but you already know that if you are reading this blog.

Capsicums, tomatoes, bean, courgettes, garlic carrots, beetroot , cucumbers, eggplants, lettuce, and fresh dug potatoes are in abundance at the market. Watermelons have finally arrived at Clif’s stall and strawberries are still going strong for about another 3 weeks. AvoGlade Avocados offer you fresh and tasty avocados at the Hamilton Farmers Market that they grow on their avocado orchard at Aongatete (near Katikati), Bay of Plenty.  Fruit will be in short supply this year due to a national ‘off’ season created by the bi-annual bearing nature of avocado trees so make the most of the next few weeks while Steve & Colleen can still provide you with their first grade nutritional produce.  Pick up a copy of their storage and ripening hints when you visit their stall. The Avos are also coming to a close but they are predicting another 3 weeks . Talk to them about storing tips for your avos.
We are keeping our fingers crossed for freshly picked sweetcorn this week – the stuff in the shops is not local so beware….Come back Linehans Sweetcorn. We love you and miss you. It’s been a slow season for corn this year so have patience.

Next week I am going to profile some of the ready to eat foods available at the market and I will endeavour to persuade you NOT to eat breakfast before you come to see us next Sunday. All the best until then.