Markets:TA 14th, Cambridge 16th & Hamilton 17th February

Marvellous weather and well we deserve it after such a slow start. The weather is bringing on the abundance of summer produce too.
Gala Apples have started – see Devine Fruits and the last of the Sunrise from Cheryl and Jack at Jack’s Orchard.
Sweet Corn from Linehans is flying out. Teresa just about always runs out before the end of the market so get in early.
Fresh Autumn Raspberries and Luisa Plums from our old friend Bob Teal are now ready for picking – off his stall that is.
Celtic Cuisine’s Passionfruit sideline is starting and a few of the other stalls have the odd bag – once again the early birds get these ones. March is the peak season for passion fruit.
Avos coming to an end though – Talk to the nice people at Avoglade.
Richard Cato growled me last week for saying that broccoli was coming to a end – Rubbish! Says he. It comes in waves and he has a tsunami of broccoli right now.
Melons melons melons – what can I say? Clif Fyers is the expert in his field when it comes to growing melons and the honeydew melons are not far off. They usually co-incide with passionfruit and served together  they are a marriage of flavours definitely made in heaven.
Potatoes – freshly dug – we have about 4 stalls selling home grown potatoes. Agria, Heather, Jersey Bennes, Pink Fir Apple etc
Tomatoes, Beans, Courgettes, capsicums, Sweet Point capsicums (my fave)  and Egg Plants by the ton!!! Don’t you just love this time of year?
Lettuce as well. Despite the heat, Ian Kerr’s lettuces are holding up well and he has tons of basil right now. Join the queue early in the morning.
Garlic – heaps and I see that Chris from Macadamia Nuts is selling Elephant Garlic – interesting looking stuff.
Weird eggs plants from Kanes and they have delicious Nashis too. Lovely straight from the fridge and the fact that they are locally grown makes them extra goooood.

Lots of juices too squeezed from the fresh fruit of our local area, Apple and Feijoa, juice and the thicker fruit smoothies from Devine Fruits are both good buys. I usually water them down a bit because they are so rich so 2 litres can turn into 3 litres – spelling outstanding value for money. Nashi Juice from Kanes is worth a try – very refreshing. Blueberry Juice from Monovale Organic Blueberries is a real treat. Try freezing it into iceblocks for healthy and cheap summer coolers. The Beach Hutt has homemade lemonade with soda as a great refresher when you are slogging your way around the market stalls in the heat of February. $2 – cheap as chips but a lot healthier.

Carrots, microgreens, wheatgrass, courgette flowers, plants and seedlings are all available at the moment. Denise from Organic Seedlings and Herbs says now is the time to put in your onions and in a few weeks put in your winter veggies. No good at the moment due to the white butterfly invasion. I saw that Denise has mature egg plant plants which will produce immediately in your garden if you forgot to get them in earlier.

We have all of the above in great abundance and a great selection of meat, fish, eggs and bread and baked treats to round off your weekly shop. A clued up Market Shopper can purchase most of his or her fresh food at the local markets in Te Awamutu (Thurs afternoons) Cambridge (Sat mornings 8 – 12 ) and Hamilton Sun mornings (8 – 12). So come a join the revolution and support your local producers. Keep the jobs and the money circulating in the Waikato and we all benefit. Thanks everyone. See you at the Farmers’ Markets!!

Meg Daly