Winter newsletter

When Winter comes, is Spring not far behind?

While the weather is treating us to some nasty displays of heavy rain and hail, winter frost and gale force winds, you can be assured of a warm welcome at the Cambridge and Hamilton Farmers’ Markets. Just tog up snugly and get in some extra character building each Saturday and Sunday morning. As stallholders, we committed to be at the market, hail rain or shine when we first signed up and we have noticed that our loyal customers seem to have committed to the same thing. Once you are in the weekly habit of buying your local organically raised meat, sourdough bread, home grown organic Agrias and winter greens, locally grown apples and pears and Irish Soda Bread none of which are in the supermarkets, you don’t really have a choice! We appreciate your NZ toughness in all weathers. Thank you!

City to Soil

Annie Wilson from Miranda Organics introduced the ‘City to Soil’ initiative to the Hamilton Market about 3 years ago. It is now available at Cambridge as well as Hamilton. ‘City to Soil’ is an opportunity for those who are environmentally aware but do not  or cannot have a compost heap, to recycle their kitchen scraps instead of throwing them out with the rubbish.

Simply bring your weekly bag of peelings and food scraps (including coffee grounds) to the market, where a City To Soil Recycler (currently Meg Daly from Celtic Cuisine) will feed the contents to her worm farms and hot compost heaps. Within 6 months or sometimes less, a lovely dark mound of vermicast is produced from the organic breakdown of the scraps, creating a quality natural fertilizer for the soil containing all the mineral and nutrients required for healthy vegetative growth.

If you wish, you can receive a bag of vermicast for your own use in return for being a regular supplier of scraps. Biodegradable bags and holders can be purchased from the Market Information Tent for about $20 all up, but these are not essential. A supermarket bag is fine. Talk to Mona at the Information Tent for more low down on this great idea.

TE AWAMUTU Closed for Winter


We now have those gems of the winter months, persimmons and tamarillos, limes and mandarins. Winter is almost worth suffering when these beauties come on the stalls. Feijoas are also still available from Roy’s Stall and Southern Fresh as well as lovely local apples from Jack’s Orchard and Devine Fruits and juicy pears from Top Pears. Limequats are also available from Fruition. These are an interesting cross between a lime and a kumquat. They make a particularly gorgeous Limequat Curd (like lemon honey) which has a super mouth puckering sweet sourness.

Bob Teal who is well known for his spring and autumn raspberries, comes to the market once or twice a month during the winter with his stock of frozen berries and Monovale Blueberries also come twice a month with their anti-oxidant rich frozen supply of blueberries and delicious blueberry waffles with organic cream. Also blueberry ice creams for those seeking internal winter frostiness.

Vitamin rich winter fruits can be used as toppings for hot porridge, over muesli, in winter tarts or crumbles – feijoa, blueberry and pear crumble is one hell of a dessert.

Winter fruit turnovers or deep dish fruit pies with tamarillos and persimmons are somehow less naughty during winter and when served with hot homemade custard (using free range eggs, sugar and cream) you would be forgiven if you gave an orgasmic gasp of sheer delight when tasting. Want to know how to win friends and influence people? The secret is to serve ‘em a proper winter pudding. Dale Carnegie never told you that.


Margaret from Cardalue Nurseries has a fine line in colourful flowers and bouquets at both Cambridge and Hamilton Markets. You really should treat yourself to a selection of the hottest reds, the warmest oranges and the brightest yellows and create a ‘floral fire’ arrangement to give visual warmth to your home? These flowers come straight from the Nurseries and are astounding value for money. Margaret will make up a bouquet with your choice of flowers for free.