MArkets: Cambridge 17th & Hamilton 18th August

This week, the stories just landed in my lap as these stallholders were keen to get their news out to the people.

August is BEE AWARE MONTH so Stephanie Lynch of Sweetree Honey was really keen to share the following article based on information from the NZ Beekeepers Association with you….
“Bees are critically important to New Zealand and to the New Zealand economy – much more so than youmight think! Without bees, our gardens would be without many of their plants and flowers and our major agri-export industries (worth around $5 billion) would be in severe trouble! At least one third of our food depend on honey bees for pollination and this food provides us 35% of our calories, most of our minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. What would happen to our nutrient food intake and in turn our health if our bees disappeared?

Honey bee colonies are dying or disappearing in record numbers in USA. Thriving colonies disappear overnight without leaving a trace. The bees seem to fly off never to return, leaving the queen bee and mother of the hive to starve to death.

Things aren’t quite so bad in New Zealand, yet, but New Zealand bees are increasingly threatened with the long-term effects of varroa mite and other new diseases. Added to this is the misuse of pesticides that affect bees in gardens and on farms, the loss of habitat for shelter and the lack of flowers for bee food.

Here’s what can we do to help our precious New Zealand bees survive:

1) Garden organically. If you struggle with that idea then look for bee friendly sprays and use them at dusk when the bees are back in their hives. Avoid neonicotinoids with these ingredients: acetamiprid, imidacloprid, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. Also avoid spraying when plants are in flower.
2) Grow plants in your garden that attract bees. Bees love plants with ample amounts of pollen and nectar
such as borage, lavender, rosemary, calendula and forget-me-not. Remember bees are attracted to these colours: yellow, blue-green, blue and ultraviolet flowers. You can purchase wildflower bee friendly seeds at the Sweetree Honey stand at the Hamilton Farmers Market. The Bee Friendly seed mixes contain the following flower seeds – Calendula, English Marigold, Mixed cornflowers, China Aster, Clarkia—Farewell to Spring, Coreopsis, Forget-me-Not, Gaillardia—Blanket Flower, Globe Gilia, Linaria, Toadflax, Blue linum, Virginia Stock, Baby Blue Eyes, Corn Poppy,Sweet Mignonette, Sweet alyssum All the money from these seed sales go back to the National Beekeepers Association to help NZ bees.
3) Create a shallow pond in your garden where bees can land on the edges to collect water.
4) Don’t mow your lawn too often, leave clover and dandelion in the lawn for a while for bees to forage on (if you can stand it).
5) Eat more organic food to encourage producers to limit pesticides on crops.
6) If you come across a swarm of bees please don’t call the exterminators but instead call your local beekeeping club. The National Beekeeping Association have some contact numbers on their website. Having said this you do want to destroy wasp nests as they rob beehive honey stores. You can pour petrol on their nests or contact a terminator. Make sure you learn the difference between a wasp nest and natural beehive though!
Find out more about the honey you are eating and make sure it is from beekeepers who care about their bee’s health and not just about production.
Spread the word by letting people know this information and support any petitions or change in policy that further protects our bees.”

Thanks to Stephanie and Martin Lynch from Sweetree Honey for sharing this vital info. Follow the link to find out more - www.sweetreehoney.co.nz/More+Info/Helping+Our+NZ+Bees.html
And here is the news from the Cato Family…

“We will have some beautiful broccoli – this mild weather has allowed us to catch up and supply should be continuous all be it for some slight dips for any cold weather. Sweet Savoy cabbage and the standard cabbage is also in plentiful supply

Potatoes Potatoes: We have good supplies of Agria, Heather and Pink Fir. We are starting to see the end of the Rua Potatoes. We do not spray or dust our potatoes to stop them shooting so any shoots we miss can be just rubbed off. Provided you keep your spuds in a dark cool place it should not be a problem.

Garlic: We are nearing the end of Garlic for the season. There will be Printinor and Takahue for a few more weeks yet but some will have a green shoot in so just flick it out and you have some nice Garlic to eat. Many thanks to all our loyal customers over the last seven months during which we have been selling our Garlic. It has been a pleasure growing and producing it for you and we appreciate the comments you have made about it. Next season’s crop is just about all peeking through and looking good.

Pumpkin: Good supplies of cut Crown pumpkin and Queensland Blue will be at both markets.

Here are pictures of our Brassica and Garlic crops. Looking forward to seeing you all at next week’s market and many more.Richard.”

This is what the Taste New Zealand judges had to say about Basecamp’s Red Wine & Cracked Pepper Venison Salami and BBQ Sausages:

“NZ Butchery at its finest – these Salamis are simply a reflection of the Kaimai Region and New Zealand – great tasting wild meats handled with care to produce the world’s best Salamis and Smallgoods. The instructions, the story, the aroma and flavor all add up to give NZ the best small goods that are the very essence of regional NZ. Wild Venison, Manuka Wood Smoke mixed with respect and a dash of Kaimai make the Salami taste so good. The high quality meat content of the snags makes them the king of the grill. Great flavour, texture and taste that is so often lacking in other so called BBQ Sausages.”

Anyone who wins recognition at the Taste New Zealand Farmers Market Awards has got to be worth looking at. Basecamp Venison Salamis are now available again at the Hamilton Market. See if you think the judges got it right.

Finally I have found a very interesting recipe for an uncooked Blueberry Jam, which is full of quality nutrition unlike normal sugary, cooked to death jams. Try the resulting fresh tasting spread on toasted bagels (Blackwoods ) or wholemeal breads from Volare, Bella Pane or Celtic Cuisine. The use of Chia seeds replaces the need for pectin as they become gel-like when soaked for 15 minutes or so. Chia seeds are a nutritional superfood.

1 tablespoon chia seeds,1 tablespoon raw honey (add more if you prefer it sweeter)1 cup frozen berries1 tablespoon filtered water.

Directions:Whisk the raw honey into water until a syrup is formed. Mix the chia seeds, berries, and raw honey mixture together and set it aside at room temperature. Once every 20 minutes or so, stir the mixture together. The liquid from the berries as they defrost will get absorbed by the chia seeds and create thickness. When the berries are completely defrosted, mash them into the mixture and put the jam in the fridge until ready to use.

And the last word is that we have managed to raise $1000 for the Luca Cittidini appeal. Thanks so much to all those wonderful customers who bought the Tamarillos at $8 a kilo, the proceeds of which went directly into the appeal fund and a special thanks to those who so kindly donated because they were moved by the story. Fundraising is ongoing and we are hoping to have a big bash on Labour Weekend – more about that in a few weeks.

Bye for now!

Meg Daly
Celtic Cuisine.