Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Recession? Not in our Garden

It has been a very interesting couple of weeks, I have been lucky enough to travel the length of NZ and talk and network with food producers from every industry, blueberry growers  in the north, watermelon producers in the south, picklers and preservers in the west and orange and citrus growers from the western bay of plenty

If you were to tell me there was a recession on I would not believe you - garden centres are reporting record sales of plants and seedlings , farmers' markets have more customers and producers buying and selling at them and I have not heard a single negative comment about the downturn in community building and networking as people are looking inwards instead of outwards for there holidays and leisure activities.  In fact  I think that the worlds media has got it mixed up, there is no economic downturn and doom in gloom in the backyard  garden, the is no share markets slide in neighbours trading fruit over the bank fence and there is a increase in the number of lemonade business being set in front of suburban houses around the country as our young enterprisers' or tomorrow set up shop and learn new business skills.

We hear all about the increase in grocery prices but all I hear is  the value for money  that people get when they buy directly from the source, we see piles of value added food products in front of us at the dinner table in jars and unsustainable plastic packaging  and we complain about the price or our grocery bills but all is I see is a successful marketing plan to get us to buy stuff that we don't really need or want when it is all really available from the garden or vegetable section or from thy neighbour

'The future is not a place to which we are going; it is a place we are creating. The paths to the future are not found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.'

John Schaar

Honey-spiced apricots

Serve these with dollops of yoghurt for breakfast or dinner, or add a crumble topping and bake in the oven for a quick and easy dessert. If all else fails, just eat them straight from the jar.

2 kg whole firm Marlborough  apricots

cinnamon sticks and cloves for each jar

4 cups white wine vinegar

400 g Marlborough honey


With a fork, prick the apricots all over and place them into cold sterilised jars. Place 4 cloves and 1 cinnamon stick in each jar. Bring the vinegar and honey to the boil in a saucepan for 5 minutes until it just starts to thicken, then pour over the apricots. Leave to cool before sealing the jars. To achieve the best flavour, leave for 1 month and use within 12 months.

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