Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Missing the Cream in the butter

If there is one thing that is missing in Marlborough then it is the lack of a local diary or milk factory. We still have vibrant milk industry that delivers by truck to Christchurch everyday and then it is processed and trucked back to us the following. As with all things in all regions it takes years time to build up localism and confidence in local food distribution but only a matter of a couple of boardroom decisions to take all of that away.

I am prepared to take a bet, put my hand up, be the first customer and  official taste tester (somebody has to)  for locally made Butter or Yoghurt from milk produced in Marlborough. In fact why stop there – I will personally cook a 10 course degustation (not devastation !) dinner and provide the wine to the first company or business people that sets up a commercial diary. There is something special about tasting something that you know has not been churned through the giant industrial machines of modern food production systems. I am not saying lets go back one hundreds years ago and be total self sufficient in all of our hunting, gathering and foraging – but lets have the choice, from our region or from far away

People said it would not happen, people said that it could not be done, people said that it was on the wrong day, in the wrong place, to windy, to hot, to cold, to short, not big enough and not enough choice. I think that the Jennie Crums and Sandra Morrits of the world should take a bow, they knew that nine years ago that if you support the people in your community, they in turn would support you – you need to lead by example, not by what people cant do, but by what communities can do. If you need proof that our region is ready to have a commercial diary operation then just go to the Farmers' market where you will find thousands of Hungry Localvores hunting, gathering and foraging ever Sunday morning from 9 am to 12 noon sampling the very best of what our region has to offer

Home-made butter

double cream (it is easier to make butter with older cream)


  1. Take the cream out of the fridge and let it warm to room temperature for about half an hour.
    2. Pour enough cream into a jam jar (choose the largest jar you can comfortably hold) to come a third of the way up the sides. You need to leave plenty of airspace so the cream can really move around.
    3. Screw on the lid tightly. Now shake the jar up and down and all around so that the cream bounces against the lid. It is important not to stop shaking until the butter starts to form.
    4. First you will feel the cream slop around in the jar, then you will notice that it stops slopping and goes silent. At this stage you just have whipped cream. Keep shaking. Pretend you're playing the maracas! It may take ten minutes or it may take half an hour.
    5. All of a sudden the sound and the sensation will change. You'll have a big lump sloshing around in a thin, watery liquid. The lump is your butter and the liquid is buttermilk. Carefully open the lid and take a look inside.
    6. Now you have to wash your butter under the cold tap. Drain the buttermilk off into a mug and fill the jam jar with cold water. Swirl the lump of butter around in the water and pour the water carefully away. Do this again and again until the water is clear.
    7. Put the butter lump on the board and press down on it with the back of a wooden spoon (or use your hands) to force out any buttermilk still inside. This is important, as any buttermilk left inside it will make it go sour.
    8. You can now mould your butter into a shape, wrap it in greaseproof paper and keep it in the fridge, or eat it straight away. Perfect to spread on thickly cut Debrood bakery bread


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Strawberries in Season

There is a time of the year when you know that the last of the winter blues have been shrugged off, the time of the year when the sun radiates a warmth you have not felt for a number of months, and while the rest of the country is being rained on, the sun is shining over Marlborough.

Spring is here and I have been pleasantly surprised, as have the hundreds of people who buy them at the farmers market every Sunday, by the fact that we can buy great-tasting strawberries so early in the season.

In fact, we are one of the first places in New Zealand to be able to purchase these sun-drenched, flavoursome berries.  The best thing about strawberries is that one is not enough and with each week that goes by they get better and better.     Now, I am not one to gossip, but I have heard that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with the opposite sex, you'll soon fall in love.  In France, strawberries were thought to be an aphrodisiac.   A soup made of strawberries, thinned sour cream, borage and powdered sugar is served to newlyweds.  Hedgerows hydroponic strawberries are currently available and I know that Jones' outdoor grown strawberries are not far away from being ready.   There is a difference in size, taste and flavour and that is part of what makes nature unique.  Just like people, fruit comes in all different sizes, shades of colours and intensity of flavours. We take the products nature gives us and we use them for what they are good at now.    My favourite way to eat strawberries at this time of the year is to very gently heat them in batter, which makes them taste even better!

Buttermilk Pancakes with Spring Strawberries  4 persons 

2 cups Flour

2 T sugar

2 eggs

1 t Baking Powder

½ t Baking Soda

1 ¾ C Buttermilk

3 T Melted butter

1 large punnet of Marlborough Strawberries

1 c Natural Yoghurt

Juice and Rind of 2 lemons

Icing Sugar to sprinkle

In a Medium bowl sift together all dry ingredients twice.  Make a well and add whisked eggs, butter and buttermilk.  Leave to sit for 15 mins and then add strawberries,  do not over mix.  Spoon into a lightly greased heavy pan and turn once.  Mix Yoghurt and lemon together.  Stack onto serving plates and dollop on yoghurt and sprinkle with icing sugar

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A great night out for a great cause!

Farmers Markets New Zealand Food Inc Movie

This Wednesday at 8:30pm NZ will see the premiere of the movie Food Inc.

It is probably the most important food movie of the last few years and is creating huge discussion overseas.

Food Inc is a movie about the food we eat. It challenges us to think about who grows it and what modern
developments in food production mean to our health and our environment.

You can see for yourself what all the talk is about by attending the open night screenings throughout
the country.

Farmers Market New Zealand is hosting this premiere in celebration of the new growing season and $5 from
every ticket sold will go directly to your local Farmers Market.

Greystone Wines from the Waipara Valley in North Canterbury will be providing a free glass of wine at
each of the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch screenings.

For more information and to purchase your ticket for only $20 go to www.fmnzfoodinc.org.nz.

Show support for your local food producers and have a great night out at the same time.

Proudly supported by:
Radio Live - Farmers Markets New Zealand Food Inc Movie Greystone Wines - Farmers Markets New Zealand Food Inc Movie

This email was sent to membersfarmersmarkets.chris@blogger.com on behalf of your local Farmers
Market. You can instantly unsubscribe from these emails
by clicking here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

FOOD inc October 14 th Nationwide - Press release

October the 14 th, 8.30 pm at all good
Cinemas nationwide

FMNZ is pleased to announce they have secured the premiere screening of the movie "Food Inc" as a nationwide fundraiser forNew Zealand  Farmers' Markets throughout the country. The premiere screening is to celebrate the new growing season and will happen on Wednesday 14th October.

Food Inc is a movie about the food we eat. It challenges us to think about who grows it and what modern developments in food production mean to our health and our environment.

The director Robert Kenner draws upon the searing reportage of authors Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) There are stories of heartbreak and outrage, but the film carefully channels these emotions towards opportunities for activism. Watching FOOD, INC. gives you a strong appetite for better meals.
The overriding message to take away from the film is that each of us has the ability to vote on this issue every day –at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Farmers Markets throughout the country are giving New Zealanders an alternative to industrialised food systems and a reminder that we don't need to create factory farms to feed ourselves.

NZ Farmers Market chair Chris Fortune sees this movie as an important milestone as part of the international increase in awareness around where our food is from. "October is the month when many of our smaller, regional markets are beginning again after a winter break. It's also the month that really symbolises spring for food producers- the beginning of a new growing season, and a time of hope and promise. We think it's a perfect time to ask everyone to just take a moment to think about the choices they make when they buy their food. This film is the perfect vehicle to highlight that we all have that choice".

He also asks: "Is this the path that New Zealand is heading down as we move into a more Americanised style of food production? Alternatively do we look at the European Model of embracing the local food producers around them and using them as the heroes and icons of the dinner table?"

This movie premiere is a chance to have a great night out while supporting farmers markets and small food producers at a local level. It's a way of educating yourself and funding your local farmers market for the next season at the same time.

Premiere screening tickets are $20 and $5 of every ticket goes back to your local farmers market. Go to www.farmersmarket.org.nz for details on where to purchase your ticket.

Greystone Wines from the Waipara Valley in North Canterbury is also proud to support the premiere screening of the movie "Food Inc" in conjunction with The NZ Farmers Market Association.

Marketing Manager Angela Clifford suggests "Food Inc is a movie that asks you to think about where your food comes from, to question the industrialisation of food and to support small producers who "grow their own". Greystone asks you to do the same for wine!"

For more information please contact:

Chris Fortune
NZ Farmers Market Association
Ph: 021 935 995