Water, water everywhere . . .

December 1, 2018

The Ancient Mariner would feel right at home in North Otago at the moment – there’s water, water everywhere, but  Oamaru and much of the hinterland is in danger of running out any to drink.

All of Oamaru,  Weston and Enfield rural areas, Kakanui, Herbert, Hampden and Moeraki supply areas are on full water restrictions:

Oamaru and the surrounding areas are now on FULL WATER RESTRICTIONS, meaning essential water use only.

Essential water use is:

– No clothes washing

– No car cleaning

– No water use at all that is not absolutely necessary.

– Don’t use dishwashers – hand wash only

– No watering of plants etc

– Flush No 2’s only

Other helpful things to do is to make sure you have no leaks at all, get them fixed please.

If we run out of treated water, we will be forced to deliver untreated turbid water, that you will have to boil to drink.

This will likely mean schools and businesses will have to close, and it will take a long time to recover from.

We need to seriously reduce water usage for 4 days to let things recover to a manageable level.​
Image may contain: text that says "URGENT WATER RESTRICTIONS ESSENTIAL WATER USE ONLY FOR EVERONE ON THE OAMARU WATER SUPPLY Oamaru, Weston, Hampden, Herbert, Enfield, down to Moeraki for next 4 DAYS from Nov 30 Eg: 2 min shower only, No washing clothes Don't water garden, flush No 2's only, Don' use dishwasher, Fix leaks, No car washing, no filling pools etc. info here: www.waitaki.govt.nz Waitaki COUNCIL"

This is serious.

Too much rain over the last week has left the Waitaki river which supplies water for the town and outlying areas too dirty for the treatment plant to deal with.

If people don’t conserve enough water, businesses will be shut down for several days.


Too much water dilutes flavour?

January 7, 2009

Almost every area has produce of which it can be proud and one of North Otago’s culinary treasures is its new potatoes.

There is a happy mix of climate and soils which produces potatoes with a distinct and delicious taste.

So good are they that others have tried to trade on their reputation.

A couple of years ago a Kakanui grower saw boxes purporting to contain North Otago new potatoes while visiting Nelson in October. Knowing his own crop was still some weeks away from harvest he did a little detective work and discovered they weren’t North Otago potatoes but Nelson ones pretending to be their superior southern cousins.

When the first new potatoes of the season appear in the supermarket we resist them. Knowing they come from further north and never measure up to those grown in North Otago we wait to enjoy the local ones.

This season, however, I reluctantly admit that the Kakanui and Totara spuds didn’t live up to my expectations.

In light of the discussion by JC and Fran O’Sullivan four posts back  about too much water diluting the flavour of tomatoes, I wonder if that applies to potatoes too because the one major difference in the production of this season’s crop and those of previous years is irrigation.


Which Province is NZ’s Food Bowl?

July 12, 2008

If Waikato is the food bowl of New Zealand  as Lianne Dalziel said in justifying the appointment of former MP Dianne Yates to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Board, then the province needs to improve its marketing.

I’d have accepted the cream can or horse racing capital, but Waitako wouldn’t immediately come to mind if I was asked which province is the nation’s food bowl.

If we’re going for North Island entrants for the title Hawkes Bay with its wonderful fruit, vegetables, sea food and wine would be a finalist. The Bay of Plenty, Poverty Bay and Northland have a delicious range of fruit and vegetables too; and Wairarapa has wine and olives.

In the South Island, Central Otago can claim the country’s best stone fruit, it has pip fruit and wine too. Nelson and Malborough also grow tasty fruit and have delicious sea food and wine. Canterbury produces tasty fruit and good wine too.

Oysters put Southland on the list, though I’m not sure if swedes would be counted for or against them 🙂

Lamb is legend in Hawkes Bay, Canterbury and Southland, though just about anywhere in New Zealand grows it just as well, and the same can be said for beef.

North Otago may not spring to everyone’s mind as the culinary capital but we have a growing appreciation of our primary produce. There’s a fledging viticulture industry, and Fleurs Place at Moeraki has woken our taste buds to the delights of local fish and sea food. Just as the cold winters add intensity of flavour to Central’s stone fruit, the colder water enhances the flavour of fish, particularly blue cod.

Riverstone Kitchen , a finalist in the Cuisine restaurant of the Year, uses as much local produce as possible – including fruit, vegetables and herbs, from its own orchard and garden.

Wasabi is grown in the Waitaki Valley and it also produces very sweet strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, blackberries, tayberries and boysenberries.

Whitestone Cheese has an array of national awards to back up my ever so slightly biased view that they produce the country’s best cheese.

Totara Lowlands  sells the most succulent cherries I have ever eaten – they don’t export so the pick of the crop is sold locally. Their hazelnuts and honey are also top quality.

While we’re in that part of the the district, Totara and nearby Kakanui are renowned for the vegetables from their market gardens and there are simply no better new potatoes in the world than those which grow here. They are no ordinary spuds, they’re more like underground strawberries.

If you don’t understand how proud North Otago would be if we were called the nation’s potato patch then you obviously haven’t tasted the Jersey Bennies which grow here.


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