Rural round-up


Waikato land likely to be better used now:

Lands owned by two Waikato tribes will be better used thanks to an agreement by the iwi and Lincoln University.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura and Ngati Haua have signed a memorandum of understanding with the tertiary educator.

The document outlines an agreement to create an agricultural training centre in Waikato and to explore a new farm certificate course.

Tribal spokesperson Willie Te Aho, who affiliates to both iwi, says the programme is intended for everyone – not just tangata whenua. . .

Bee Aware Month – Love Our Kiwi Bees:

August is Bee Aware Month and the National Beekeepers Association is urging the government to take the threat to bees much more seriously.

Bees account for over 5 billion dollars of New Zealand’s economy through the pollination of crops and honey exports.

But bees are under threat. All wild bees have been wiped out by the varroa mite which is also threatening the rest of our bees.

“The varroa mite is one of the biggest threats facing our Kiwi bees. It has spread throughout the country and we desperately need to contain this dangerous pest,” says NBA CEO Daniel Paul. . .

Wilding pines cleared from shores of Lake Pukaki:

Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson says the battle to preserve New Zealand’s natural heritage has taken a step forward, with 150 hectares of wilding trees cleared at the iconic Lake Pukaki.

Land Information New Zealand has completed an intensive 18 month eradication programme in an area between the western shoreline of the lake and State Highway 80.  It will enable the shoreline to return to its natural state.

“Wilding trees, including conifers such as lodgepole pine (pinus contorta), pose a significant threat to the environment by competing with native flora and fauna for sunlight and water.

“The Government is committed to minimising the impact of these trees by clearing them from Crown land and contributing to community programmes in areas such as Mid Dome, Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu,” Mr Williamson says. . .

Horticulture New Zealand elects new president:

Fruit and berry grower Julian Raine has been elected president of Horticulture New Zealand.

Julian is Nelson based and has 30 years’ experience in the industry. He takes over from Andrew Fenton who has been president since HortNZ’s inception in 2005.

Julian has extensive experience both in growing and wide – ranging roles in industry organisations.

“Julian has been a director of the New Zealand Boysenberry Council and Nelson Seasonal Employers Inc, is chair of the New Zealand Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust and a trustee of the Massey Lincoln Agricultural Industry Trust,” says immediate past president Andrew Fenton. . .

Southland and Otago Dairy Awards Regions Merge:

The 2014 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards will take place in 11 regions, including a merged Southland/Otago region.

National convenor Chris Keeping says organisers made the decision to merge the Southland and Otago regions in late July as it is believed that the merged region will be stronger, creating a better competition for entrants.

“The executive committee has deliberated on the future of the regions for some time, and came to its decision on the basis that it is most important that entrants are guaranteed a competition and the opportunity to compete in the national finals,” national convenor Chris Keeping says. . . .

Taste Farmers’ Markets Award Winners celebrate the real flavours of NZ:

This growing popularity of Farmers’ Markets is something being seen worldwide and for a host of reasons. The awareness of what’s in our food and growing demand for regional, unadulterated produce, climate concerns and the investment into local communities and resources, sustainable agriculture and community hubs are just a few of the influences causing Farmers’ Markets to flourish in New Zealand.

Farmers’ Markets New Zealand (FMNZ) celebrated the real heroes and champions of regional food production at the 2013 Taste Farmers Markets Awards. Localvore Chef Judge Jonny Schwass said “The produce we tasted was fresh, crisp, alive and nourishing. The vegetables, preserves, meats and cheeses are the real produce of Aotearoa” As a Chef and now father, his cooking is about the beauty of well-chosen ingredients and simply prepared food. For Jonny food is the only thing that enlightens all senses. He believes food elevates our mood. It makes us better people. Food is more than energy, food is life. . .

And in celebration of our wine industry:

Looks good!

Oamaru Farmers’ Market needs your vote


If you’ve got a favourite Farmers’  Market you can vote for it in the  Taste Farmers Market Awards.

The annual Taste Farmers’ Markets Awardshave officially begun to Taste the nation’s best independent Farmers’ Market food producers and let localvore’s vote for the Farmers’ Markets that have turned the weekly shop into thriving community events. One lucky voter will also be jetting off to Melbourne for their own private tour of Victoria’s Authentic Farmers’ Markets over a mouthwatering long weekend.

Farmers’ Market food producers will also compete in their categories (kitchen bench, water, butchery, paddock and dairy), judged by Masterchef Nadia Lim and Jonny Schwass, recently named Restaurant Personality of the Year. Last year Canterbury stole the show, winning four out of the five categories and Otago Farmers’ Market won the consumers local votes. Schwass, a Canterbury localvore at heart, felt the real importance of supporting local producers after the Christchurch earthquakes: “It supports the small farmers and gives them and their families a future. Ultimately it just tastes better to cook with food sourced as close to the stove as possible.”

Oamaru Farmers’ Market opened on vacant land in Tyne Street, near the harbour, last spring and has been an outstanding success.

It allows local producers to showcase their produce and provides high quality food at reasonable prices for locals and visitors.

It’s usually held on Sunday morning but there was a special twilight market on Thursday.

Among the stall holders were:

Alma Acres
Asta la Pasta
Biddy’s Breakfast
Brydone Growers

Campbell’s Butchery
Free Range Fresh Eggs

Get Saucy
Harbour St Bakery
Harwarden Organics
Keen’s Berry Farm

Kurow Winery
Leo’s on Arun
Matsinger Berry Farm

Mean Greens
Mostly Natives
Papas Cordial
Pasquale Wine
Passion Sucree

Real Good Fudge
Sea Breeze Free Range Eggs & Produce

Sue’s Java Express
The Loan & Mercantile
Toby’s Fresh Fish Shop
Vinbrux Biscuits
Waitaki Bacon & Ham
Whitestone Cheese

The market hasn’t just been good for people buying and selling, it’s also brought more life to the neighbouring historic precinct.

There were doubts about the viability of an outdoor market this far south in cooler weather. But those doubts have been quashed by the announcement the market is moving into the Loan and Merc building where it will be warm over winter.

The market has attracted a wide range of stalls and it gets good crowds but it will be difficult to compete for votes in the Taste Awards against those from more populous areas.

So if you don’t have a favourite market of your own, take my word, Oamaru is worth a vote and it could win you a long foodie weekend in Melbourne.

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