Rural round-up

14/12/2018

Windsor Blue off to home of cheese– Simon Hartley:

Oamaru cheesemaker Whitestone Cheese has clinched an important export deal, having just delivered its first consignment of 100 rounds of Vintage Windsor Blue cheese to France.

Whitestone managing director Simon Berry said that to be shipping to Europe where cheesemaking was established showed that ”as new-world cheesemakers we’re coming of age”.

The first pallet-sized consignment, weighing about 250kg, was pre-sold to multiple customers and then delivered to France last month, with a follow-up order expected in the new year. . .

Grape, cheery growers competing for land – Guy Williams:

Wine and cherry growers are competing for land, resources and labour as both industries experience strong growth.

Mt Difficulty Wines co-owner James Dicey, of Bannockburn, said much of the planned investment in horticulture in Central Otago was expected to be in new cherry orchards.

That industry was undergoing a boom after several good years, with the total number of hectares planted in cherries poised to overtake grapes. . .

Farmers want DIRA gone – Annette Scott:

Farmers delivered a consistent message to the Ministry for Primary Industries when they met in Ashburton to consult on the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act review.

“We are a bit over it, and that’s an understatement,” Mid Canterbury dairying stalwart Ted Rollinson said.

His sentiment was largely echoed by all farmers at the meeting that unanimously agreed it’s time for open entry and exit to go, followed by raw milk regulations and access to regulated milk for Goodman Fielder. . . 

Approval given for Alliance to bring in workers – Alan Williams:

Meat processor Alliance has approval to bring in 100 workers from overseas for its Lorneville sheep plant in Invercargill.

They’re expected to be on hand for the peak February to May period, Alliance people and safety general manager Chris Selbie said.

“We’re delighted as it will make a real difference in addressing the staff shortages we had last season.

“We’ll start now to get on and find them.” . . .

Ahead with technology – Anne Hardie:

A cow chewing her cud has long been an indicator of cow health. Anne Hardie reports how monitoring collars can help show how a cow’s ruminations are affected by the state of their health.

Information from cow monitoring collars shows Adam McManaway and Kirsten Daymond the changes in ruminations and activity of every cow in their 465-cow herd so they know the state of their health long before an issue is picked up by eye.

Whether it’s calving, cycling, lameness, mastitis or anything that interrupts their usual grazing pattern, it will affect rumination and activity which is revealed on the computer graphs, or in acute situations prompt a notification from the phone app.

The couple are 50:50 sharemilkers 15 minutes north of Murchison in the Top of the South and were a demonstration farm for the Allflex Livestock Intelligence collars for the first couple of years. It was a convincing experiment for them and when it finished a year ago, they invested in collars for the entire herd which was a big financial commitment for a couple who had just taken on their first sharemilking contract. . . 

Local lingo keeps Uruguay pair on toes – Yvonne O’Hara:

Central Otago farmers have their own way of speaking, which makes it interesting for Uruguayan students Lorena Andiarena (21) and Ana Goncalvez (24).

Ms Andiarena comes from Salto and usually works on her parents’ 350ha beef property while studying to be a veterinarian. ‘

‘I have been all my life in agriculture,” she said. Ms Goncalvez is from Tacuarembo and had been studying farm management


Blue cheese blues

29/03/2009

Fonterra’s has made a blue  and from all acounts it – Kapiti Kikorangi – is a very nice blue. But it’s not as the company claims the blue which has won the most cheese awards.

Fonterra has based its claim on based on results from the Cuisine Champions of Cheese Awards, started in 2004 by the NZ Specialist Cheesemakers Association but Whitestone Cheese isn’t swallowing that because:

Bob Berry, Whitestone Cheese founder, says Fonterra has a short memory. While the awards are only a few years old, a national competition has been in place since 1994.

“I think it’s quite simple. What they’re saying is let’s forget the first half and start again. But good things take time and good cheeses have long memories.”

My votes with Whitestone and not just for its Windsor Blue  but also for Moeraki Bay Blue  and Highland Blue.

They are delicious on their own, with oat crackers or bread and promote the humble asapragus roll to a gourment delight.

While it’s best with fresh asparagus , when that’s not available you can use tinned:

Cut the crusts of thin sliced wholemeal bread, top with one or two asparagus spears and a generous amount of grated blue cheese.

Roll, place on oven tray and cook until bread is toasted; or cook them in a toasted-sandwich maker and call them asparagus flats 🙂


Yum!

26/09/2008

The first of this season’s asparagus has arrived.

Grill or steam it until it is al dente then serve with Whitestone Windsor Blue

If you want to go to a little more effort, grate some of the cheese and roll it with the asparagus in thin sliced wholemeal bread – eat as is or toasted.

Add a glass of pinot noir, perhaps Rockburn (thanks to the recommendation of Rayinnz).

The sit back, relax and savour the taste of spring.

 

P.S. Cheese is protein and calcium, asparagus is a green vegetable, wine is nearly fruit – it’s healthy!


Whitestone Cheese scrubs up

02/09/2008

When Whitestone Cheese  general manager Simon Berry got an SOS saying the crew of the TV comedy Scrubs was missing their weekly fix of WInsor Blue he organised a personal delivery.  

The emergency call came from the show’s production co-ordinator Hillary Hirsch one of whose responsibilities is organising a weekly wine and cheese party for everyone involved in the production. A change of distributers in southern California meant her usual supplier wasn’t stocking Windsor Blue and the cast and crew were getting withdrawal symptoms so in desperation she contacted Simon.

Serindipitously his father, Whitestone managing director Bob Berry, was passing through Los Angeles airport on a business trip the following Saturday so packed a 4 kg wheel of cheese in ice in his carry-on luggage and hand delivered it.

When Hillary met Bob at the ariport and discovered he had a nine hour wait before his connecting flight to Atlanta she invited him to join her at a family barbeque.

Bob said he enjoyed the hospitality and also the opportunity to put the other cheese samples he was carrying in the fridge and re-freeze the chilly pads to keep them cool for the next leg of his journey.

Hillary took the cheese to work the next Monday and the cast and crew were so delighted to get it they held an impromptu wine and cheese party that evening because they couldn’t wait for the usual Friday party. They also photographed themselves with the cheese, signed the photos and sent them to the company and they now hang on the cafe wall.

Bob was in the USA for a marketing trip to Atlanta and Boston but he said the distribution in southern California was sorted out too so the Scrubs crew should be able to get their weekly fix of Windsor Blue. But just to make sure they don’t miss out Bob will hand deliver another wheel of cheese on his next trip to the USA.


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