Friday, December 31, 2010

So what is a localvore then ?

Sounds like some sort of posh y name for somebody who has too much time on their hands.

Well you can be a herbivore or an omnivore, so why not somebody who pays attention to where their food comes from and commits to eating local food as much as possible? This is not some nutcase religion, it is just about eating local. It is not an all-or-nothing venture, it is all about helping the environment, protecting your family's health and supporting small farmers and food producers in your region.

The first bite to being a localvore is to determine what local means to yourself and your family: it could be food from a 100-kilometre radius, if could be from the whole of the South Island or even the whole of New Zealand. It is an individual decision that you need to be comfortable with.

The key is that by creating a boundary, no matter how large or small, you are becoming conscious of the origin of your food. You can even go one step further and draw a circle around your home or region and this will help you with your food choices.

We are all born localvores, it is just that sometimes we forget just what is in our backyard and what is in season.

We may not be able to tackle the big issues of the world, but we are able to help build sustainable and connected communities by supporting each other.

Five ways to become a localvore in New Zealand

Visit a farmers' market. There are now more than 50 located from Invercargill to the Bay of Islands. Some are big, some are small, but the key is that they represent their regional seasons and producers. Farmers' markets keep small farms in business. Rather than going through a middle man, the farmer or producer will take home nearly all of the money you spend on regional produce – there are no on-sellers, resellers or people that just buy at the cheapest price and try to move it as fast as they can, regardless of the quality or where it has come from.

Ask your supermarket manager where your meat, produce and dairy is coming from. Remember that supermarket managers are influenced by what you say and do. Let the managers know what's important to you.

Preserve a local food of the season. By freezing, bottling and preserving you get to eat and enjoy flavours all year.

Have a look for restaurants in your area that support local farmers and producers. Ask the restaurants about ingredients or ask your favourite farmers what restaurant accounts they have. Frequent businesses that support farmers in your region.

Ask about origins. What you may have taken for granted as New Zealand-produced may come as a surprise.

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 dessert. If all else fails, just eat them straight from the jar.

2kg whole Marlborough apricots

cinnamon sticks and cloves for each jar

4 cups white wine vinegar

500g Marlborough honey

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

So what is a localvore then ?

Sounds like some sort of posh y name for somebody who has too much time on their hands.


Well you can be a herbivore or an omnivore, so why not somebody who pays attention to where their food comes from and commits to eating local food as much as possible? This is not some nutcase religion, it is just about eating local. It is not an all-or-nothing venture, it is all about helping the environment, protecting your family's health and supporting small farmers and food producers in your region.

The first bite to being a localvore is to determine what local means to yourself and your family: it could be food from a 100-kilometre radius, if could be from the whole of the South Island or even the whole of New Zealand. It is an individual decision that you need to be comfortable with.

The key is that by creating a boundary, no matter how large or small, you are becoming conscious of the origin of your food. You can even go one step further and draw a circle around your home or region and this will help you with your food choices.

We are all born localvores, it is just that sometimes we forget just what is in our backyard and what is in season.

We may not be able to tackle the big issues of the world, but we are able to help build sustainable and connected communities by supporting each other.

Five ways to become a localvore in New Zealand

Visit a farmers' market. There are now more than 50 located from Invercargill to the Bay of Islands. Some are big, some are small, but the key is that they represent their regional seasons and producers. Farmers' markets keep small farms in business. Rather than going through a middle man, the farmer or producer will take home nearly all of the money you spend on regional produce – there are no on-sellers, resellers or people that just buy at the cheapest price and try to move it as fast as they can, regardless of the quality or where it has come from.

Ask your supermarket manager where your meat, produce and dairy is coming from. Remember that supermarket managers are influenced by what you say and do. Let the managers know what's important to you.

Preserve a local food of the season. By freezing, bottling and preserving you get to eat and enjoy flavours all year.

Have a look for restaurants in your area that support local farmers and producers. Ask the restaurants about ingredients or ask your favourite farmers what restaurant accounts they have. Frequent businesses that support farmers in your region.

Ask about origins. What you may have taken for granted as New Zealand-produced may come as a surprise.

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 dessert. If all else fails, just eat them straight from the jar.

2kg whole Marlborough apricots

cinnamon sticks and cloves for each jar

4 cups white wine vinegar

500g Marlborough honey

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Real NZ festival

Check out the Central Otago Farmers' Market. A seasonal Farmers' Market providing quality, fresh food direct from the producers.
In a country that can grow almost anything, farmers' markets are a rapidly-developing Kiwi phenomenon with over 50 operating throughout New Zealand.
As you travel around the country, farmers' markets provide a great insight into the regional heartland and are an ideal place to sample fresh, local fare, meet the locals and experience the New Zealand way of life.
Each market reflects its regional difference with the climatic conditions and environmental changes playing a role in the range of produce from north to south. You won't find the sub-tropical fruits of the north on stalls in Southland, nor is it likely the South Island's boutique beers and ocean catches will appear at markets in Northland.
In order to be an "authentic" farmers' market, each must be a food-only market, with no resellers allowed, so those who have grown or made the food are the ones selling it.
This seasonal market starts at the beginning of November and runs every Sunday through until the last Sunday of Feburary.

You might also be interested in:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Market shopping

Market shopping

By Annabel Langbein
Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook
My TV show Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook was filmed at my little cabin on the shores of Lake Wanaka, where I am lucky enough to maintain a large vegetable garden that provides much of my family's fresh produce.

I have always grown my own vegetables - something that was instilled in me by my father Fred, who maintained a prodigious garden that provided us with a nutritious and interesting diet.

When I started cooking, I learnt early on that the fresher your ingredients, the less work there is for you in the kitchen. With nature on your side it’s easy to be a great cook and enjoy delicious meals at the drop of the hat.

The fluorescent atmosphere of a supermarket may make everything look good, but looks don’t necessarily equate to flavour or succulence. And it is this difference in flavour which goes a long way to explain the phenomenal popularity of farmers' markets.

In the freshly picked harvests of local growers, we discover older and lesser known varieties of produce grown because they taste good, not because they suit the long life requirements of a supermarket supply chain.

I also like the fact farmers' markets create a sense of community – something fast disappearing from our lives as people get busier and the big chains bump out old-timer providores.

Each week at the markets, the same friendly faces greet and cajole. I love this chance to try something new and be tempted by an artisan spread, cheese or specialty sausage. So, even without a backyard garden, it's possible to enjoy what is in season at its very best. New Zealand is blessed with some wonderful farmers’ markets where you can support local growers and cook in sync with nature's harvests.

Here’s a list of some of my favourite local markets around the country:


Annabel Langbein is the star of the new TV ONE series Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook(7pm Saturdays).

Watch more Annabel Langbein recipe videos.

Get Annabel Langbein's Salsa Verde recipe.

Get all Annabel Langbein's cooking tips here.

See the cookbook Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook for all the recipes from the TV show

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Spring Has arrived at Farmers' Markets of NZ

Our thoughts are with our nine Canterbury Farmers' Market members, we are all thinking of you and wish you the best after the devastating earthquake that happened on Saturday morning in Christchurch and surrounding areas.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Farmers’ Market members for their support of the volunteer FMNZ Executive over the last 12 months.  We have undertaken a number of new initiatives aimed at delivering benefits directly to our members and yet we realise that the work is ongoing and our job is far from done.  Like most of you we are extremely busy in our personal lives and run on the good faith and energy that sees us through the working week.  Then there is the running of our Farmers’ Markets - the most enjoyable part of the week!

Looking back on where we have come from allows us to see the progress that we have all made over the last decade – who would have thought that from humble beginnings, we would have grown into such a strong network of like-minded people.  

A snapshot of some highlights of the decade:

2000 - Hawkes Bay  FM opens,  2001 - Marlborough FM opens, 2003 - Otago FM opens, 2004 - Bay of Islands FM opens
2005 – Farmers’ Markets New Zealand (FMNZ), is incorporated
2006 - Inaugural FMNZ conference held in Hawkes Bay (16 members)
2006 - FMNZ produces Market Management handbook and Stallholder Handbook for members
2006 - Farmers Markets New Zealand wins Innovators Award from the  Restaurant Association
2008 - 2nd FMNZ conference held in Marlborough (40 member markets)
2008 - Buy Local Funding initiative adopted and completed by member markets
2008 - Authenticity certification scheme identified as the best tool for protecting the Farmers’ Market brand and providing transparency for Farmers’ Markets and their increasing customer base
2008 Fresh Thoughts newsletter introduced as a communication tool
2009 – Inaugural Manager’s Forum,  focusing on the delivery of advice, information and tools to the  managers who run our markets every week
2010 - 3rd FMNZ conference held in Hamilton (50 member markets)  Bernie Prince from FreshFarm Markets in Washington DC  is named Patron of FMNZ
2010 -  marketground www.marketground.co.nz  is made available to all members and stallholders
2010 -  Strategic planning for authenticity certification (ongoing)

The FMNZ Executive committee  has a number of exciting and challenging projects in the wind and we look forward to working with all of our members, both big and small, to ensure that the Farmers’ Markets of New Zealand becomes  a part of the ‘weekly shop’ for all consumers of New Zealand.

FMNZ has worked hard in developing a large network of very supportive media and other advocates around the country who are proving invaluable in assisting us to promote and share the success of individual markets and stallholders and we continue to work in good faith with them.

I wish you and your markets all the very best for another enjoyable and productive year ahead - please do not hesitate to contact me if FMNZ can be of any assistance.


Chris Fortune
Chairperson, FMNZ
info@farmersmarkets.org.nz
Phone 021 935995 or 03 579 3599

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Auckalnd Farmers Market region: Soil & Health Celebrates

Auckalnd Farmers Market region: Soil & Health Celebrates: "Approaching 70th Birthday AnniversaryOrganic Dinner & International Guest Speaker We invite you to take advantage of the special occasion of..."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Farmers markets grow up, take off | Stuff.co.nz

Farmers markets grow up, take off | Stuff.co.nz

Research is under way to pin down exactly how much farmers markets are worth to the economy since they emerged a decade ago.

A conservative estimate from Farmers Markets Association chairman Chris Fortune, a Marlborough chef and market founder, puts the figure at $30 million a year.

Waikato University is producing hard figures on the economic impacts of New Zealand's 48 farmers markets, as the national organisation cranks up efforts to future-proof local food trading and protect its unofficial brand.

New Zealand Farmers Markets are food markets where local growers, farmers and artisan food producers sell directly to local communities without a middleman. Stallholders can only sell what they grow, farm, pickle, preserve, bake, smoke or catch themselves from a defined area of their local geography.

The markets operate for a few hours on a weekend day, with some also operating on one week day.

Fortune, whose association was formed five years ago, says farmers markets have matured beyond being "teenagers".

"There's always a trendy stage with these things we are over that. We're past the look good, feel good stage. We're growing up, we're understanding what we have and using it to make sure the same model and principles on which we were founded are still there in 20 years."

Part of being grown up is protecting the brand, Fortune says, which is hard for a volunteer organisation with next-to-no funding.

The association is envious of its counterpart in the Australian state of Victoria where farmers markets' have received $8m in government funding.

Fortune says all his group needs is $200,000 annually "to make a difference".

"We rely on a volunteer committee at the moment. That's fine because it's part of the growing-up process but we've got to get better [closer to] with universities, to find the economic impacts on communities. Until we can collect and collate information on a national basis, we're always going to be seen as the little boys and girls."

The association has received $200,000 in the past from NZ Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Economic Development to help promote "Buy New Zealand". The money was spent introducing an "authenticity" standards programme, to which 60 per cent of markets have signed up, and launching a national website.

Fortune told the recent Farmers Markets NZ annual conference that global multinationals such as Campbells and Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals had approached the association wanting a slice of the concept.

"They want our customers over 50,000 a week, and that is very conservative. Otago attracts 5000 a week, Marlborough 2000 and that is over only three or four hours."

Fortune told the conference the markets and regional food producers needed to "stand up and claim what they own and what they need to protect".

"The only tangible asset that we all share, the only tangible thing we can truly claim to be ours and grow together is the two words 'farmers market'."

However, in its future-proofing mission and efforts to show who the "real" food producers of New Zealand are, the association is not commercially blinkered, Fortune says.

It is looking to engage with like-minded sectors and companies that will benefit its members through group discounts, generic sponsorship and regional funding pools.

Fortune says farmers market's have grown in popularity among those who don't accept mass produced food.

"Every week I get calls from producers stepping out of the mainstream for more financial reward and because supermarkets have chosen not to buy off these people.

"The fastest growth sector in New Zealand at the moment is support for butchers and delis. It's about shortening supply chains, about producers directly communicating with consumers, about where how and where it was grown, how to cook it."

Fortune says he started the Marlborough market after returning from overseas and producing fresh food from his land for his restaurant.

"As a chef I want New Zealand product. When I arrived back I was gobsmacked that my local butcher sent me Australian lamb, that my local supermarket stocked American asparagus, that I couldn't source local lamb.

"It all comes back to the supply chain and people telling us how we should shop and what we should buy through a limited distribution system of supermarkets where the major component of purchasing is price."

Farmers markets grow up, take off - Ooooby

Farmers markets grow up, take off - Ooooby

Research is under way to pin down exactly how much farmers markets are worth to the economy since they emerged a decade ago.

A conservative estimate from Farmers Markets Association chairman Chris Fortune, a Marlborough chef and market founder, puts the figure at $30 million a year.

Waikato University is producing hard figures on the economic impacts of New Zealand's 48 farmers markets, as the national organisation cranks up efforts to future-proof local food trading and protect its unofficial brand.

New Zealand Farmers Markets are food markets where local growers, farmers and artisan food producers sell directly to local communities without a middleman. Stallholders can only sell what they grow, farm, pickle, preserve, bake, smoke or catch themselves from a defined area of their local geography. More here...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Farmers’ Markets lead the revolution of economic growth and real food production in NZ


Farmers’ Markets lead the revolution of economic growth and real food production in NZ   



The closing of the third Farmers’ Markets New Zealand Conference held in Hamilton on June 6-8 brought to the forefront the importance of transparency and authenticity for all who attended. Delegates and key note speakers from America, England, Australia and New Zealand converged for three days for networking and sharing with the word “local” on the tastes buds of all.       Keith Stewart, self confessed foodie and radio live talk back host, was serious when he claimed we are in the middle of a revolution.  “We are at war, and we need to figure out who is on our side.”  Keith spoke to the delegates reminding them that we are the future food producers of New Zealand .  

Farmers’ Markets have grown sustainably ever since there introduction to NZ. Just 10 years ago Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and Otago were the founding Farmers’ Markets of these regional, economic growth incubators, of which now over 50 operate in locations through out NZ on a weekly basis. This being New Zealand’s main point of difference to the rest of the world, most operating farmers’ markets on a monthly basis.
Gareth Jones (FARMA, UK) holds NZ up as a " shining example of farmers’ markets working together to achieve the same goal. The majority of markets in the UK run on a fortnightly or monthly basis. They would never have sat in the same room together, let alone co-elaborated on future goals and strategies, of how to provide economic stimulus to regional and urban communities "

Chairperson of Farmers’ Markets NZ, Chris Fortune, summed up the conference with, “NZ regional food producers  will make a long term economic and social difference in our local communities, not the promises made by council men seeking re-election or the corporate multi-national faceless companies that give us products they call food. This revolution will be led by the blueberry producers of Marlborough, the free range pork producers of the Waikato and the thousands of other real food producers of NZ.  They are already playing an integral part in the lives of the everyday consumers that chooses to do their weekly shop at NZ Farmers’ Markets.”

The highlight of the conference was hearing from the newly appointed Patron of FMNZ, Bernadine Prince, co-founder of 12 Farmers’ Markets in Washington DC, which includes the newest Farmers’ Market opened at the White House.  “NZ could be the leader of sustainable farming, feeding its own communities and be a continuing shining light in the world of Farmers’ Markets.”  This was Bernie’s 4th visit to NZ in relation to Farmers’ Markets and she returns to Washington DC with as much information as she imparted to the delegates of the FMNZ Conference.  She will share her new found knowledge with the newly founded American Coalition of Farmers’ Markets of which she is vice-president.
The key behind what all Farmers’ Markets have been doing over the last decade is Authenticity.  Focus being on transparency and now is the time for all regional food producers of NZ to stand up and claim what they own and protect their only tangible asset. This tangible asset that we can truly claim to be our own and grow together are the two words “Farmers’ Market”.

FMNZs  long-term focus is on the future transparency of farmers’ markets - the future is not only next week’s farmers’ market, or next years farmers’ market but farmers’ markets in 10 and 20 years time.
For more information on farmers markets – CLICK HERE

To contact FMNZ – info@farmersmarkets.org.nz or phone 021935995 or 03 5793599
Chairperson Chris Fortune -  members@farmersmarkets.org.nz

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

FMNZ CONFERENCE 2010 Bill Gallagher Centre Hamilton, 6-7-8 June

FARMER'S MARKET NZ Honest-to-goodness  GOODNESS 

With over 50 Farmers' Markets  now operating  around  NZ,  this conference will celebrate the  success of your hard work, both regionally and nationally.  Stallholders, market managers and market organisers and committees are invited to Hamilton to be inspired, to learn, to network and most of all share market experiences so that we can all benefit in the future.  Hamilton will bring it on in June 2010 and we look forward to seeing you all there with a program that will be aimed at both established long running markets  and new markets.  The conference  will look at “ the longer term success of farmers' markets   as well as “Authenticity” and “Transparency” and keep you enticed with  key note speakers and local food experiences from both the Hamilton and Cambridge Markets.  For more information and to register click here