Friday, December 31, 2010
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.
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
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.