Waiting for perfection….

Mercer cheese story April 2016

A story in our local paper tells of our local cheese maker, Albert Alferink, who owns and runs Mercer Cheese along with his wife.

Some years ago, a news item and video were broadcast telling of Albert and his award winning cheeses.

The Mercer Cheese store was opened in 1981, and Albert will be able to celebrate his more than 35 years in business.

If you are heading south from our area, toward Hamilton then, check out the business hours and pay a visit to try some wonderful cheeses!!

 

 

Franklin in photos

We’re a little bit country…………and a little bit city savvy, too……… with a whole lot of heart!!!

Franklin’s A – Z continues……

Well………………..I managed to resurrect my post from a few years ago about the A – Z of Franklin Country, and only got up to the letter M which I re – posted onto our facebook page………….

so, now I can make an effort to continue with the alphabet of Franklin, starting this time with the letter N –

letter Nis for  New Zealand Steel who own the Steel mill at Franklin’s Glenbrook.

Although there has been some talk of the Steel mill closing, as there is  and has been off and on for many years,   according to Wikipedia, which was last updated in March of this year – Currently, the mill produces 650 000 tonnes of steel a year which is either domesticity used or exported. Over 90% of New Zealand’s steel requirements are produced at Glenbrook.

Public tours are available by arrangement – and a very interesting tour they do!!

and  thanks to the generous support of New Zealand Steel, the NZ Steel galleries in Franklin: The Centre, Pukekohe, provide a flexible exhibition space with international-standard facilities for art works. Well worth a visit for the likes of the recently held Franklin Arts Festival .

letter Ois for one of our many wonderful places to stay – Orua Bay Beach Motor Camp & Accommodation, which is  nestled in the tranquillity of the countryside on the northern shore of the Awhitu Peninsula, on the shore and in the centre of a beautiful 3km sandy beach, north-facing (for all day sun).

Onewhero Golf Club – one of our many good golf courses which is open dawn to dusk and is a mature course  of 18 holes, set in the fertile Franklin area, with volcanic free draining soil, that means the course is rarely closed. Areas of native bush on the course attracting native pigeons.

Letter-PPort Waikato Holiday Park – another of our regions great holiday parks where you can  enjoy a true kiwi summer holiday  experience – just the way it should be.

The Port Waikato  area of Franklin region, is a well-known surfing and whitebaiting destination and a popular holiday spot as well as being one of the few places dinosaur fossils can be found in New Zealand.

Pukekohe Golf ClubThe best course in Auckland (and it’s here in Franklin)- in our humble opinion! It is normally in such good condition that it deserves the title.

We also have the Pollok Arts & Crafts Co-op where you can purchase original arts and crafts mainly from the Awhitu Peninsula. These range from fine art, glassware, ceramics, jewellery, fabric art, right through to cards and organic foodstuffs.

letter Qis for Quality Caterers – our local catering company, specialising in wedding catering, spit roast catering and so much more.

letter Rfor our wonderful Red Shed Palazzo – a place just off the southern motorway at Drury where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the wonderful food, gardens and let the kids have fun on the swings. You’ll enjoy tasty innovative cuisine in a laid-back environment and also serves delicious coffee. The fully licensed cafe has Steinlager Classic, Macs Gold on tap and a full range of Mount Riley wines.

Our region also boasts some great history links with the like of Rangipo Museum and  the Rangiriri Heritage Centre & Cafe

letter Sthis has GOT to stand for our famous “Spookers” attraction!!! The one and only  scare yourselves silly site, where they will try to scare the yell out of you! and New Zealand’s only haunted attraction theme park.

We also have one of the fine dining locations here at Simunovich Estate’s Bracu Restaurant

plus one of our many wonderful B&B’s – Springcurl Lodge, an affordable luxury B&B and deer park, who are a pet friendly accommodation.

letter Tis for our reserves and parks – Tamakae Reserve in Waiuku with it’s bit of history : Legend has it that two prominent Wai O Hua brothers, Tamakae and Tamakou, vied for the hand of a beautiful high ranking Waikato chieftainess.

and Tapapakanga Regional Park, which has a rich Maori and European history.

For many centuries Täpapakanga was an important dwelling place for the Marutüahu iwi, especially Ngāti Pāoa and Ngāti Whanaunga.

 In those days Tāpapakanga supported several large ka – inga (villages) each with extensive ku – mara and taro cultivation. Archaeological sites on the park,  include three Māori pā, storage pits (rua), terraces (tūāpapa), shell middens (ahu ota ota) and ovens (umu) as well as stone heaps indicating extensive riverside gardens.

Locals are NOT happy – Auckland may need to rethink.??…….


cropped-p1000303.jpgGenerally, Franklin is a great place to be……Kaye Maxwells Golf
cute calf

We have so much that is great here.

The  chance for a very good lifestyle, towns and rural regions conveniently located, lovely shopping, cafes, accommodation, beaches and so much more……………….

but……………………the locals are once again, feeling the effects of big brother – Auckland.

One of our local papers has some unhappy letters to the editor in response to  the train service that isn’t……..

Let’s just hope that someone can take notice of the local ratepayers and constituents!

Letters to Ed FCN July 2015


Franklin letter to ed July 2015

Franklin………our changing face

Franklin – our wee patch of NZ, like many others I guess, is ever changing, as the years move on…….

Pokeno of yesteryear
Pokeno of yesteryear

Just one instance is –

Pokeno, our neighbour down the road in the Northern Waikato part of Franklin, has been through many changes over the years – going from a fairly busy village as per our photo, to an area by-passed by the modernisation of the highway/motorway and now back again towards being a busy town with it’s new and increasing housing areas.

The town also has Yasihili, the new Infant Formula Factory, being built. It will  be interesting to see how this helps to build the region with employment, visitors and growth in general!

Yashili is part of a major group that leads the dairy market in China. To help us achieve our preeminent position there, we have been a longstanding importer of New Zealand milk powder. Now we are taking that one step further – we are not just sourcing our milk powder here; we are producing our finished goods here. Our $200 million investment in Pokeno focuses on the development and construction of a 30,000m2 manufacturing plant. Our annual production capacity of around 52,000 tonnes of infant formula products will supply the rapidly growing and increasingly demanding Chinese market.
To help us achieve our potential in New Zealand we are looking for the brightest and best people in dairy manufacturing to come on board with us. We have job opportunities in manufacturing, supply chain and quality management. Come and join us and be part of our team that is putting Kiwi expertise on the world’s stage.

Yashili is one of the “big three” producers of infant milk formula for the domestic market in China. Our two leading brands, Yashily and Scient, and the more recently introduced Merla brand account for more than 80 per cent of Yashili Group’s total business. Yashili is also one of the leading suppliers of soymilk powder, cereal, rice flour and milk powder for adults and teenager to the Chinese market. Our products are sold in just over 105,000 retail outlets in China. In July 2012, we were named among the top 500 Most Valuable Brands in China for the ninth consecutive year. Yashili Group employs over 5000 people and reported an annual turnover in 2011 of NZ$566 million. We are publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In June 2013, China Mengniu Diary Company announced plans to acquire Yashili Group. Mengniu, China’s largest producer of liquid milk products, is part owned by China’s state-backed agricultural and food industry supplier COFCO.

Building Future Capacity
China’s infant formula market is expected to grow to NZ$32 billion by 2017, according to Euromonitor data. The increasing demand for infant milk formula is being driven by families shifting from rural locations to the cities, a stable birth rate, more mothers going out to work, and increases in disposable income. The challenge for Yashili and other manufacturers is to keep pace with demand while maintaining a high level of quality control. That’s why we have looked to New Zealand and its internationally recognised expertise in the manufacture of quality milk powder to build our newest dairy processing. Yashili already promotes the high quality of New Zealand-sourced milk content in our premium brands.  We have imported milk powder from New Zealand for over 10 years and we have used New Zealand milk powder exclusively in our infant milk formula since August 2010. Now we are adding further value to our product with Kiwi manufacturing expertise, and the support of the country’s skilled labour force.

around Franklin

around Franklin Country with a few more picsMercer Cheese

Manukau Heads lighthouse iconic pic Jan 2015

Lavender via Black Rabbit

Pure day spa

Kaye Maxwells Golf

Franklin waterfallIMG_0799

IMG_0759

IMG_0734

IMG_0804

IMG_0803

IMG_0802

IMG_0801 30 March 2015

IMG_0800

So come stay and play here in Franklin Country – there’s along weekend coming up waiting for you!!

Franklin Taste at Karaka…..

Today the Franklin Taste show was on at the Karaka Sports Grounds, with a pretty good turnout, and apparently Mayor Len Brown arrived, not sure where he was, but it was mentioned that he WAS there (maybe that bit will show on telly tonight?)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (14)So, although not all of the stands were foodie stands, there was quite a mix of mainly local Franklin stands, and here are a few photos to get a “Taste” of what was on show.
Along with our own Balle family’s “Chip off the old Block” yummy potato chips,

Chip Off The Old Block potato chips are only ever made with Balle family grown and supplied potatoes which the chip makers then only ever cook in sunflower oil and then only ever sprinkle with natural seasonings. When they’re Flat Cut Chips they’re sliced thick with their skins on and when they’re Kettle Chips they’re cooked slow and long in batches for a bigger crunch.

we also had Sonja’s Taste of Austria stand (based in Tuakau) with some delicious sweet “Cremeschnitten” – Franklin Taste 2015 cremeschnitten from Sonjas taste of Austria

Tuakau Hotel, Awaroa Vineyard and Cottage, Mercer Cheese
and more had a presence along with delicious cold pressed juice from Soul Organics, rich in nutrients and tasty too, bringing their product to the Auckland market. I am NOT much of a veggie eater particularly, but the “Detox Dude” organic, carrot, apple and lime drink was very delicious. It is packed with vitamins A, K and potassium and is a great source of energy for the body. My friend tried the “Energiser Bunny” – organic carrot, beetroot, apple and spray free ginger, and was impressed by this mix too! – amazing for heart health and a great source of nitrates with anti inflammatory properties. Look out for this brand in our region!

In the non foodies range, Glenbrook Lavender Oil Co had a range of beautiful smelling lavender soaps, along with shampoo, conditioner

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (2)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (3)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (4)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (5)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (6)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (7)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (8)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (9)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (10)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (11)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (12)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (13)Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (15)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (16)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (17)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (18)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (19)

Franklin Taste 2015 Balle  (20)