Franklin’s Fresh Taste

Well – the time has arrived!

Fish - Taste Franklin

Franklin‘s very own special Taste Fest is on here at Karaka on Saturday 21st March. It should be a great experience.
Some info about the show from one of our local papers –
Franklin Taste Festival March 21, 2015

Come stay and play at our place in Franklin for a great getaway!!

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Autumn is here – and no slowing down!!

P1000532 Autumn is officially upon us but that doesn’t slow things down here in Franklin Country – a region also known as Auckland’s Southern playground – where Auckland meets the Waikato!!

For those car and vintage vehicle enthusiasts, Franklin’s main town of Pukekohe is home again to the ever popular Swap Meet, where all things vehicle related should be able to be found – whether in the original state or a reproduction, there should be something there and very likely all manner of other items too. Should be THE place to be!!
Model A

Bombay 150th poster

Following on from that, over the next weekend, is the celebration of Franklin’s Bombay area. Another part of our district will be having a ball showcasing the 150 years of Bombay,

March 14th 2015
Bombay Family Festival, open to all, no entry charge.
10am to 3pm in the Bombay School grounds.
Farmers market, bouncy castle, Clydesdale cart rides, unicycles, tractor displays, face painting, historical displays and refreshments.

Bombay the shipBook sales: ‘They came by ship’ the history of the first 100 years of the district, and ‘Bombay, the next 50yrs’ telling the stories of the families, clubs, farms and businesses of Bombay between 1965 and 2015.
This Family Fun day is being held as part of Bombay’s 150th Anniversary Weekend, so come along dressed up 1860’s style and you may win a prize.

Should be a great weekend for all –

FRIDAY
Mix & Mingle
Venue: Bombay Rugby Club
Time: Evening
SATURDAY
Fun Run & Family Festival
Venue: Bombay School
The Pioneers Settlers Fun Run will start the day with a festival atmosphere growing as we celebrate success of fun run entrants. We envision games, food and fun activities for the whole family! Local Stalls/Farmers Market, Athletics, Old School Races (Egg & Spoon, Sack Races), Ethnic Foods, Vintage Tractors, Photobooths, Displays, Olden day Dressups/Photos, Facepainting. Ideas and input welcome!
SATURDAY NIGHT
Dinner & Guest Speaker
Venue: Bombay School Hall
SUNDAY
Church Service
Historical Bus Tour/Scavenger Hunt
With the help of local/school families, we would love to put together an ‘Amazing Race’ type challenge for families/teams to be a part of. This could be a really exciting way for us all to learn about our wider community and what it was like in years gone by.

……but wait – there’s more!!
If you haven’t already decided to book some accommodation and enjoy a great few weeks, this may help you to decide ……
Touchwood sign

we have our very own Taste Franklin happening, This should be an amazing event showcasing the wonderful food that we produce right here on the edge of Auckland!
Fish - Taste Franklin

Us locals know that we live in an area that grows, produces, cooks, carves up, bakes and ferments some of the very best stuff that we consume here in Godzone yet do you always buy locally? What about people moving into the area – do they know what’s available? Do you know about cheesemakers, butchers, growers, breadmakers, fishermen, winemakers and brewers plus so many other culinary magicians that are found around the corner, a few streets down, or a short drive away (we are semi-rural after all)..

Check out the newsbeat piece here about this event.

So if you hadn’t considered Franklin – (where Auckland meets the Waikato) before now, this IS the time to get on over to our patch and celebrate – history, our own home-grown everything and so much more

Local links to rugby All Black great…..

One of Franklin’s local papers ran a great story recently, about a link to this region of one of New Zealand’s All Black rugby legends .

England based Zinzan Brooke returned to the family’s former farm in Karaka, Franklin region, last week with his father Sandy, to film an episode of a documentary series. Descent from Disaster will screen on TV One later this year.

Zinny and his dad Kararka 2015

The story of Brooke’s late grandfather, Martin Brooke, will form the backbone of the episode.
The Waiuku-born 58 test No 8, admitted he knew “bugger all” about his grandfather’s time at war.
“It was probably out of respect that I did not ask him more about what it was like – I had heard stories of guys with post-traumatic experiences who did not deal with it”
His father said that stories of war never filled the Brooke household.
“The only thing he ever said was that it was the most hell of a place he had ever been in his life and he would not go near it again”
Martin Brooke was one of the first Pukekohe men to enlist in the army when it was announced New Zealand was joining the war in August 1914.
……… born in Essex, England, Martin Brooke’s outgoing, and at the time rebellious, attitude was on full display in the way he moved to New Zealand.
“When he left school he went to work in Barclays Bank. I think it lasted a week and then he said ‘The hell with this’ so he went down to the wharf and found a boat that was sailing to New Zealand and got on,” Sandy said.
“He never told his parents and he was 16 years old. The next time he saw his parents was when he was wounded in Gallipoli and shipped back to England.”
Learning his grandfathers full story was a special moment for Zinzan and one that he is determined to pass on to his children.
“A lot of guys paid the ultimate price for our freedom and I am very proud that my grandfather was part of that”

Brooke was not part of the ill-fated Gallipoli landing at Anzac Cove on April 25, 1915 but was there not long after.

“When [the landing] went badly, very soon after that, the Auckland Mounted Rifles, including Martin, got sent there.
“He was there for about four weeks when he was hit by a shell and his arm was very badly damaged.

“A shell exploded in his face and went through his shoulder, leg, and knee and shattered his left arm.

“He had a crooked arm after that and his war wounds were obvious for the rest of his life.”

That effectively ended his time at war but due to a lengthy stay in hospital, he did not return to New Zealand until August, 1916.

“He came back and eventually bought a farm in Karaka where he raised his family.
There he would marry Sybil Zinzan and have four children and 15 grandchildren, including All Blacks Zinzan and Robin Brooke.

Weather patterns and Vege prices

One of Franklin‘s local papers has reported on what “Joe Blogs” enjoyment of the great summer weather is doing to our vege growing!

sun cartoon image

The damp start to February may not be enough to keep vegetable prices down, as growers and dairy farmers battle to deal with the particularly dry start to the year.
….according to Weatherwise Auckland, Pukekohe received just 6 % of its historical average rainfall for January and Waiuku received 22% of January’s average.
…While the hot and sunny weather has been good for holiday makers, they too could be hoping for rain with the potential vegetable price rises on the horizon.
The Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association president said that if the dry weather continued, prices of crops like potatoes and onions could go up.
It has been an abnormal season for growers and farmers alike.

The hot dry weather has meant that the later planted onion crops may not reach their potential.
Many of the local crops are being irrigated, but that too, will bring its extra costs to the end product – extra watering and manpower amongst the mix!

Lets hope our patch in Franklin, will be able to cope!

potatoes redonions

…and here we are – 2015!!

green 2015
Where DID 2014 go?

The beginning of a new year with new plans and prospects. Franklin is no different in that respect as we have such a lot on the agenda again this year! BUT we do have such awesome events.

If you are a racing fan, then the end of this month at Hampton Downs (officially in the North Waikato, but we still call that area our southern Franklin!!) is the Fifty Plus Formula 5000 lineup

An unprecedented turnout of Formula 5000 cars looks set to secure the 2015 Gulf Oil Howden Ganley Formula 5000 Festival’s place in motorsport history as one of the largest ever gatherings of the iconic race cars.

The organisers are confident fans will see 50 plus of the V8, 10 and V12 powered machines, with cars covering all years of the F5000 formula’s life, and most if not all of the manufacturers who built cars for the series which ran in various guises in the USA, Europe and Australasia between 1968 and 1982.

The 2015 event – which stretches over the weekends of January 16-18 and 23-25 at the Hampton Downs circuit in the North Waikato – is a celebration of both the Formula 5000 type of racing car and driver Howden Ganley. Unheralded Kiwi Ganley’s story is a fascinating one that took the former team mechanic to sports cars, F5000 and the dizzy heights of Formula One.

It also marks the first ‘Formula 5000 World Series’ – the champion of which will be crowned after the last race of the second weekend of the Festival. At least one full grid of Formula 5000s will race during the Festival, and that could mean as many as 35 of the earth-shaking single seaters roaring around the Hampton Downs track almost five seconds a lap quicker than the best ‘V8 taxi’ is capable of

..and while you’re over this way, why not stay awhile and head to Waiuku for the Movies in Parks Rocky Horror Picture show on the 16th Jan? Rocky Horror pic

Splore pic
February, on our calendar here in Franklin has the “Splore Festival” at Tapapakanga Regional Park. So get set for summertime fun and music by the water!

Simply put Splore is a boutique music and arts festival like no other.

In March we have some celebrations of the area and our own Taste Festival…so keep an eye out for more info here AND get your accommodation booked (if you can!!) and come stay a while !!

pohutukawa beach pic

Oh NO!! A potato shortage!!

Goodness me! Franklin is making sure that there are potatoes out there (as we usually do)…..
One of Franklin’s local papers has the (short) story of the potato shortage hitting home.

potatoes Puke grown

If it were not for Pukekohe, there would be no potatoes or carrots in New Zealand at the moment after weather conditions have resulted in a shortage of new seasons crops, according to a member of the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association.
…crop yields have been below average because of the rough spring we have been experiencing. The below average temperatures and constant high winds have affected crops. Also the old season potatoes have run out, forcing the chip and crisps processors to use al the new season potatoes from the Franklin District. They are also not getting enough supply.Balle Bros chips
The situation highlights the need to preserve Franklin Districts frost free horticultural land.
“We are the first district in New Zealand to start planting and harvesting new seasons potatoes. Hence we are currently supplying New Zealand with fresh new season potatoes and carrots. If it were not for us, there would be no potatoes or carrots in New Zealand”!

The rich productive soils and the temperate climate favours the growing and horticulture industries. The name Pukekohe means “Hill of the Kohekohe”, New Zealand’s native mahogany. Pukekohe lies between the Auckland and Waikato regions (52 kms from Auckland and 97 kms from Hamilton). The town developed as a service town for the horticultural and agricultural industries and has now broadened into a thriving and modern community – a destination for shopping and recreation.

Pukekohe has been called the food basket of New Zealand.

Annual rainfall for Auckland is around 1142mm and annual sunshine hours are approximately 2149 hours. Parts of Pukekohe are frost-free – giving an early advantage over the rest of the country.

The local vegetable growing industry is acclaimed for its innovative growing methods. The Franklin Sustainability Project for environmental care won the prestigious Ministry for the Environment Green Ribbon Award in 2000. The project was initiated by the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association to champion and promote best practice guidelines amongst the commercial vegetable growers of the area for the sustainable management of the natural and physical resources of the district.

The Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association is affiliated to Horticulture New Zealand – the National Industry Body.

potatoes redcarrots

Rural Franklin – where we grow fresh!

Welcome to Franklin Country – where Auckland meets the Waikato

The Franklin district is strongly defined by urban and rural areas, outstanding natural landscapes and open green spaces. It is also regarded as both a desirable and accessible ‘lifestyle’ destination for those seeking an alternative to city living. Traditionally Franklin has supplied the Auckland region with fresh produce and today market gardens still remain a feature of the district’s landscapes providing an appealing backdrop to the building developments that are taking place within the area.

As one of New Zealand’s fastest growing regions, Franklin offers not only excellent residential options and recreational opportunities, but also access to the goods and services available in much larger centres.

Families relocating to Franklin are attracted by the benefits that country living provides such as more space and larger sections while at the same time recognizing that Auckland and its attractions is just 45 minutes away by motorway.

The Fresh Grower 1 (2)

The Fresh Grower 1 (3)

The Fresh Grower 1 (4)

The Fresh Grower 1 (5)

The Fresh Grower 1 (6)

The Fresh Grower 1 (7)

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a “Picnic in the Paddock” that was put on by one of our local growers, Allan Fong from The Fresh Grower, with help and support from a number of family, friends media and businesses associated with Allan’s business.
The weather played its part too, with the sun shining over the marquee in the paddock.
Inside the marquee some of talented young locals,(some of Allan’s family I think) played gentle background Chamber music, while the guests chatted and had a glass or two of wine or juice.

Allan’s son was the chef – Ryan of Ryan’s Kitchen.What great food, company and a generally wonderful day here in Franklin – with local people showcasing local food right where much of it is grown – here in Franklin Country.
The Fresh Grower 1 (8)

(Ryan attended the Food Show earlier in the year – view his youtube video)
These guys have been in the news a few times over the years, and with Franklin holding our very own Taste show next March, we’ll no doubt be seeing and hearing much more from our local home-grown producers!
Allan and Ryan Fong in the field 2014