An incredible dream for local couple!!

I’d heard something vaguely on the radio, but didn’t realise that the dream that became a reality was one that happened to a local couple!!

Our local paper reported on the incredible dream come true. Such a wonderful and amazing gift by an insurance company, through one of our popular radio stations, The Hits, helping a family through a difficult time….I have added the article from the paper……

Dreams come True The Post 20 July 2016

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

Franklin’s patch is growing!!

Well now…another brekky meeting and more info about our patch here in Franklincountry!
Happy Valley Honey

The speakers at this months business breakfast that I went along to (after being a bit held up by peak hour traffic!! Can that ever be remedied?) came from our own Happy Valley Honey. Another awesome business that we have in Franklin.
Did you know….
bee cartoon pic

Happy Valley Honey was founded in 1975 by the late Ben Rawnsley and his wife Dot.
What started off as a hobby quickly grew into a shop and office based on their farm in Mill Rd in Alfiston, South Auckland. Many of our current customers still recall visiting the farm and filled their containers with their favourite honey.

In 1990 Happy Valley commenced production of Fresh Royal Jelly; and to this day Happy Valley remain the only commercial producers of NZ Royal Jelly. Investment has been made to ensure we stay at the cutting edge of Royal Jelly production.

Royal Jelly
Royal Jelly

In 2003, Happy Valley honey was relocated to its current address in Drury when the Lipscombe family took full ownership. Happy Valley focused on setting up our honey production facility with state of the art manufacturing equipment. Production at our facilities focuses on converting bulk honey into packed honey, either for third parties or under the Happy Valley range of honey & beauty products. All Happy Valley honey products are displayed at the retail store based at 520 Great South Rd.

In 2011 the business changed shareholdings, and to this day is run by two families, the Lipscombe’s and the Harvey’s. The Lipscombes focus on Bee Enterprises, a separately run entity focusing on bee keeping and procurement of bulk honey and Bee related products for Happy Valley.

Happy Valley has a range of Honey related products including Energy bars, Lollies, Lozenges and toothpaste- have a look for yourself.

Happy Valley is the #1 producer of New Zealand Fresh Royal Jelly, believed to be the purest Royal Jelly in the world, giving unsurpassed wellbeing to everyone.
Our Fresh NZ Royal Jelly has the highest levels of 10HDA known: 3.1% – these high levels determine the quality of the product you get when buying from Happy Valley.

Royal Jelly benefits can help to assist with several health conditions:
Anemia, Arthritis, Broken or weak bones, Bladder infections, Coronary Artery disease, Depression, Diabetes, Eye Cataracts, Hormonal imbalances, High cholesterol levels, High blood pressure, Impotency, Infertility, Inflammation, Impaired memory, Immune system problems, Liver ailments, Mental exhaustion, Menopause, Panic or anxiety attacks, Parkinson’s disease, Skin blemishes, Viral & bacterial infection, Weight control, Wound healing, Weak or tired eyes, Wrinkles.

Happy Valley Honey have purchased another property locally to continue their growth into the food arena, so watch out for their next news…..

We are so lucky to have such a range of fantastic businesses in our patch, so come along and check out what we have here.

bee and flower

an evening of fun in Franklin

A few nights ago, I had the great opportunity to attend a fun evening here in Franklin………

Our very own Franklin jewel – LaValla Estate, did themselves proud with a fundraising event for the Eden Christian Academy school, which is housed within the boundaries of LaValla Estate.

A great turnout arrived to hear Susie Johnson, of The Oosh Experience talk and give guidance on”Wot to Wear and Not to Wear”.
Stalls with jewellery, makeup and skin care as well as hair care where all on hand to compliment the show, along with food and wine, to ensure a fantastic time was had by all!

Oosh show

At Oosh we understand body shapes and to dress in the most flattering styles. New Zealand made and imported clothing. we give good old fashioned customer service!! We are genuine, have positive energy and good honest advice, we don’t judge and make you feel good in the skin you are in! That’s the Oosh experience!!

The evening was organised with the efforts and hard work of the staff from LaValla Estate and Eden Christian Academy. An impressive amount of just a tad under $3000 was raised to help further develop the Academy and helping to develop a playground. The Academy began with 2 kids about 18 months ago and now boasts nearly 50.

ECA is private, non-denominational Christian School catering for boys and girls from Year 1 through to Year 13, offering its students a number of curriculum assessments and qualification pathways.

Our school is located on the beautiful and peaceful LaValla Estate in 131 Dominion Road, Tuakau and you are more than welcome to contact us to arrange a visit at any time.

As you may or may not know, LaValla Estate was once a school for young men considering entering the Catholic brotherhood. I remember talk that in the beginning, the Marist school (as it was then) taught about agriculture and farming amongst other things. When I used to live across the road from the school, it was used only for functions, such as weddings, and the gymnasium was also used for local sporting activities. It later became the home of Felix Donnelly School before once again falling empty.

The Jackson family purchased the property in 2010 in a run down state and are lovingly restoring all the facilities so they can again be shared. The vision going forward is simple, to preserve the past and protect the future of LaValla as a unique location. Many people have been associated with the property through its 90 year history, many of whom still visit to reminisce about good times gone by. To preserve the history the Jacksons are busily collecting articles, photographs and the memories of former residents and are happy to share these with any guests who have an interest.

So for anyone looking for a beautiful place to get away, hold a function or wedding, you can’t go past LaValla Estate, right here on our doorstep in Franklin!! ….and they have their own Chapel Theatre where the likes of well known local singer, Dennis Marsh, perform.
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A sad loss……

Whilst my blogs are 99.9% about our region here in Franklin Country – today I felt that I needed to do something a bit more worldwide.
Robin Williams actor

It was announced this morning that another very clever and respected person has passed away – Robin Williams, actor

The report states that Robin Williams had, reportedly, been suffering from depression of late, and is suspected of taking his own life.

The occurrence of suicide, mainly due to depression, seems to be becoming more widespread, or is it that we have more ways in which to hear of these things?
As the Depression info site says ” depression is more than just a low mood” – it is serious

Depression is one of the most common reasons that people are absent from work, or are unable to run a home.
The World Health Organisation estimates that by the year 2020, depression will be the second most common cause of ill-health and premature death worldwide.
Depression is the most common risk factor for suicidal behaviour (it’s estimated that depression increases the risk of suicide by 20 times).
There’s no simple answer as to why people become depressed. It’s often a combination of things and it varies from person to person. We do know that some people are more likely to become depressed than others. Depression can also be triggered by a difficult situation in your life, or it can build up over many years. Sometimes there’s no obvious reason.

We have seen on telly, Sir John Kerwan offering help and trying to do his “bit”, to make us more aware and offer help links.

It is very sad to lose friends, family and loved ones at the best of times, and often we tend to mask depression until it is too late – as the stars in Hollywood are proving! The list of high-profile people known to suffer from depression is quite long….and that doesn’t take into account the everyday person on the street, going about their everyday lives. We all need to take time out for ourselves, families and friends.

There is always someone out there who will listen and be available to help – depression helplines

+ depression helpline freephone 0800 111 757
Talk to a trained counsellor who can discuss your situation and find you the right support. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

+ lifeline freephone 0800 543 354
Lifeline’s telephone counselling service provides 24 hours a day, 7 days a week counselling and support. http://www.lifeline.org.nz

+ the lowdown
The Lowdown is a website to help young New Zealanders understand depression from their own perspective. Talk to a trained counsellor by free txt (5626) http://www.thelowdown.co.nz

+ samaritans freephone 0800 726 666
If you need someone to listen, call Samaritans at any time. They offer non-judgemental, confidential support to anyone in emotional distress and are available 24 hours a day. http://www.samaritans.org.nz