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?)
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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 !!
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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!
Our region of Franklin, is a garden paradise – the area is surrounded with market gardens which supply fresh produce to all manner of places.
Some of our very own market gardeners are taking things a step further in the potato growing industry by growing specific potatoes for potato chips. The newcomers to the chip market, the Balle family, planted their first crop last week.
Eamon and Tim Balle, from Chip off the old Block potato chips say it is a real buzz seeing the family’s new product on the shelves of the supermarkets.
These guys are third generation vegetable growers and potato growing is “in the blood”.
The focus on their chips is to keep things as natural as possible, and so far the flavours that they are producing include sea salt, smoked paprika and sea salt with cracked pepper.
One of our local papers has the story.
The Balle family have really done their homework and over the generations have certainly come to know their stuff. There is information on the vegetables that they grow on their site, and even the humble red onion should not be overlooked for health benefits!
…and did you know “Potatoes are surprisingly rich in vitamin C. They help the body absorb minerals when eaten with other iron-rich foods. Potatoes are also excellent for satisfying hungry appetites, the sugar carbohydrates releasing energy gradually, allowing you to go longer between meals.”
One of our other local growers, Allan Fong, has also been in the news over time with his fresh take on cooking with some of the Asian greens that he grows. Allan has been on telly with Al Brown ( I may have already mentioned that in a previous blog!) and also appeared in a Country Calender episode a few years back.
So – not only can you come check out WHERE your food is grown, you can ALSO head to one of the cafes and restaurants. or even the local supermarkets, and try the local produce 🙂
We had a story about a lady who came from France, who was visiting Pukekohe especially to find out where the potatoes were grown that she had tried in one of the restaurants overseas!! Now THAT is getting international recognition of our wee patch!!