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

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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!!

Marking our history in Franklin

Franklin is in the process of celebrating it’s history
Franklin old building
Pukekohe and Bombay will be busy over the next few months, showcasing how the area grew, with Pukekohe having an open day and historical town walk this month and Bombay doing their showcasing and celebrations in March – just a week before our wonderful Taste Franklin expo!

If your ancestors arrived in New Zealand as part of the Waikato Immigration Scheme or settled in Franklin (the land south of Auckland) at a later date, then mark this day in your diary (14th February 2015) and register (free) now. Maybe your ancestors didn’t live in Franklin but you would like to know more about the history of the district, then this is a day for you.
The Franklin Branch NZSG has organized for 13 repositories throughout the district to be open on this day to share their resources and knowledge with you so you can learn more about your ancestors and their lives.
Five local museums, two genealogy branches, an historic church, historic homestead, heritage centre, historic society and the Franklin Historic Collection and Archives housed at the Pukekohe Library will be offering a wide variety of records, books, maps, photographs, memorabilia and early colonial artefacts specific to this area.
An Information Site in Pukekohe, featuring static displays and helpful volunteers will have maps and brochures of the various venues plus contact details of other groups with resources who do not have fixed facilities. These will be available electronically nearer the date. Lots of other suggested activities and sights to see throughout the district. A guided walk of the Pukekohe CBD historic sites will be held on Sunday 15th Feb.

Participating Organizations
They will all be open on Feb 14th 2015, 9am to 3pm and other days as advertised or by arrangement
1. Manukau Heads Lighthouse, unmanned display boards, Manukau Heads, Awhitu Peninsula
2. Waiuku Museum, Tamakae Reserve, 10 King St, Waiuku
3. NZSG Franklin Branch, at Pukekohe Library, Franklin The Centre, 12 Massey Av, Pukekohe
4. Franklin Historical Society, Pioneer Cottage, cnr East St & Stadium Dr, Pukekohe
5. Franklin Historical Collection & Archives, – Pukekohe Library, 12 Massey Av, Pukekohe
6. Pukekohe East Church, Runciman Road, Pukekohe East
7. Tuakau & Districts Museum Society, 10 Liverpool St, Tuakau
8. Mercer Art & History Museum, 7 Roose Av, Mercer
9. Rangiriri Heritage Centre, 12 Rangiriri Rd, Rangiriri (check before visiting)
10. Papakura & Districts Museum, Accent Point Building, 209 Great South Rd, Papakura
11. NZSG Papakura Branch, 80 Opaheke Rd, Papakura
12. Karaka Museum, Blackbridge Rd (next to the Karaka War Memorial Hall, Kingseat Rd)
13. McNicol Homestead, McNicol Rd (Wairoa Bridge end), Clevedon
Other organizations who have resources covering Franklin – information will be available at Info Site

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

…and here we are – 2015!!

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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

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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 !!

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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.

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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.
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(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

Who’s into history?

As I was reading through some emails and general info, I came across a bit of a write up about how things had been in the very early days in Tuakau……
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By the time the immigration ships like the Ganges started to arrive, (it sailed into Auckland on the 14th February 1865 with over 400 passengers), Alexandra Redoubt and Cameron Town had been built. The land wars
were over, during which some big military boats had been used on the river (including one that had boiling water circulating the hand rail around the deck so it couldn’t be boarded from the river).

It’s hard to think about transport before motor vehicles, but the use of a horse if you owned
one or had feed to feed it, could be ridden, pull a sledge or wagon and in Tuakau’s case the
Waikato River was flowing right past. The town plans were drawn up to be by the river with
the added security of Alexandra Redoubt handy. Interesting to think about the early settlers and boats, nobody brought one with them and you couldn’t buy an aluminium boat and outboard at the store – did the Maoris manufacture and sell dug out canoes to the settlers?

The main trunk line was first planned to come to Tuakau landing and follow the river south;
by the time the train came through Tuakau, closer to Harrisville to Mercer in 1875 (10 years
after the Ganges arrived). With goods coming in boats over the bar to the wharf at Port
Waikato and no road to Tuakau – stopped by the swamps around Te Kohanga, as was the
train stopped at Mercer where you had to get a boat to Ngaruawahia because of the Wangamarino swamps. At this time several commercial boats were working on the river between Port Waikato and Hamilton with
landings at the likes of Tuakau, Mercer and Huntly.
With the coming of the railway in those days gave great access to the Auckland markets for produce, Percy Lapwood, a very early Tuakau carrier, wrote of pigs that had been brought by river from Aka Aka and Otaua to the Tuakau landing then transported to the Tuakau railway to go to Auckland and the same with flax and
tins of whitebait and it was not uncommon to pass a horse and sledge or even someone pushing a wheelbarrow between the river and the railway.

a good looking weekend….

Well, here we are again! Labour Weekend!!
The year is going so fast and the summer activities are popping up again.
Here in our patch – Franklin country – there is a great lineup, especially if the weather stays the way it is starting out!! Sunshine YES!!!!
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Our wonderful Glenbrook Vintage Railway is opening for the summer season this weekend and will have some awesome displays –

Come and celebrate the re-opening of the Glenbrook Vintage Railway for our 38th operating season!
This weekend will be extra special as two of our steam locomotives will be operating- Ja 1250 “Diana” & Ww 644 on the Saturday & Sunday of this long weekend. An added extra for the public this weekend, is to have the opportunity to travel inside the cab of our steam loco. Cab ride experiences will be held at Glenbrook Station for a small few of $10 per person.

A massive display of locomotives will be taking place at our Pukeoware Depot featuring A 423, Wab 800, J 1234 and other heritage locomotives. These locos are not shown to the general public, so again a very good opportunity to get up close to these steam giants.
Other attractions will be at Glenbrook Station including classic car, vintage tractor displays and much more.

Come out on Monday 27th October (Labour Weekend Monday) for a fantastic day of steam train action featuring Ab 608 “Passchendaele” from Wellington!
The highlight will be steam locomotive ‘Ab’ 608 “Passchendaele” from Steam Incorporated visiting us whilst operating their Heartland Rail Tour train. Ab 608 “Passchendaele” will be operating the 5 return trips over our 8km railway during this day. At some point during the day our Ww 644 steam locomotive will couple up to Ab 608, and they will then perform ‘double-heading’ specials. This is a very unique experience, and should not be missed!
Ab 608 “Passchendaele” has just undergone a massive restoration by the team at Steam Incorporated near Wellington. She has returned to steam, and mainline running this year so it is a massive honour to have this special locomotive visit our railway. This locomotive is very unique in that it is the World War One memorial locomotive from the New Zealand Government Railways.
A special commemorative service will be held at Glenbrook Station on Monday morning prior to the first scheduled train departure. This will feature a display of World War One and other military equipment and personal.

Along with this awesome event, Franklin has some fantastic markets over Saturday and Sunday and the site of the Franklin Zoo, at Tuakau, will have an open afternoon on Sunday in an effort to re-open as an Animal sanctuary. So check out the details and take a picnic lunch for another great day in Franklin.saving-Franklin-Zoo

We have plenty to see and do, so stay a while and have a fun loooong weekend!!