Words VICKI RAVLICH-HORAN | Images ALEX SPODYNEIKO
Long before they appear at Tauranga Primary school ladened with beautiful goods, the stallholders of the Tauranga Farmers’ Market have already been working hard growing, maturing, making and baking. We thought we would take a look at what you don’t see at the market to truly understand the love, passion and work that goes into the goods you buy each Saturday morning.
On the Farm
Before they roam free in the paddocks, Nicki McLeay’s hens have been raised from baby chicks. This really is love and care for their beautiful hens, resulting in wonderful free-range eggs.
JERSEY GIRL MILK
Also caring for their animals being at the core of their business is Jersey Girl Organics. For over 100 years, the Vosper family have worked the land at Cleavedale Farm in Matamata, and it’s this history that plays an important role in defining how they operate. Committed to achieving circular sustainability, they are leaders in organic, sustainable dairy farming, something you can taste in the milk.
Another family owned farm is Harbourside Macadamias who have 940 macadamia trees just outside of Katikati. Having farmed this plot for 40 plus years, the multi-generational business is also committed to producing sustainable and ethically produced nuts. With this in mind, Wyn says dry shells are burnt to generate heat with which to dry the nuts.
While most of our nuts are harvested mechanically, both grandchildren have learned to walk while pushing the little hand harvesters and are enthusiastic about returning to the orchard to be involved in the harvest.
Did you know this is what a macadamia flower looks like?
Silvio has a deep connection with the health of the soils and the surrounding environment that grows the vegetables from Abundant Backyard.
Nestled in the foothills of Whakamārama, Mārama’s Mushrooms always have something sprouting and are currently working on shitake mushrooms to add to their oyster offering.
PIRONGIA MOUNTAIN VEGETABLES
Tony from Pirongia Mountain Vegetables is kept busy, be it planting garlic at this time of year or harvesting his huge cabbages.
Did you know many of his spray-free cabbages find their way into Good Bugs’ award winning fermented goods?
Good Bugs sauerkraut, kimchi and pestos are all lovingly made by hand by Marea and her team using locally grown, and sometimes even homegrown, produce.
Lovingly Made by Hand is a theme for the stallholders who craft the delicious goods to tempt you and make life easier. Flaveur breads are up early each morning to ensure the bread is super fresh for your market basket.
While Flaveur are early risers, Paula Garcez from Little Sweet Patisserie is often up late the night before market day making her tempting sweet treats.
It’s metres of hand filled and tied sausages that keep Bruno from The Snag Co. busy before market day. And for Louise and Brian from Real Pasta they are hand labelling their jars of pasta sauce.
So this Saturday as you fill your basket with wonderful locally grown and made produce, take the time to appreciate not just the work but the love and care that has gone into it.