Words Liz french, images Brydie Thompson

It’s no secret that organically grown food is better for you and for the environment. One of the many attractions of Tauranga Farmer’s Market is the choice from certified organic producers.

So … what defines organic food? 

Organic food is that grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, that is, pesticides and fertilisers. It does not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic certification is the guarantee of authenticity, and is an ongoing process. To maintain their certification, every organic producer is audited annually by an independent certifying body, of which there are four in New Zealand.  

The Tauranga Farmer’s Market has a policy that covers the use of the word organic. It can only be used if the grower presents a current copy of the organic registration.

You have to be committed to more than just profits to produce food organically. Organic producers work with nature to grow healthy, safe food that nourishes people while protecting the land.

So why do it? Kevin from Kandu Organics puts it bluntly: “So I can look you in the eye and tell you that the food I sell you is healthy.” Kandu grows 35 different fruits and 30 varieties of vegetable on their Plummers Point property, and they have been doing it for 35 years.

Wisewater Organic Farm emphasises the importance of the nutrient density and environmental benefits of the vegetables they grow in a two-hectare garden near McLaren Falls.” Nutritious food has an important part to play in maintaining the integrity of our nervous and immune systems,” says Brenda Donald, a former pharmacist who pioneered the collaboration of herbal and conventional dispensaries. The name Wisewater reflects that our bodies are made of at least 80% water and for the mix of old principles and new techniques that contribute to the wisdom of organic farming. “On our farm you see permaculture at work in companion planting, our worm farm and organic practices.” Education is also part of her ethos with plans to spread the work via workshops and student visits.

Milk full of flavour with the cream at the top of the bottle, just like the old days. That’s the promise from Jersey Girl Organics, multi award winning producers of single source, certified organic A2 Jersey milk. The Vospers are fifth generation Matamata farmers who provide their pedigree jersey cows, who they know by name, a happy, healthy comfortable life. Jersey Girl Organics are committed to honest milk achieved by honest farming and proud to be a BioGro certified organic farm; GMO free, with no artificial fertilisers, nor palm kernel feed, sprays, additives or modifiers. Jersey Girl milk is processed minimally onsite, pasteurised not homogenised, free of antibiotics, herbicides and pesticides. Try their Jersey Girl yoghurt too – it’s pure, creamy and natural.

Abundant Backyard are well worthy of their certified organic status. All their planting, cultivating and harvesting is done using hand tools, conserving the environment with their energy efficient and climate friendly practices. Buy from Abundant Backyard with confidence, knowing that your vegetables, microgreens and herbs are helping the health of the planet while enhancing your own.

Riverside Growers share the healthy sentiments of their fellow market producers. What started as a hobby on their orchard and greenhouse near Katikati has morphed into a regular appearance at Tauranga Farmer’s Market where they sell their seasonal organic avocados, citrus fruit and vegetables.

Treepak Orchard is another market stallholder who has achieved Organic Certification to back up the benefits of the pears sold at the market during the season.

There are many more stallholders selling certified organic and spray-free food, all good reasons to improve your health and wellbeing with a weekly market shop.

 

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