A New Zealand Farmer’s Market: a delightful find worth the hunt!

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We have been home from our New Zealand trip for several weeks now, finally over the wretched jet lag nonsense, and though we are busy again with school and chores and getting the garden in, and all the rest, I still have oodles of photos from New Zealand that I am dying to share.

I am that Uncle, Gentle Readers, the one that used to come to every family gathering with a slide projector and his vacation slides. Or that Grandma who always has a fat packet of photos in her purse, ready to show you pictures of her delightful and preternaturally beautiful grandchildren . . wait, I am that, too, literally . .

I’ve just gotta show them to somebody! So I—choose—you!

Can you believe this? The kids and I are going to drive back out to Ohio next week because there’s the tiny issue of a tiny and new granddaughter whom we must attend to. Dainty pink Eleanor, the new princess. She must meet her Amma, you see, and so I must hie myself to Ohio and meet Little She. It’s a long drive. But an Amma does what an Amma’s heart leads her to do, right?

The sacrifices we must make, Gentle Reader . . . !! πŸ™‚ But I know, of all people, that you understand. πŸ˜‰ You, quite simply, are the best people I know. My people.Β I consider myself quite blessed to be your friend and confidant.

So, before I begin to post photos and recipes from our next Ohio trip, one last post about New Zealand, okay? Then we’ll resume our discussions about planting heirloom tomatoes (only a few privileged folks know how many seedlings I have out in the hoop house, waiting to be planted—but with names like Green Vernissage, Lucky Tiger, Black Pearl, Indigo Apple, White Currant, Green Zebra, Red Zebra, Striped Roman, Pink Berkley Tie-Dye, and–my favorite–Blush, *blushing* how can an heirloom-tomato-loving person like me not plant too many? Every year? Withoutfail?)Β and also favorite recipes and gardening tips and chicken matters, as well. We have many things to share, don’t we?

And that leads me to the New Zealand photos for today.

πŸ™‚ Well. You would think that in a place like New Zealand, where the growing conditions are so ideal (at least on the North Island–60″ of rainfall per year, and temperatures swinging from the frigid (just kidding) 40Β°F during the winter, to the scorching (just kidding) 73Β°F during the summertime, that there would be Farmer’s Markets on every corner.

But no.

I puzzled over this mightily, as we went about our business of a) getting to know the area, and b) having as much fun as possible, since I didn’t see a single farmer’s market in the nearly-three weeks we were there. I suppose even in paradise folks are busy, going to work and raising kiddos and mowing the grass, and it’s so easy to just stop by the big grocery store after work and pick up a bag of meat pies for supper and a bagged salad, rather than search out a farmer’s market.

(But . . . but . . . but . . . !)

Also, when your next-door neighbor has a glut of oranges ripening on his tree, and you have got the biggest avocado tree in the neighborhood with bushels to process all at once, you really don’t need to search out a farmer’s market that often . . . I guess . . . NOT TO MENTION the fact that everybody in your neighborhood who has superfluous fruit or veg will share, or barter, or sell their extra stuff . . . who needs a farmer’s market? That’s kind of the reasoning I had fallen into, since the glorious farmer’s markets that I just knew had to exist, were not showing up anyplace that I could see.

I wish I would have taken the trouble and the two seconds it took to Google this matter, while I was there, rather than when I got home and started thinking about writing this post. There are definitely some fine farmer’s markets in New Zealand, and you can find a bit more information about the more well-known ones by clicking here.

They aren’t around every corner, it’s true, but there are some there. The little market we found in Tauranga was definitely worth seeking out. It was absolutely delightful, with lots of locally-grown goodies as well as prepared foods, and a fun and friendly atmosphere that I recognized as akin to our small-town markets at home, and of course one reason that I love farmer’s markets!

Without any more ado, wanna see my pictures??

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Of course we had to buy a bag. πŸ™‚

Many of the tables looked like they could have been at our market back home in Nebraska.

root crops in bags

root crops in bags: check!

Potted plants

Potted plants: check, and check!

Succulents are hot Down Under, too!

Succulents are hot Down Under, too! Oh Gentle Reader, you know how MUCH I wanted to buy a bunch of these and secrete them in my dirty laundry and just bring them on home . . . . ! (Don’t tell anybody.) Take a look at that one in the far right corner: gasp-worthy, don’t you agree??

Bunches of Thai basil, nearly sold out.

Bunches of Thai basil, nearly sold out!

Crusty breads! Yum!

Crusty breads! Yum!

And then there were plenty of sights that you wouldn’t have seen at a farmer’s market in Nebraska, to wit:

These folks had a very spirited conversation with us about the current American political scene. They had it all figured out, and said with a shake of their heads: "There but for the grace of God go us!" :(

These folks had a very spirited conversation with us about the current American political scene. They had it all figured out, and the fellow behind the table, the Macadamia nut farmer himself, said with a shake of his head: “There but for the grace of God go us!” πŸ™

Smoked fish--and--samples of it! Yum!

Smoked fish–and–samples of it! Yum!

This man had piles of fresh fruit in front of him, and he was making fresh juices to order.

This man had piles of fresh fruit in front of him, and he was making fresh juices to order.

New Zealand pastries:

New Zealand pastries: Cherry Almond bars, Lemon Shortcake, Lolly Cake, Cream Tarts. πŸ™‚

We appreciated the way the vendor was dressed, with a stereotypically French costume and beret.

We appreciated the way this vendor was dressed, with a stereotypical French costume and beret.

Tropical flowers really caught our attention!

These lovely tropical lilies really caught our attention! (As I was taking their portrait, the lady who raised them stepped forward and said “Thank you, that’s a compliment, that you want to take their photo!”)

This is the lady who raised the lilies. She also raised these: "Black Boy" peaches. We bought a punnet of them and ate them all within a couple of days (mostly Mack and me).

This is the lady who raised the lilies. She also raised these: “Black Boy” peaches. We bought a punnet of them and ate them all within a couple of days (mostly Mack and me).

Those peaches were amazing! I’d never seen anything like them. Here’s a glimpse of the inside of one:

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It was obvious that most of the folks there knew each other well, and enjoyed spending their time together at the market. πŸ™‚

The fellow behind the table was an olive grower, and he made his own varieties of olive oils. He was loudly proclaiming that he took a tablespoon of olive oil, and a tablespoon of apple cider, every morning for his arthritis. I was all ears. "Does it help?"

The fellow behind the table was an olive grower, and he made his own varieties of olive oils. He was loudly proclaiming that he took a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of apple cider, every morning for his arthritis. I was all ears. “Does it help?” I asked. The man to the right turned to me and snorted: “He sells the stuff! Don’t believe a word he says!”

Another nice thing that was common to our markets, and to this one: lots of samples to try! Mmmm!

Hot cross buns, with fresh butter!

Hot cross buns, with fresh butter!

One last photo to leave with you . . . a beautiful flower–I think it is a variety of hydrangea. Farmer’s markets in our part of the world are just around the corner.

I can’t wait!

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Thanks for enjoying my photos with me, Gentle Reader!

*hugs*

 

11 thoughts on “A New Zealand Farmer’s Market: a delightful find worth the hunt!

  1. Jillian

    Those are the best pictures! I love that peach. I wonder if they have that variety anywhere in the states? Keep the pictures coming!!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      As far as I’ve been able to ascertain, Jillian, there is a variety similar to it–called “Indian Blood” or something–but this variety “Black Boy” does not exist in the U.S. πŸ™

  2. gene gage

    Nice little photo essay! I had no idea it was so hard to find a market in NZ. Some years ago we were in Nitra – a small Slovak city (for my son’s wedding) and I was having similar difficulty finding what I called a “farmers market.” Eventually someone suggested I try the “Old Market.” “What’s that and where is it” I asked. Well – it turned out to be a glorious six-day-per-week market with over 100 vendors that offered pretty much what we can find at Old Cheney Road Market on an August Sunday. Plus – local specialties, like a woman who offered heaps of different colored and flavored paprika – at least a dozen distinct types from very mild to hotter ‘n hell. So who needs small farmers markets when they can go to a several hundred year-old outdoor market six days per week? (I was there at 7:00 am every day for the remainder of our visit!)

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Whoa, what a cool experience, Gene! So you changed your vernacular and found something even better than a farmer’s market! We were just in one area of NZ, too, so it may be if we had been in more of a rural area we might have been overrun with them. That would have been lovely. πŸ™‚

  3. Chef William

    Love it, love it, love it. What a nice idea, to visit farmers markets around the world. Of course I will start with Mexico and the United States. What fun that will be. Now I need to find me one of those black boy peaches. I am a total peach nut. What my wife is with mangos, I am with peaches. I have been known to drive from Wisconsin to Georgia during peach season for no other reason that to buy fresh peaches and pecans. Great pictures of the breads, looks just like yours. Oh and from my side of the family it is a teaspoon of Raw honey and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Not sure how effective it is because I forget to take it after about the third day. That does prove that it isn’t a brain booster for sure.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Chef, those peaches were really special. I saw on a blog (when I researched them) that the woman who wrote the blog used to send seeds to folks who wanted to start their own trees, because the Black Boy peach is an heirloom tree, so will grow true to the seed, unlike so many grafted trees that are common now. Mack and I are both peach nuts, too, and ate those little peaches like ravenous wolves. I was the she-wolf and he was the cantankerous pup. Here’s a deal for you: I’ll take a Tb of olive oil and a Tb of acv every day, and you do the honey and the acv for a week and then we’ll compare notes. If we can remember to. hehee Now you have to do a post (with lots of pics) about a farmer’s market in Mexico. Don’t they do them down there year ’round?

      1. Chef William

        Yes, they have them here all year, every Sunday. I will need to find a Sunday where I can get to it because I have assignments in our Church on Sunday that require that I be there. However, I can attend the Spanish group once in a while that meet on Saturday evening. There are so many groups here in Puerto Vallarta that we share the church, thus each year we rotate who gets Sunday and who gets Saturdays. This Jan. we switched from Sat. to Sun with one of the many Spanish Groups. Anyway, I will get to exploring some of the other farmers markets and get some pictures. As for the honey and acv I will start next week. This week I am really into Green tea with lemon, ginger and turmeric.

  4. Robin

    What a great market! And isn’t it nice to see so much food and green and life even if just in photos while everything outdoors is dreadfully brown because it hasn’t broken dormancy or is mud. Mud. And more mud.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Mud. Robin. If only. It is SO DRY here in Nebraska. And windy. Send me some mud, please, and I’ll send you some wind to dry up your mud. Deal??

  5. gene gage

    Where do you live, Robin? Amy and I (and any other Great Plains readers) would LOVE to see some mud! We haven’t had any significant rain for over a month, and we have to water well before we sow or transplant anything!

  6. Lucy

    Ahh yes, great pics! They remined me of when I use to sell my goodies at a local farmers market back in Michigan. Next to garage sales “F.M.” are my favOrite place to be.

    I sold veggies, fresh -dried flower bouquets, and my home made garden art creations… met some wonderful people each week through the years I was there….sure do miss it Amy dear but, your post today brought back some yummy memories!

    PS Especially miss (more than I can express ) the “Sweet Potato” pies from the down town Church of God’s woman’s group…. where I believe the phrase “died and went to heaven” originated : )

    xo

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