I love springtime in Taranaki – the early morning birdsongs, cute little baby farm animals, and bright beautiful blossoms galore. But what I love most of all are the fresh goods being grown by our local farmers! If you’re a Farmer’s Market aficionado like me, you already know that there are growers cultivating incredible produce all year round. But if you’re a little late coming to the farm fresh party, now is the perfect time to explore the unique variety of food fare being grown all around our lovely region.
One of my go-to organic produce providers is Karla Gichard from Six Acres Farm. While this Lepperton farm grows several of your standard fruits and veggies, they also grow products that are a bit out of the ordinary like finger limes and collard greens. Seven years into being an expat and missing my southern soul-food staple, I was beyond thrilled to find a source for satisfying my collards craving! You can go to sixacres.co.nz to see what is available to order and even better, have it delivered right to your doorstep. Karla offers a home delivery service for those who live in the New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Omata, and Oakura areas – making farm-to-table eating convenient for those who are always on the go.
If you’re more inclined to peruse tables full of fresh tasty foodstuffs, head to the Taranaki Farmers Market held every Sunday at the Huatoki Plaza in New Plymouth from 9am-12pm. There you’ll find practically everything you need to create incredible meals whose origins are local, sustainable, organic, and artisan made. Farmers from all over Taranaki set up their stalls with a diverse range of goods that include fresh and smoked meats, produce, eggs, herbs, sauces, baked goods, mushrooms, and much more.
My Taranaki Farmers Market must haves are a salad mix from Oakura-based Coastal Market Garden and a sourdough ciabatta from Hawera micro-bakery Baked by Blanche. After my first bag of salad greens from Melissa Holmes, I’ll never go back to big retail shop salads. No more soggy, wilted leaves after three days – I’ve had bags from CMG that have still been crisp after two weeks! And having learned from Andrew Blanche how to properly freeze bread, I’m never without fresh tasting bread (assuming it doesn’t sell out before I get there).
Perhaps you’re feeling the magic of spring and thinking you’d like to try to do a bit of your own farming and at-home food production. If that’s the case, you should definitely reach out to Maria Lempriere at Peihana Farm. Maria is one of Taranaki’s greatest local advocates for creating communities of growers and makers who prioritize sustainable living practices. There are always new workshops and events that Maria is hosting where you can gain knowledge and hands-on experience in activities like cheese making, fermenting foods, foraging for wild food, and sausage making – just to name a few. To see the latest happenings at Peihana Farm, visit peihanafarm.co.nz.
It’s an incredible thing to live in an area where you have the ability to know WHERE your food comes from, HOW it is grown, and WHAT impact it has on the local community. I’d encourage everyone to seek out, support, and appreciate your local farmers who work hard to put good food on our tables. They truly are the ones who are give us the ability to experience and enjoy what’s Tasty in Taranaki.