Little River Organics is a small stand selling seasonal produce at the Tauranga Farmers’ Market – and has just been named the overall winner at this year’s Farmers’ Market New Zealand Summer Food Awards. Owners, and self confessed “retro hippies” Gordon and Sue Boyd share their story.
We are Gordon and Sue Boyd, middle aged “retro” hippies. We live on a 25 hectare block, 10kms south west of Waihi, up against Kaimai Forest Park. The actual area used for growing produce is around one hectare, the balance used to graze 55 dairy heifers. Our property is fully certified with Organic Farm NZ and we are off the grid with hydro and solar electricity. We grow a wide range of seasonal produce, with larger crops of garlic, potatoes and soy beans. All the produce is grown outdoors and seed is saved wherever possible. Approximately 150 cubic meters of compost is made each year which is then applied to growing beds, directly or as a compost tea. We focus quite heavily on providing habitat in the garden for beneficial insects and bees, planting a varied range of both annual and perennial flowers and herbs.
We also love to grow produce which is different from the norm. Especially those with colour, unusual shape and those that are heritage and old fashioned, varieties. These products make for a colourful and inviting stall at the market. It is very satisfying to see costumers try something new and also great to see folk reacquainting themselves with long forgotten varieties. For us, it makes coming to the market a very worth while experience.
Entries into the awards
Sue and Gordon chose the following to submit to the judges at the recent Farmers’ Market Summer Food Awards:
Touchstone Organic Gold Beetroot – because of it’s amazing colour and taste. It stores well in the vegetable compartment of the fridge. Our favourite recipe is a simple raw, grated beetroot salad with grated carrot, sultanas, sunflower seeds and an orange juice, honey and olive oil dressing.
Spectacular Spuds – The second product we have chosen, is a mix of heritage potatoes. Pink Fur, Kowiniwini, Whataroa, Urekini and Karoro. We love the delicate flavours, different textures and then there is the wonderful blue/purple colour of the Ureniki. There’s nothing more striking than a lovely serving of mashed blue potato with a dollop of butter. The waxy Pink Fir and Whataroa are delicious just boiled or made into a potato salad. Keep them in a cool dark place and they will keep for months!
To see a full list of winners and for more information on Farmers’ Markets around New Zealand, see www.farmersmarket.org.nz