So what is a localvore then ?

Sounds like some sort of posh y name for somebody who has too much time on their hands.

Well you can be a herbivore or an omnivore, so why not somebody who pays attention to where their food comes from and commits to eating local food as much as possible? This is not some nutcase religion, it is just about eating local. It is not an all-or-nothing venture, it is all about helping the environment, protecting your family's health and supporting small farmers and food producers in your region.

The first bite to being a localvore is to determine what local means to yourself and your family: it could be food from a 100-kilometre radius, if could be from the whole of the South Island or even the whole of New Zealand. It is an individual decision that you need to be comfortable with.

The key is that by creating a boundary, no matter how large or small, you are becoming conscious of the origin of your food. You can even go one step further and draw a circle around your home or region and this will help you with your food choices.

We are all born localvores, it is just that sometimes we forget just what is in our backyard and what is in season.

We may not be able to tackle the big issues of the world, but we are able to help build sustainable and connected communities by supporting each other.

Five ways to become a localvore in New Zealand

Visit a farmers' market. There are now more than 50 located from Invercargill to the Bay of Islands. Some are big, some are small, but the key is that they represent their regional seasons and producers. Farmers' markets keep small farms in business. Rather than going through a middle man, the farmer or producer will take home nearly all of the money you spend on regional produce – there are no on-sellers, resellers or people that just buy at the cheapest price and try to move it as fast as they can, regardless of the quality or where it has come from.

Ask your supermarket manager where your meat, produce and dairy is coming from. Remember that supermarket managers are influenced by what you say and do. Let the managers know what's important to you.

Preserve a local food of the season. By freezing, bottling and preserving you get to eat and enjoy flavours all year.

Have a look for restaurants in your area that support local farmers and producers. Ask the restaurants about ingredients or ask your favourite farmers what restaurant accounts they have. Frequent businesses that support farmers in your region.

Ask about origins. What you may have taken for granted as New Zealand-produced may come as a surprise.

HONEY-SPICED APRICOTS

Serve these with dollops of yoghurt for breakfast or dinner, or add a crumble topping and bake in the oven for a quick dessert. If all else fails, just eat them straight from the jar.

2kg whole Marlborough apricots

cinnamon sticks and cloves for each jar

4 cups white wine vinegar

500g Marlborough honey

With a fork, prick the apricots all over and place them into cold sterilised jars. Place two cloves and one cinnamon stick in each jar. Bring the vinegar and honey to the boil and simmer for five minutes until it just starts to thicken, then pour over the apricots. Leave to cool before sealing the jars. For best flavour, leave for one month and use within 12 months.

Taste Farmers Markets New Zealand Awards 2011

TASTE FARMERS’ MARKETS NEW ZEALAND AWARDS 2011

Success is easy pickings for local growers

Everyone loves the taste of fresh produce, particularly when it has been grown close to home. Farmers’ Markets are about celebrating seasonal and local goods – and the best are about to be judged.

With more than 50 Farmers’ Markets throughout the country, the inaugural Taste Farmers’ Market Awards 2011 will be out to find the finest in each category of fresh, local, authentic food that is value for money.

Objectives of the Taste Farmers' Markets Award

The FM movement is about building and strengthening local communities, supports local businesses. The brand is environmentally sustainable and projects fresh, seasonal, quality. Customers are interested in their health, knowing where their food comes from and are well read and educated people. They’re also looking for social interaction and learning more about food

Objectives of the Taste Farmers’ Market New Zealand Awards 2011

• To celebrate Farmers’ Markets and their regional food producers

• To support regional food producers and networks through celebration of achievements

• To stimulate additional business for Farmers’ Markets and food producers of NZ


For more information please contact info@farmersmarkets.org.nz

Market shopping

Market shopping

Market shopping

By Annabel Langbein
Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook
My TV show Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook was filmed at my little cabin on the shores of Lake Wanaka, where I am lucky enough to maintain a large vegetable garden that provides much of my family's fresh produce.

I have always grown my own vegetables - something that was instilled in me by my father Fred, who maintained a prodigious garden that provided us with a nutritious and interesting diet.

When I started cooking, I learnt early on that the fresher your ingredients, the less work there is for you in the kitchen. With nature on your side it’s easy to be a great cook and enjoy delicious meals at the drop of the hat.

The fluorescent atmosphere of a supermarket may make everything look good, but looks don’t necessarily equate to flavour or succulence. And it is this difference in flavour which goes a long way to explain the phenomenal popularity of farmers' markets.

In the freshly picked harvests of local growers, we discover older and lesser known varieties of produce grown because they taste good, not because they suit the long life requirements of a supermarket supply chain.

I also like the fact farmers' markets create a sense of community – something fast disappearing from our lives as people get busier and the big chains bump out old-timer providores.

Each week at the markets, the same friendly faces greet and cajole. I love this chance to try something new and be tempted by an artisan spread, cheese or specialty sausage. So, even without a backyard garden, it's possible to enjoy what is in season at its very best. New Zealand is blessed with some wonderful farmers’ markets where you can support local growers and cook in sync with nature's harvests.

Here’s a list of some of my favourite local markets around the country:


Annabel Langbein is the star of the new TV ONE series Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook(7pm Saturdays).

Watch more Annabel Langbein recipe videos.

Get Annabel Langbein's Salsa Verde recipe.

Get all Annabel Langbein's cooking tips here.

See the cookbook Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook for all the recipes from the TV show.

Farmers' Markets New Zealand: Spring Has arrived at Farmers' Markets of NZ

Farmers' Markets New Zealand: Spring Has arrived at Farmers' Markets of NZ: "Our thoughts are with our nine Canterbury Farmers' Market members, we are all thinking of you and wish you the best after the devastating ea..."

Farmers markets grow up, take off | Stuff.co.nz

Farmers markets grow up, take off | Stuff.co.nz

Research is under way to pin down exactly how much farmers markets are worth to the economy since they emerged a decade ago.

A conservative estimate from Farmers Markets Association chairman Chris Fortune, a Marlborough chef and market founder, puts the figure at $30 million a year.

Waikato University is producing hard figures on the economic impacts of New Zealand's 48 farmers markets, as the national organisation cranks up efforts to future-proof local food trading and protect its unofficial brand.

New Zealand Farmers Markets are food markets where local growers, farmers and artisan food producers sell directly to local communities without a middleman. Stallholders can only sell what they grow, farm, pickle, preserve, bake, smoke or catch themselves from a defined area of their local geography.

The markets operate for a few hours on a weekend day, with some also operating on one week day.

Fortune, whose association was formed five years ago, says farmers markets have matured beyond being "teenagers".

"There's always a trendy stage with these things we are over that. We're past the look good, feel good stage. We're growing up, we're understanding what we have and using it to make sure the same model and principles on which we were founded are still there in 20 years."

Part of being grown up is protecting the brand, Fortune says, which is hard for a volunteer organisation with next-to-no funding.

The association is envious of its counterpart in the Australian state of Victoria where farmers markets' have received $8m in government funding.

Fortune says all his group needs is $200,000 annually "to make a difference".

"We rely on a volunteer committee at the moment. That's fine because it's part of the growing-up process but we've got to get better [closer to] with universities, to find the economic impacts on communities. Until we can collect and collate information on a national basis, we're always going to be seen as the little boys and girls."

The association has received $200,000 in the past from NZ Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Economic Development to help promote "Buy New Zealand". The money was spent introducing an "authenticity" standards programme, to which 60 per cent of markets have signed up, and launching a national website.

Fortune told the recent Farmers Markets NZ annual conference that global multinationals such as Campbells and Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals had approached the association wanting a slice of the concept.

"They want our customers over 50,000 a week, and that is very conservative. Otago attracts 5000 a week, Marlborough 2000 and that is over only three or four hours."

Fortune told the conference the markets and regional food producers needed to "stand up and claim what they own and what they need to protect".

"The only tangible asset that we all share, the only tangible thing we can truly claim to be ours and grow together is the two words 'farmers market'."

However, in its future-proofing mission and efforts to show who the "real" food producers of New Zealand are, the association is not commercially blinkered, Fortune says.

It is looking to engage with like-minded sectors and companies that will benefit its members through group discounts, generic sponsorship and regional funding pools.

Fortune says farmers market's have grown in popularity among those who don't accept mass produced food.

"Every week I get calls from producers stepping out of the mainstream for more financial reward and because supermarkets have chosen not to buy off these people.

"The fastest growth sector in New Zealand at the moment is support for butchers and delis. It's about shortening supply chains, about producers directly communicating with consumers, about where how and where it was grown, how to cook it."

Fortune says he started the Marlborough market after returning from overseas and producing fresh food from his land for his restaurant.

"As a chef I want New Zealand product. When I arrived back I was gobsmacked that my local butcher sent me Australian lamb, that my local supermarket stocked American asparagus, that I couldn't source local lamb.

"It all comes back to the supply chain and people telling us how we should shop and what we should buy through a limited distribution system of supermarkets where the major component of purchasing is price."

FMNZ CONFERENCE 2010 Bill Gallagher Centre Hamilton, 6-7-8 June

FARMER'S MARKET NZ Honest-to-goodness GOODNESS

With over 50 Farmers' Markets now operating around NZ, this conference will celebrate the success of your hard work, both regionally and nationally. Stallholders, market managers and market organisers and committees are invited to Hamilton to be inspired, to learn, to network and most of all share market experiences so that we can all benefit in the future. Hamilton will bring it on in June 2010 and we look forward to seeing you all there with a program that will be aimed at both established long running markets and new markets. The conference will look at “ the longer term success of farmers' markets as well as “Authenticity” and “Transparency” and keep you enticed with key note speakers and local food experiences from both the Hamilton and Cambridge Markets. For more information and to register click here