Monday, 22 February 2010

WAITATI EDIBLE GARDENERS (column)

PHOTO: The garden plans for Waitati School provide a head-scratching
moment for members of the Waitati Open Orchard group on their Waitati
wander recently.

WAITATI EDIBLE GARDENERS

By Lynnaire Johnston, Jackie Fanning and Jason Ross

Harvest market a success

A goodly number of buyers and sellers converged on the Old Waitati
Stores two weekends ago for the first WEGies Harvest Market of the
year. The warm, cloud-free morning, provided a perfect backdrop for
the community spirit and joie de vivre which emanated from all
quarters. Mark and Rayna Dickson provided beautiful old wooden tables
for stallholders, while others brought their own wheelbarrows from
which to sell their wares.

Not all goods were paid for, some were exchanged by barter – an
arrangement that seemed to be a win-win for those taking part.

While the bulk of the customers were locals, we were also graced with
the presence of a number of people from outside the area – one even
from London! Now, that's a long way to come to buy your chutney! Some
unusual products turned up including the cutest little chickens you
ever saw (courtesy Scott and Jenna Willis), linden tea from Maia's
100-year old tree in Warrington, and lush bunches of coriander and
other herbs. The size and freshness of the produce on sale indicated a
great deal of care had gone into their production.

The WEGies' fundraising stand which sold lettuces, herbs, artichokes
and jams was well supported, with a good supply of funds raised for
upcoming projects.

Only locally grown or produced food is sold at the three annual
harvest markets and it is extremely gratifying to see the breadth of
the range grown in Blueskin Bay, and the care with which it is tended.

The next harvest market will be held on Sunday March 21 from 10.30am
at the same venue – the Old Waitati Stores, Harvey Street. There will
be another WEGie fundraising stall, and donations of products for sale
are especially welcome.

The Waitati Open Orchard

A core of WOO folk walked around part of the village recently and have
some great long-term plans to get more fruit/nut trees planted in
Waitati. A couple of hours was spent at the school doing the important
summer prune to the WOO fruit trees there.

'Adopt a WOO Tree' is one of our next focuses. For this we will be
asking you to volunteer to look after a WOO fruit tree. Depending on
your wishes this could be an existing tree or one that you want
planted close to your home.

The next WOO meeting will be held on March 18 at the Waitati Hall at
7:30pm to move our ideas along. All welcome. Enquiries are welcome at
waitatiopenorchard@gmail.com

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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
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