Waitangi Weekend

I never feel my summer holidays have come to an end until I’ve enjoyed Waitangi Day.  This weekend the stallholders are planning a bumper market – a conglomerate of stalls will be in attendance and their fresh produce and locally made products are all delicious.  Make sure you visit us on Sunday morning.

See you this Sunday from nine til noon at the A&P Showgrounds


If you haven’t already, don’t forget to join us on FaceBook!


Some are hot, some are not! Jalapeños, padrons and serranos will be making their debut on Mississippi Herbs’ stall this weekend. More shishitos will be available as well – these are peppers, not chillies, so those who don’t like it hot can eat them safely…try them on the barbie, in a stir fry or deep fried in tempura batter as a pre-dinner nibble.  More (hotter) chillies are waiting in the wings so watch this space!

The luscious Luisa, one of the seasons sweetest plums is now in full season. Come and have a taste at Windsong’s Stall of all certified organic fruit

See what's blooming at Marlborough Nurseries and add some colour to your garden.  Get saucy at Harwoods and grab yourself a bumper bag of tomatoes!

Glorious sunflowers, fresh sprayfree green beans & butter beans, Red Doris plums - sprayfree firm plums just the right size for the lunchbox - are all available at Purple Patch.

You’ll be seeing Gourmet-deli at the Market this Sunday and if you snooze you loose out on some of their fabulous fresh goodies…

Delicious pork pies crammed with pork mince
Blueberry and white chocolate bread  and butter pudding.
And… how good is this?  Lightly roasted strawberries made into a short cake served plain or with cream. 
Make mine with lashings of cream please Margaret!



Look who’s talking: Neville White from Marlborough Farmers’ Market

Helping Marlborough producers find a niche in the market means a great deal to Farmers' Market chairman Neville White.


Helping Marlborough producers find a niche in the market means a great deal to Farmers’ Market chairman Neville White.

The Farmers’ Market is an integral part of life in Marlborough, chairman Neville White explains how a dedicated effort has helped turn its fortunes around.

The Farmers’ Market is a much-loved part of Marlborough. What do you think makes it so special?

The Farmers’ Market brand is very strong with three underlying values: The products must be produced locally from Kaikōura through to Rai Valley and inland to the mountains. This year we have commenced inviting selected producers from the Nelson area to complement the supply of Marlborough product.

The stallholder must be involved with the production of the product. We do not permit “on-selling” which is the role of the local supermarket. Our customers love the opportunity to talk directly with the people who grew or made the products on offer.

We love our customers arriving as a family to purchase their weekly supplies while being a part of the atmosphere and ambience of the market. On offer is an outdoor breakfast experience. Coffee and the morning newspapers are available. You can sit and listen to local buskers some of whom are getting funds for university or other projects. We run a cooking demonstration with chefs and home cooks sharing their skills in a totally relaxed situation.

Farmers Market chairman Neville White has helped turn the weekly event into one of the biggest in the area.


Farmers Market chairman Neville White has helped turn the weekly event into one of the biggest in the area.

We also have an area specifically set up for children. They can play noughts and crosses on a large stand up board. Colouring in, building with blocks, doing their own cooking on our toy stove. Mum or dad can relax on a bean bag or circuit the market comforted that their children are happy and safe.

We promote a warm, friendly and helpful market where locals and visitors alike leave with a great experience that they will share with others.

As chairman, what changes have you overseen to give the market even wider appeal?

I have been the chair for a little over five years. At the beginning, the market was undergoing media scrutiny for being too internally focused and lacking a will to be more involved with other players in the community.

Our balance sheet was weak meaning limited resources to expand. During my tenure there has been more emphasis on the “destination” elements of the market.

We have also worked on the quality and contribution of the committee and staff. This in turn has helped us get our message to the broader community both locals and visitors.

We invite our customers to give us feedback and work to implement valuable suggestions as they are provided.  Our balance sheet is stronger and I would like to think that anyone can approach us with the expectation that their situation will be respectfully listened to and that we will do whatever we can to assist them with their endeavours. I have worked to maintain harmony and build a family atmosphere.

 A lot of local growers rely on the market; do you feel a loyalty to them?

We do have a very strong loyalty to our stallholders and growers. Without stallholders there are no customers and without customers there is no market. Against this backdrop our support needs to be balanced.

The market must represent a viable business arrangement while at the same time ensuring that customers and consumers are provided with choice. Marlborough has a very strong viticulture industry which presents challenges to a lot of horticulture.

We are finding it more difficult to get local growers in some areas.  By way of example a lot of orchards have now been converted to viticulture.  We spend a considerable amount of time and money promoting stallholder products.

Each week we have a newsletter that is circulated to approximately 1000 people. The newsletter focus is on individual stalls and the products that they will have available. We add in recipes and tips for ways in which to use the products. We promote our stallholders through social media and on our website. Thus, in a nutshell our stallholders are guaranteed a regular spot each Sunday, a good consumer presence, good promotional avenues and a management culture that values their individual presence each week.

What makes a potential stallholder a good fit for the market?

Any person or group that has a products produced in line with our three basic criteria – local, edible and sold by someone involved with the production.  It does not matter how large or small the operation is.

We structure our fees to ensure small producers are not excluded.  We run a community stall where for a minimal charge family members can come along with spare produce from the fruit trees in the back garden.

At present we have a young scholar who is raising funds for an overseas educational college trip at the end of the year. He is supported by family and successfully selling fruit juice and smoothies each Sunday.  We strongly support this type of venture with all the learning benefits derived by running a small “business” operation.

We welcome groups raising funds to come and sell at our community stall including school projects and community organisations. We also like to see the market as an incubator for a start-up business to have a sales outlet with a minimal cost outlay.  The market runs a small retail stall that allows us to extend to support products such as shopping bags and sunhats and complimentary edible products such as Marlborough Sea Salt and locally grown olives.  We also currently have local Lavender Essential oil together with and chopping boards and platters made by a local craftsman.

If money wasn’t an issue, what changes would you make?

We are fortunate to have a strong volunteer contribution which we could reduce with more money. However we do have sufficient funds to do most of the things that we need.

We are also very fortunate to have the support of the Marlborough District Council and the A&P Association for our venue at A&P Park including an undercover area for the market on wet days and during the winter months.

We also have storage facilities at the park.  While not necessarily limited by money we would certainly welcome more fresh fruit, berry and vegetable producers. A mobile venue would be of assistance to allow us to take a sample of the market to other events or locations. We apply prudent financial management practices to keep our books in balance with a small reserve for that rainy day.

What is your main role as chairman?

Keeping everybody happy, maintaining a focus on sustainability and co-ordinating the management of the market.

I have a personal stance of being an active chairman at a working level and have been serving on the information stall for the past three years. It can be a difficult and sometimes stressful role.

We have around 35 stallholder members most of whom have some reliance on the market income for their own livelihood. I feel a real responsibility to do my best to ensure their needs are met.

I believe it is very important to listen to all views and work with the management team in the development of policies, processes and sales and marketing opportunities.  Keeping everyone informed and encouraging them to be an active member part of the ongoing market family is also very important.

Do you have any plans to retire from the role?

I would like to step aside at the end of this financial year. This is my sixth year as the chair and it is time for somebody new.

There is little more rewarding that seeing a large crowd on a Sunday morning purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables and carefully crafted produce, artisan bread, eggs, nuts or handmade cheese, enjoying an outdoors brunch with coffee, listening to a local and talented musician or watching the cooking demonstration. Meanwhile young mums and dads are relaxing on a bean bag or at a table while the children entertain themselves with our games or colouring in projects.

 – The Marlborough Express


Recipe of the Week

Come by and taste a sample of pine nut pesto this week at the Pinoli stall. Zoe will have a recipe sheet for her favourite pesto recipe and ideas on how to use it.  Here’s another one of her great recipes…

Pinoli Pine Nut Crusted Ngamahau Fish

Pine nuts from Pinoli balance the lemon and herbs in this recipe and can be used on just about any fish – check out what the catch of the day is at the Ngamahau Fish Truck.


60 g (1/2 cup) unseasoned breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
½ tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup (150 g) Pinoli pine nuts
1 egg
700 g fish
Olive oil

In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, combine the breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano, grated lemon peel, salt & pepper and process until well blended. Add the pine nuts and process until evenly chopped. Place the breadcrumb mixture in a shallow bowl large enough to hold one fish fillet. In another bowl, beat the egg. Dip each fillet into beaten egg and then coat with the bread mixture. Place breaded fillets on a plate. Heat a large fry pan. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. On a medium heat cook the fillets about 3 minutes for every 1 cm inch thickness of fish.



Cooking Demonstration – Fran Nolan from Vines Village Cafe

Join us at the mobile kitchen (next to the Busker Gazebo) from 10.30 to 11.00am for our weekly Cooking Demonstration.


This week, Head Chef Fran Nolan from the Vines Village Cafe will be cooking two dishes for us using fresh Farmers’ Market products and produce. The selection of ingredients will include Cranky Goat cheese, Marlborough Figs and Garden Bees honey – sounds delicious doesn’t it?