WIC Gardening Update 1 Aug 2012

Posted 11 years, 7 months ago by Kathryn Mercer - WIC Project Manager    0 comments

Hello and Halo Olketa

I’ve noticed that the people who come to our workshops tend to be friendly and happy to welcome others. Some of you have made friends from other cultures and have enjoyed learning from them. Most of the people who come to the workshops have English as a second language, and are patient if you find English a struggle.  If you are feeling shy about coming along, why not bring a friend? 

If you or your friends are just starting to learn English, you might enjoy two gardening readers set in Hamilton: Sokchea’s Garden and Going to the Garden Centre, put out by the Readers Action Group, English Language Partners WaikatoHamilton City Libraries holds the books; you can borrow them for free.  English Language Partners help migrants and refugees learn and improve their English, including through a free one-to-one home tutor service.  Like us, they see community gardens as a great place to practice conversational English.

Are you part of a group that has a property in the Crawshaw/Nawton area?  The Western Community Centre is looking for places to plant fruit trees where groups gather, so if your church, kindy, club etc is interested in some free fruit trees for you to plant out, contact Neil at 847-4873, or manager@wccham.org.nz as soon as possible

Tomorrow (Thursday 2 August) 10 am – 12 noon, Tim will be continuing to work on the tunnel house at Grandview Community Garden.   You are welcome to look, learn and lend a hand.  More information? Ask Clare and Tim, WIC Community Garden Mentors, ph 021 0387623 021or  2243109.

This week is World Breast Feeding Week.  Does your culture encourage breast feeding women to eat special foods?  In Fiji breast feeding women are fed pawpaw and mango (yum!), while in Kiribati, the women are fed fresh coconut tree sap – a drink not available here.  In NZ, women are encouraged to drink plenty of water while feeding their baby and to make sure you eat healthy meals with plenty of fruit and vegetables regularly – don’t just graze.  If you don’t eat well your milk supply may dry up.  The Ministry of Health has a pamphlet on Eating for Healthy Breastfeeding – if you want a copy, just ask me. 

This Friday 3rd of August we celebrate breastfeeding with 'The Big Latch On'™. At 10.30 am in many different locations though out New Zealand women will all feed their babies for at least 2 minutes in an attempt to break a national record!  There are many venues around the Waikato, including here at K’aute Pasifika Services, on the ground floor at 517 Anglesea Street.  Pregnant women are also welcome to come along.  You can get help with any breast feeding issues from other women including Well Child Nurses.  Meet here at 10 am, a light lunch will be served afterwards.  (You are welcome to contact our Well Child Nurses at any time if you want support or advice about caring for young children.)

Did you know that babies taste the flavours of their culture even while they are in their mother’s tummies?  The flavours also come through in their mother’s milk. The taste and fat content varies even over a day to meet the child’s needs – for example the milk of the evening feed is naturally richer, helping the baby get through the night.  Children who have been breast fed may become less-picky about what they eat due to the variety of flavours they’ve been exposed to early on.  So if you are able to breast feed, do so – breast milk is best!

Reminder: Free WIC workshop/field trip, Getting Started with Back Yard Chickens – this Saturday!  It seems like everyone is keeping chickens at the moment – the NZ Lifestyle Block magazine has a regular column on chickens and is about to publish its second book on keeping poultry (poultry means any bird raised for eggs or meat), and the people at Kings Seeds have recently got chickens and have a few tips on their blog.  The WIC workshop is already half-full, so contact Kathryn to find out where to meet and to book your place! 

Reminder: Locavore’s Pruning your own Fruit Trees workshop near Cambridge, Saturday 4th August, 9am to 1pm. $48 per person. To book contact Alison or Burton, ph (07) 823 4154 or email info@locavore.co.nz.

Some of you had never cooked in an oven before moving to NZ. Each culture’s cooking equipment shapes their cookery – for example Asian cakes are often steamed on a stove top and look pale, while Western cakes are baked in an oven until golden brown. Horticulture NZ has information on different vegetable cooking methods

Roasting is done in an oven. It used to be traditional in NZ to eat a roast every Sunday for lunch. In my childhood, this was usually a leg of mutton (= mature sheep).  Usually the meat and vegetables were cooked with animal fat (saturated fat). More recently, meat is roasted with vegetable oil – a healthier choice, though less is better. Our mouths love the flavour that fat brings, but our bodies get sick when we eat too much of it. Sometimes people will ‘dry roast’ their vegetables: this is baking the vegetables without any fat. 

This Sunday 5 August has been declared NZ Roast Day with a competition to find the best roast recipes. NZ chef Michael Van de Elzen has made some healthier versions of the roast: his recipes for Roast Vegetable Kebabs and Roast Pork Kebabs are on The Food Truck site

Vegetables suitable for roasting include: potatoes, kumara, parsnip, onions, turnip, swede, pumpkin, taro, beetroot, fennel bulbs, carrots – mostly starchy root vegetables.  After hearing that the Chinese and Taiwanese eat the taro leaf-stems, Ma’ara (Cook Islands) has started including the stems in his roasts: he loves the result!  As usual, make at least half your meal non-starchy vegetables – like coleslaw (see recipes below).

Thursday 9 August, 10 am – 12 noon, at Grandview Community Garden we will be setting up the water harvesting system. Anyone is welcome to join in, learn and help.  More information? Ask Clare and Tim, WIC Community Garden Mentors, ph 021 0387623 021 2243109.

If you missed our WIC pruning workshop, the NZ Tree Crops Association Waikato Branch is running a pruning workshop on Saturday 11 August on a beautiful farm near Otorohanga.  The pruning workshop goes from 10 am – 12.  You are welcome to stay on to eat your picnic lunch and have a farm tour – a chance to see a working NZ farm! (They also take WWOOFers.) More information next week...

NZ Gardener Magazine is running its annual NZ Gardener of the Year competition at the moment. Nominations close 31 August 2012.  There are some great prizes.  Why not nominate someone from your community?  The categories are:

• JUNIOR: Open to gardeners still at school. Let's celebrate the next generation of gardeners!
• NOVICE: For gardeners with less than three years' experience. This category aims to recognise people who, despite not having been gardening long, are already inspiring others.
• BEST GREEN-FINGERED NEIGHBOUR: Whether they've been generous with cuttings or have helped with gardening advice, nominate your great gardening neighbours.
• MAKE-A-DIFFERENCE GARDENER: Tell us about gardeners who are helping other people.
• GARDEN CLUB CHAMP: For someone who goes the extra mile at your garden club.
• BEST SCHOOL GARDEN/GARDENER: Let us know about great school gardens… and cheer for the inspiring teachers and volunteers who keep them going!
• BEST VEGE GARDENER: We want to find NZ's best vege patch.
• BEST FLOWER GARDENER: Tell us about the prettiest flower garden in your region.
• BEST COMMUNITY GARDEN OR PROJECT: An award to recognise green-fingered groups!
• BEST GARDENING GRANDPARENT: Tell us why yours is the best!

See the web site for more information.

FREEBIES (ie free things):

  • we still have spare plastic pots available from the K’aute Pasifika Services office
  • There are some more yacon corms available at the Migrant Centre in Boundary Road
  • Ali still has free topsoil available – contact me for more details
  • Cookbooks – most of you will have a copy of the Cheap Eats cookbook from the Heart Foundation: this is now available online, with their new Vegetable Cookbook (pdf).

Cabbages are growing well at the moment. If you need less than a whole cabbage for a meal, I’m told you can leave the cabbage growing, cutting out only the section you need.  Cover the cut area with a leaf.  The remaining cabbage will stay fresh until you are ready for it.  If you need a whole cabbage, leave the stem and a few of the bottom leaves behind to grow a new smaller cabbage or two.  A tall kind of cabbage popular amongst the African community is propagated from cuttings – if you are growing them I would love a photo for Ooooby!  

In Morocco (North Africa) they make a simple but delicious salad from finely chopped cabbage and parsley tossed with a vinaigrette. The Sanitarium web site has several cabbage recipes including spicy Asian Market Noodles.  The new Heart Foundation Vegetable Cookbook has a recipe for a colourful cabbage and corn stir fry (p.16), and on their web site Shanghai Pork & Savoy Cabbage Dumplings, Pisupo (corned beef stir fry), Spicy Indian Corned Beef and Crunchy Summer Coleslaw. Coleslaw is a cabbage salad that traditionally includes grated carrot, finely chopped onion and chopped celery. My winter coleslaw also includes: spring onion, raw broccoli broken into small pieces (crunchy, sweet), chopped parsley, chopped yacon (crunchy, juicy, sweet), sprouts, mandarin pieces and chopped kiwifruit. 

I toss the coleslaw with a simple home made vinaigrette: mix the juice of 1 lemon, 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Optionally add a pinch of salt and some pepper. You can either mix these through the salad or put in a jar and shake.  Allow up to 2 tsp of dressing per person. This recipe only takes about 2 minutes to make and is much cheaper than buying it, especially if you grow your own lemons!  If you haven’t got lemons, use about 1 dessert spoon of vinegar instead.  Serve at room temperature – the oil can go solid in the refrigerator.

It is more traditional in NZ to dress your coleslaw with mayonnaise.  Or cheat and make the vinaigrette but add some unsweetened yogurt, (as they did in the Heart Foundation Crunchy Summer Coleslaw recipe above).   Mayonnaise is easy to make, especially if you have a blender or food processor. Otherwise use a whisk.  This recipe takes about 10 minutes and makes 1 cup. You will need:

1 egg or egg yolk
Pinch of cayenne pepper
½ tsp mustard (don’t leave this out – it helps to thicken the dressing)
A pinch of salt and pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice, OR 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1 Tbsp water
1 cup of vegetable oil (olive oil is good)
  1. Combine egg, cayenne, mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice and ¼ cup of the oil in the container of a food processor or blender. Put the lid on.
  2. It will start to thicken when you’re about halfway through.
  3. If the mixture is thicker than you like it, add a little warm water or a little sour cream.

Congratulations to Free FM 89, the new name and frequency for what was Community Radio Hamilton, which re-launched today! You can sill hear about our WIC events on Monday nights at 7:30 pm.  Peni, our Fijian presenter, had his photo in the Waikato Times today (pg 3).

We are shifting offices this weekend.  Our new K’aute Pasifika Services address will be: Level 1 (upstairs), 960 Victoria Street (entrance off Liverpool St), Hamilton.  This is in the same building as the free K'aute Family Medical Centre.  Our postal address remains the same.

Happy gardening!

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