Farmers’ Markets

Book coverFarmers’ Markets seem to be popping up everywhere. Farmers’ Market New Zealand Inc defines a farmers’ market as one “where local growers, farmers and artisan food producers sell their wares directly to consumers. Vendors may only sell what they grow, farm, pickle, preserve, bake, smoke or catch themselves from within a defined local area”.

If you like the sound of that and want to find a market near you, take a look at  Guide to farmers’ markets : Australia and New Zealand. Another new book on the topic is Market Day : a taste of life at New Zealand farmers’ market. This beautiful looking book has lots of recipes, a guide to regional specialties, and a directory of lodgings and restaurants committed to using and serving good regional produce. Sounds yummy.

Potatoes

Potatoes2008 is to be the International Year of the Potato, and in 2009 Christchurch will play host to the World Potato Congress.

The history of the potato dates back to about 8,000 years ago near Lake Titicaca. Research indicates that communities of hunters and gatherers who had first entered the South American continent at least 7,000 years before began domesticating wild potato plants that grew around the lake in abundance.

The Potato bookYou can find out more about the history of the potato by reading books such as The potato : from the Andes in the sixteenth century to fish and chips, the story of how a vegetable changed history and The Potato Book.

The library also has a good lineup of spud related cookbooks. As potatoes are such a versatile food, it is a good idea to choose the appropriate potato variety for your needs – boiling, mashing, roasting etc. The Potato Group of Horticulture NZ has a guide to types available in New Zealand and there is a helpful guide to potatoes on vegetables.co.nz.