Farmers Markets – what’s the attraction?

Local food and produce markets are a way of life all over the world – often a social ritual where the stallholders know your name, your favourite ingredients and when to tempt you to try something new.  With food and produce markets throughout the country, thousands of us descend upon local farmers markets each week so what’s the real attraction here in New Zealand?

Driven by purchasing the freshest produce, supporting local producers, looking to purchase artisan products or simply escaping for an hour or so, many people are regulars at farmers markets.  On Saturday mornings at Tauranga Farmers Market (and others too) people patiently queue at the entrance waiting for 7:45am to tick over.  Early birds get the ever so popular fresh blueberries and free range eggs; sold out signs greet those who arrive mid-morning, while stallholders sit and chat in the sunshine, patiently waiting for 12 noon packdown to roll around.

Authorised people only before 7:45am

Authorised people only before 7:45am

Join the queue on a Saturday morning at Tauranga School

Join the queue on a Saturday morning at Tauranga School

Friendly vibe at Tauranga Farmers Market

Friendly vibe at Tauranga Farmers Market

For others, even ardent fans of farmers markets it’s a morning out driven by a need for truly fresh produce, a particular ingredient, meeting a coffee for a friend or simply that it’s been too long since the last visit.  Sometimes planned, sometimes impromptu we’re not what could be defined as regular market goers even if we love local farmers markets.

Out of town on holiday it’s the perfect opportunity to sample local artisan products.  A recent long weekend staying on a friends’ avocado orchard near Te Puke, we were spoilt for choice with Te Puke, Tauranga and Mt Mauganui farmers markets all within driving distance.  At Tauranga Farmers Market we were lucky to grab some local award winning cheese, Blue Monkey from Mount Eliza Cheese (Katikati based raw milk cheese makers), Small Batch hazelnut butter and loads of fabulous fresh produce.     

Award winning cheese - Blue Monkey from Mount Eliza

Award winning cheese - Blue Monkey from Mount Eliza

Small Batch Nut Butters

Small Batch Nut Butters

Local avocados of course

Local avocados of course

Peaches galore...

Peaches galore...

Weather dependent (it’s drizzly and grey here on the Coromandel today) we hope to head to Thames Market (facebook) Saturday morning.  For information on just a few of the farmers markets visited by The Foodie Inc click on links below:

If you have a favourite local food and produce market you wish to share, feel free to comment below.

Enjoy your weekend.

Michelle

 

 

Food Styling Workshop

One of the things I love about food and photography is meeting other like-minded people.  In mid-November a food styling workshop in Tauranga provided the perfect opportunity to combine a long weekend away catching up with friends in the stunning Bay of Plenty and attending Unna Burch from The Forest Cantina’s workshop at 145 The Strand with twenty or so other foodies.

Fellow foodies gather at 145 The Strand

Fellow foodies gather at 145 The Strand

Having met Unna at Cook the Books earlier in the year, I was feeling both inspired and nervous. The stark concrete floor at 145 provided a blank canvas; the grey, grainy concrete a contrast to the soft muted tones of the props and the foliage laden table.  This workshop was going to definitely going to extend the boundaries of my styling capabilities.

The props and foliage table

The props and foliage table

Eggs from The Forest Cantina's chickens

Eggs from The Forest Cantina's chickens

After an inspiring conversation about how she had gone from little known blogger to published food writer and photographer in under two years, Unna demonstrated the art of creating a photogenic food installation with her preference for overhead shots and lots of white space. Unna talked us through composition and how adding or removing one element could make a significant difference to the final image.

Unna's story

Unna's story

Demonstrating her technique

Demonstrating her technique

Unna's simple yet stunning piece

Unna's simple yet stunning piece

Next, the opportunity to create our very own photo worthy piece using props and foliage from the table and delightful sweet treats from Dani at Spongedrop Cakery in Mt Maunganui. Of course we were allowed to nibble on the stunning selection of cakes, slices and marshmallow and the decadent cheeseboard throughout the workshop too.

Playing with positioning of props

Playing with positioning of props

A close up

A close up

The final photo

The final photo

Fellow foodies' creations

Fellow foodies' creations

Who can resist this cheeseboard?

Who can resist this cheeseboard?

My biggest takeout from the workshop was always style the shot for the angle you intend taking the photo from. Personally, my preference for food shots is a 45 degree angle rather than overhead and I often take photos at various angles before deciding which one to use.  Take a look through The Foodie Inc Instagram feed; it really comes down to what angle works best in a given situation as often the dishes are plated by someone else.

Funnily enough my favourite shot from the workshop is actually a close up of the raspberry studded marshmallow – a minimalist shot where the food is the hero.

Spongedrop raspberry marshmallow - my favourite shot

Spongedrop raspberry marshmallow - my favourite shot

I hope you enjoy the small selection of photos taken at the workshop.  Until next time, have a great week.

Michelle