|Shopping at the Paraparaumu Beach Market.|
I can't believe how quickly this year is passing, it's well into February.
This year we are are back on wartime rationing, even though we have still been sticking to rationing last year to a certain extent but with, I fear, too many "black market" goods. A bad habit to get into.
2015 is going to be a very tight year money-wise as my son, Salem, will no longer have a scholarship for his dancing. So it means sticking to a very strict budget and what better way is their to make a little go a long way than wartime rationing.
|The Paraparaumu Beach Market|
Fresh produce has been very overpriced for quite a while now in the supermarkets and not of the best quality. One supermarket in particular, which is cheaper than the others, is not the best for quality fruit and veg. The produce might look nice but is often bland, lacking in flavour and goes off quickly.
Usually seasonal fruit and veg is a lot cheaper to buy but there has not been the noticable difference in price of previous years. We only eat what is in season.
We have in the past, loved going to the Hill Street Market and the Victoria Street Market in Wellington, but due to our budget, can not afford to go into Wellington as much. But out in this neck of the woods is the Paraparaumu Beach Market which is held every Saturday morning.
|Walking down to the market.|
So we have been going to the market every Saturday morning to get our fruit and vege needs for the week.
Ahhh the joy of having a fridge to keep all our goodies fresh!!!!!!
So have been taking our old fashioned bag on wheels with us to load up but have found we need an extra carry bag as well, two hungry teenaged boys eat a lot!!!!!!!
|Our trusty carthorse.|
So we have been buying lots of lovely fresh fruit and vege, mostly vege, and lots of lovely tasty tomatoes which are in abundance at this time of year. Salem is growing tomatoes here at home but they are only in flower at the moment so we will be getting some late season ones which will be great.
The previous two weekends, we found some delicious old-fashioned strawberries. Smaller than the modern ones and they pack so much taste. There were none at the market yesterday, even though we arrived an hour earlier than usual. They must be finished now, luckily we saved some of the seeds so I have planted them out. Fingers crossed!!!!!
|A treat for the chickens.|
Another great find at the market, is the "Happy Hen Natural Grain Mix". It comes in handy 2.5 kg bags and costs only $5.00. It contains peas, barley, maize and wheat. It makes a nice treat for our hard working, and not so hard working, chickens. A bag lasts us two to three weeks supplementing their usual mash and wheat. The chickens love it.
|Doing the weeding with two of our nutty chooks.|
We have a duck now too, but she likes soft food. We raised her on watery chicken mash and porridge supplemented with grated carrots and leafy greens so she and the chickens get all the outer leaves of our lettuces, cabbages etc.
It's been an interesting experience raising a duck, we rescued her of a road, cars were going over her, when she was only a couple of days old. She is a lovely wee soul who gets on with the chickens and cats. She loves following the cats, I'm sure she wants to nibble their tails.
It will be lovely to have duck eggs when she is older.
|Our lovely duck.|
Any way, back to the market, we have been topping up our collection of herbs and buying at least one or two pots of herbs each week. They only cost $2 each.
I love cooking with fresh herbs, great for adding extra flavour.
I was in need of some mint in from backyard, we usually have masses of it but on closer inspection, spearmint had taken over. I also think the spearmint has cross-pollinated with the mint.
Luckily I also have sweet mint which has a softer "fuzzier" leaf.
So I'm going to have to look out for some more "real" mint.
|Some of our market herbs.|
So market day was yesterday, our fridge is jam-packed with goodies for the week, loving the salads and salad sandwiches for lunch. Vege stir fries, casseroles and a yummy vege loaf which I created the other night, for dinner.
It was tomatoes on toast with some of our butter ration and plenty of salt and pepper for breakfast. Yummy!!!!!!