A new beginning and new lifestyle choice for Brett and Paulina, we wanted a business close to home and found a passion. Our new beginning has been a whirlwind of new faces and experiences. We’re locals from Te Horo who have a large garden developed from a paddock over the last 7 years. Being totally over the commute into Wellington we have been looking for a local business for some time.
The great reputation of the garden shop and the potential for the Autopot watering systems sold us on the business. Gardening has been my passion (along with horses) for most of my adult life so I’m thrilled to be able to combine work and one of my passions. I really enjoy coming in in the mornings.
Ponics the cat is always keen to welcome me as I arrive at the shop. During the day, he’s always there smooching for a pat and climbing the boxes and pallets to be at petting level or to sit on the highest surface.
The weather has finally turned wintery after a calm start, just as I’m thinking of what seeds to sew. After so many customers asking if it was out yet, the new Kings seed catalogue has finally arrived in the shop. We’re busy scanning the pages for the new and interesting varieties and planning our planting for the season ahead. I’m keen to try rock melon this year although Heather warned me they didn’t grow well last summer – but not many things did well last summer – at least not in my vegetable patch.
As a welcome introduction we’d like to offer you 3 bags of Revital Growwell. A Organic Growall, outdoor potting mix and an organic Growwell compost all for $20.00 until the end of July. This is saving of $7.50 and will help kick start your garden preparation – just mention the newsletter special when you come into the shop.
Before you enter the shop have a look into the greenhouse. The first thing that catches your eye is the tomatoes ripening and the chillies there. Before we pull out the chillies to make way for new plants I’ll harvest them and make Chilli jam. The recipe I use is from Annabel Langbein’s Free Range Cook book and although it’s called a jam it is more like a sweet chilli sauce. This doesn’t last long at our place and is great with stir fries, meats and cheeses.
1 head garlic, cloves peeled
6-8 long red chillies, roughly chopped
3 thumb-sized pieces (200g) fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 double kaffir lime leaves, deveined (optional)
2½ cups caster sugar
½ cup water
finely grated zest of 4 limes
½ cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
Sterilise a 2-cup screw top jar and its metal lid.
Purée the garlic, chillies, ginger and kaffir lime leaves, if using, to a coarse paste. Place in a saucepan with the sugar, water, lime zest, rice vinegar, fish sauce and soy sauce.
Stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then boil for about 10 minutes until reduced by a third. It will bubble up like jam.
Spoon the hot chilli jam into the warm sterilised jar until it is filled to within 3mm of the top. Seal with the screw lid. Once opened, store Chilli Jam in the fridge. It will keep for months.
We’re all go again for the potato competition. This year we’re supporting HUHA http://huha.org.nz/ who do amazing work rescuing less fortunate animals.
The entries will be available from August 1st and the weigh in will be December 2nd – the first Saturday in December. We’ll have a sausage sizzle and a few in store specials. We’re looking forward to meeting the keen potato growers and especially the potato competition regulars. Last year we had 60 entries into the competition with some keen family rivalries.
Watch this space for details on the sponsors and prizes.
Brett has been installing tanks with Ross. Brett will contiue to supply and organise the installation of the water tanks, tank accessories, green houses and Duratuff Sheds. Now is the time to plan for summer and ensure you have enough water for that awesomely hot summer we all have our fingers crossed for.
We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive support from the customers we have met. Your patience as we’ve sorted out the till and where the products are in the shop has been great. Kay and Ross have been generous with their time to ensure we have a smooth handover and the knowledge required to continue giving you the excellent products and service you are accustomed to.
Finally and definitely most importantly, Heather is staying with us so the extensive gardening knowledge she has is still available to us all.