Rakiraki Market after Cyclone

I did not think I would return to Rakiraki Market so soon but after Cyclone Winston devastated parts of Fiji I was called to photograph some of the marketplaces on Viti Levu. Beguiled by the blue skies and sunshine it was still clear the damage in Rakiraki area was widespread. The market was pretty much non existent after the council had already bulldozed it flat.Tents have been put up to house some of the market vendors until their buildings are restored. Pineapple vendor Ajay Lal was looking a little worse for wear which was not surprising after he told me his house had been badly damaged by the cyclone. Three weeks after the cyclone Rakiraki township has power restored but it will take months to repair outlying power lines and even longer for crops to get back to full production.

 

 

 

Foodie tour starts in Vanuatu

A block of land north of Port Vila with a multitude of food-producing plants is now open to visitors. The brainchild of Jimmy Nipo and his wife Ledcha Nanuman, Fansa Farm Foodie Tours has been designed to showcase the best in Vanuatu’s food while also wanting to demonstrate new crop varieties and farming practices better suited to Vanuatu’s shifting weather patterns. Crops you will see on the foodie tour include pineapple, mango, pawpaw, taro, drought resistant yam,kava, corn, tamarind, banana, breadfruit, sugarcane, pepper, chilli, kumala (kumara), coconut, nangai (an almond like nut ) and manioc (cassava) which Jimmy says represents continuity: “Manioc is always there, it just keep going, it feeds us and provides our energy throughout the seasons,” he says.

Jimmy Nipo and Ledcha Nanuman come from the island of Tanna in the south of Vanuatu. Jimmy says Fansa Farm takes its name from the fansa bird (similar to a fantail ) which holds special significance as a leader in Tanna Island culture.

“The fansa leads all other birds to food. It is active, smart and creative, and never stops moving,” says Jimmy. “Fansa also means safe, and for us Ni-Vanuatu, that relates to food security which is very important for our survival” he says.

Visitors to Fansa Farm can choose between three tours ranging from two to four hours on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.

The Food Path provides a guided tour through the farm with refreshments and produce on offer along the way.

Food Path and ‘aelan-style’ Cooking provides a guided tour through the farm with refreshments and produce along the way followed by an opportunity to cook local dishes ‘aelan style’.

The third tour, Food Path, Port Vila Market and brunch at Lapita Cafe is offered in partnership with Port Vila’s Lapita Café, well known suppliers of high quality aelan cuisine ( the Lapita Cafe food at the opening was delicious ). The tour includes a guided tour of the farm, then a tour of the Port Vila central market, followed by brunch.

Bookings are essential. Visit www.fansafoodietours.weebly.com

 

 

 

Organic fruit at Te Mata | Murray Lloyd Photography

Te Mata Wine, Te Mata Cheese, Te Mata Peak may all be names recognizable to Hawkes Bay visitors and residents but Te Mata Orchard less so. Only a stone's throw from the Te Mata Cheesery, the orchard is an organic operation growing  apples, pears and plums. Ian Kiddle, who has hosted me on a couple of occasions exports produce and also supplies the Pure Fresh brand seen in New Zealand supermarkets. The domestic organic market in NZ is worth about $350 million (at last count) and more than half that value is exported. Evidence is mounting the world wants sustainable produce.

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