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Written by Rural News Group

The decision by Stuff to close its farming publications is bad news for New Zealand’s primary industries & the public, says Elaine Fisher, president of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists & Communicators.

“The closure of NZ Farmer & its four associated titles affects the jobs of 12 of NZ’s most experienced agricultural journalists,” says Fisher.

“It is concerning to read that Stuff considers its website news platforms to be more important than print media for the rural sector. Rural connectivity is so bad in some places people can’t even call 111, let alone read an online newspaper.

“I know farming publications are retained in households for days if not weeks & are read & discussed by several family & staff members.

“Farmers & growers need to be well-informed & they need journalists who know their industries to ask the hard questions of government & industry on their behalf, especially now with the issue of the disease Mycoplasma bovis in dairy cows & the threat of an invasion of the brown marmorated stink bugs hovering over horticulturalists.

“Farmers & growers also need journalists who can tell the good news stories of what’s happening on the land, presenting a more balanced picture of our primary industries to the urban public.”

However, locally owned Rural News Group says its newspapers will continue to serve the primary sector.

The company is not part of the closures & sell-offs announced this week by Fairfax and NZX.

Rural News Group publishes the leading national publications Rural News, Dairy News & NZ Winegrower & it posts daily news updates on
“We are a strongly independent & New Zealand owned & are here to stay,” says Rural News Group general manager Adam Fricker.
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2 cup broccoli

1 stalk celery

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 clove of garlic

1 cup of vegetable stock

salt & pepper to taste


Blend all ingredients & heat gently in a pan or microwave.
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400 grams Roasted peeled Pumpkin

400 grams Roasted peeled Carrots

1 Tablespoon grated fresh Ginger

1/2 teaspoon (or more) chopped fresh chilli

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

Salt to taste

500ml coconut milk (or more depending on consistency)

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh coriander


Puree Roasted pumpkin & carrot.

In a heavy saucepan, bring the puree, coconut milk, ginger, chilli & lemon pepper to the boil.

Simmer, stirring continuously.

Correct seasoning to your liking with the salt, & the thickness with more or less coconut milk.

Sprinkle with fresh coriander & serve with crusty garlic bread.

Add shredded cooked chicken & corn kernels, or peeled, cooked prawns for a complete meal.

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By: Donna McIntyre

Becoming a centenarian is still a momentous achievement in this country — worthy of a newspaper interview about the secrets of living so long, & a telegram from the Queen, herself a healthy 92 years old.

Most people want to live to a ripe old age if they can do so in good health. The trick is knowing how to do that.
Where better to look for the answers than in the diets & lifestyle of world's healthiest, oldest people?

Researchers have identified five locations around the world where residents have low rates of chronic disease & are three times more likely to live to 100 than anywhere else.

These regions were named Blue Zones after Belgian demographer Michel Poulain & Italian doctor Gianni Pes identified the Ogliastra region in Sardinia as having the largest concentration of male centenarians. They drew blue circles on a map highlighting villages with extreme longevity & referred to this area as a Blue Zone.

American researcher Dan Buettner pinpointed other longevity hotspots: Okinawa (Japan), Icaria (Greece), Loma Linda (California) & Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica).

The trademarked term Blue Zones is now used to reflect the environment & lifestyle of these areas where the world's oldest & healthiest people are found.

Although their lifestyles differ slightly, they mostly eat a plant-based diet, exercise regularly, drink moderate amounts of alcohol, get enough sleep & have good spiritual, family & social networks.

Each of these lifestyle factors has been shown to be associated with a longer life.

New Zealand food & nutrition writer Niki Bezzant learnt about the Blue Zones through her involvement with the True Health initiative (a global movement to make the fundamental truths about healthy, sustainable living & eating common knowledge).

"The Blue Zone conversation is basically the way we all should be living for health, & we have known this for a long time," says Bezzant. "The fundamentals for good nutrition & good health haven't really changed in decades.

"One of the characteristics of the populations is that they have a low-stress life & that is quite telling for us in our modern Western societies.

"Ways of dealing with stress are so important, & stress is related to so many diseases & conditions."

She says another common theme is a strong connection with other people. "They have strong friendship groups & they have strong family connections. They have their faith which is interesting. They typically have a belief in something.

"The faith thing is a little surprising. You wouldn't think having a religion would affect your health. But, again, it is a community thing. You are part of a supportive community & that is a good thing, that makes sense.

"The number one thing for Kiwis is to eat more plants, to eat more vegetables. Even though the communities' diets are different, the thing they have in common is they basically eat a plant-based diet. They still have meat & they still have animal products, but the plants form the basis of what they eat day to day.

"We can all add more plants, particularly vegetables to our lives, easy."

She says minimising stress would be a harder thing to change.

"Life is stressful, & it is more difficult to build in routines to deal with stress, that is a hard one for all of us.

"The other one is probably the alcohol. On the surface, it is surprising. They all drink daily except for the Seventh-Day Adventists [in Loma Linda], & it is in the form of mainly red wine.

"The moderation is the key to getting any health benefits out of it. It is a small amount daily, not a couple of wines every day like we would have here.

"We are talking about traditional lifestyles & diets and if you look at Okinawa, for example, there is evidence that the young people there are having higher rates of obesity & higher rates of disease because they are adopting Western diets & moving away from the traditional diets."

She says people in the Blue Zones don't eat the same huge portions as many Kiwis do.

"They eat moderately & a lot of them would do more work to get hold of their food than we would.

"They get incidental exercise not from working out in the gym but just as a part of their day, looking after gardens."

Bezzant says if the Blue Zone research is anything to go by, there's really nothing complicated about eating for longevity. "By applying some simple lifestyle changes, you may be able to eat your way to living a long, healthy & happy life."

Some of these are:

●Eat more wholegrains, fruit & vegetables — especially legumes

●Increase your water intake

●Don't over-indulge in food — stop eating before you are full

●Get active

Professor of Social Science Research Christine Stephens, one of the senior members of Massey University's Health, Work & Retirement study, agrees there are aspects of the Blue Zone's findings that Kiwis could incorporate into their lifestyles.

"No smoking, a plant-based diet, physical activity, & social engagement are already generally recommended by public health promotion & achievable for most."

But she says family closeness & legumes as an important feature of the diet would be more difficult to foster in this country's current social & physical environment.

However, she says the university's researchers have not considered the Blue Zones as the basis of their work.
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PLUM JAM 300ml $5.00

From Happy Pantry Katikati

Outstanding... Nothing nicer than plum jam & a slice of tasty cheese on a sandwich.

Happy Pantry preserves are made the old-fashioned way -
Small batches using our own, home grown, spray-free fruit.

Happy Pantry preserves rather than processes & manufactures; follows recipes not formulas.

Free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives & additives

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500Grams $4.00 Bag

Katikati Grown Picked daily

Cook for just a few minutes to maximise the health benefits, & add a splash of a healthy oil to maximise absorption of the carotenoids.

Courgettes are great in fritters, frittatas, quiches, cakes, soups, pickle.

Steam, Boil, Microwave, Bake, Braise, Stir-fry, Stew, Roast, Stuffed, Barbecued or Grill Courgettes.

Courgette slices require 5-7 minutes to steam

Particularly good in stir fries & barbecues or filled with a savoury stuffing & baked.

Use raw in salads... Can also be grated or finely chopped & used in flans or quiches.

Like Carrots, they also make delicious, moist cakes & breads.

Courgettes originated in Italy & were popular in the Mediterranean region hundred of years before they became popular in the rest of the western world

Refrigerate in plastic bags, Use promptly

Courgettes contain very few calories & have a high water content, which makes them a dieter's friend.

They aren't a powerhouse of micronutrients, but they do provide useful amounts of immune system-boosting vitamin C, & significant levels of potassium, which is key to controlling blood pressure.

The soluble fibre in the skin slows down digestion, & so stabilises blood sugar & insulin levels. Soluble fibre also helps prevent constipation & relieves irritable bowel symptoms.

Courgettes are the 14th most popular vegetable in New Zealand.

Courgettes are an excellent source of luetin, a carotenoid nutrient known for it's powerful anti-oxidant power.

Try these ideas with courgettes:

Saute slices with pinenuts & lemon zest

Slice lengthwise, chargrill & use in wraps, sandwiches, rolls & baps

Slice, drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with sesame seeds & roast

Grate or julienne & use in salads, omelettes & frittatas

Finely sliced & stirred through wholemeal pasta & top with grated parmesan

Spread toasted ciabatta with tahini & yoghurt & top with char grilled courgette slices

Saute courgette 'noodles' with garlic & basil

Make into soup with minced lemon grass & chilli sauce

Braise chunks with chopped onions & olive oil, stir through baby spinach at the end of cooking

Grate & use in cakes, muffins, loaves & pizza bases

Make into pickles with onion, turmeric & yellow mustard seeds

Grate & use in fritters with feta or bacon

Coat thin slices with tempura batter & fry

Steam, whole or in chunks & serve topped with wasabi mayo

Sliced with sliced eggplant & tomato baked with a little olive oil and rosemary in ramekins

Mix grated courgette & cheddar with quinoa & use as a filling for filo pastry pass-arounds
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$5.50 Bag Of 5 Small Size

Remove Butternuts from plastic bag ASAP

Butternuts are thin skinned... can be cooked with the skin on

Grown & harvested at the Onion Vegie Place Katikati

Butternut squash seeds are packed with energy as they contain around 35-40% oil & 30% protein.

Butternut grow well in a sunny, well-drained position on a vine

Butternut have a smooth texture, sweet & nutty taste... delicious & nutritious

Butternut are low in fat & high in vitamins, with ample dose of dietary fibre.

Butternuts contain the mineral nutrient magnesium which in necessary for the functioning of the nervous system & muscles.

Magnesium is needed for normal bones & teeth.
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1 butternut - peeled

1/4 clove of garlic

1 cup of vegetable stock

a pinch of nutmeg

salt & pepper to taste


Blend all ingredients & cook on a mild heat in a pan or microwave.
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$2.90 Each Medium Size

Butternuts have a smooth texture, sweet & nutty taste... delicious & nutritious

Butternuts are low in fat & high in vitamins, with ample dose of dietary fibre.

Butternuts contain the mineral nutrient magnesium which is necessary for the functioning of the nervous system & muscles. Magnesium is needed for normal bones & teeth.

Butternuts are great raw - sliced thinly & marinated... its also great roasted with almonds & or crumbled Amaretti biscuits on top

Butternuts are thin skinned... can be cooked with the skin on

Grown & harvested at the Onion Vegie Place Katikati

Butternut are shaped like a large pear

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6 carrots, roughly chopped
4 kumara, roughly chopped
5 agria potatoes, peeled & roughly chopped
2 leeks, sliced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 litre (4 cups) salt-reduced chicken stock
2 cups (500ml) water
Low-fat Greek yoghurt & fresh herbs to serve
1 tablespoon olive oil

Soften leeks with a little olive oil in your slow cooker.

Place the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker, cover & cook for 6 to 8 hours.

Once soup is cooked, blend for desired consistency & serve with a dollop of yoghurt, fresh herbs & grainy bread.

You can freeze this soup.
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