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The Hamilton Permaculture Trust presented a food series in the Hamilton Gardens during the Gardens Summer festival in February.

The first event, called FOOD UNPLUGGED, was a demonstration of different methods of cooking food off the grid. Held in the Sustainable Backyard garden, the earth oven was heated up for pizzas and other vegetables we could find in the garden to cook. Demonstrations were given on making Italian pizza dough, concentrated tomato paste and mozzarella to go on top. We also had the smoker going with fresh snapper Chris caught the day before. Two solar cookers were set up on the suitably sunny day where stewed apples were cooked within minutes. Cured pork to make bacon was prepared and taken home by participants and everyone foraged together in the kitchen garden for food to make into salads. Once the demos were complete, food cooked and salads made, we sat down to eat a deliciously healthy and varied lunch accompanied by an aioli made by participants.

Our second foodie event called SUCCESS WITH EXCESS demonstrated ways to use the excess summer produce from our gardens. Fermented food such as sauerkraut was made, quark from excess milk, pesto from basil, salsa with tomatoes, capsicum, onions, garlic etc and vegetable kebabs. Rob showed how he makes his homemade apple cider using his recycled gadgets. Once again a sit down lunch accompanied with cider and sour dough bread.

A TRADITIONAL HANGI held in Te Parapara garden was the final of our series of events. The day included weaving our own kono to eat from, weeding the kumara patch and sharing stories on growing and cooking traditional food. This was a great success due to the cooperative collaboration of the Permaculture Trust and the Te Parapara Garden Trust.   The delicious hangi food of kumara tubers and leaves, taro, eel and a variety of sea food and meat was washed down with kawa kawa tea.

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