Living out loud

Sitting drinking coffee  while the rest of the house sleeps. I ask myself a  question – why  am I blogging?  It’s easy to answer – I want to become a better writer and I want to have my say. And I hope that sometimes what I have to say will make a difference.

Food, fairness and fun are at the heart of my blog. Food in all its glory and with all it’s challenges, fairness because it’s about we not me and fun because having purpose doesn’t always have to be serious (note to self).


One Proud Tomato Mama

                              The Thrivers

Everything seems to be a “journey” these days so I am happy to announce that my tomatoes and I are one week out from completing our journey to the Festival Italiano. We are not travelling alone. Ross has been my teacher and provided an incubator and a greenhouse for the babies and Yvonne is nursing the little ones that need extra care.

Yvonne's Nursery
                        Yvonne’s Nursery

These are not just any tomato – they have a strong pedigree. They are grown from Koanga Institute heirloom seeds and are strong, hardy, local varieties including Carlton Victory from K Road circa 1945 and Tommy Toe. They have been raised organically by me and celebrate biodiversity, seed saving and local deliciousness.

Rock Star Tomatoes
                    A Great Pedigree

The journey has not been without drama. I was the subject of tough love (from Ross) when I just assumed he would water “my” tomatoes and some died. A wake up call.

It has been fantastic to sit out in the garden, transplanting seedlings and   exploring how we can put ownership of food back in the hands of the people, and that’s a job for all of us. And I have learned heaps about growing my own food.

 Almost Ready
                           Almost Ready

So next Friday and Saturday we will be potting our babies and getting them ready for our Slow Food stall at the Festival Italiano. Our tomatoes will become fundraisers and teachers and be the focus of a cool conversation about Good, Clean, Fair Food. 

 See you there!

P.S Did I say there will be amazing food and wine at the festival?

Slow Food Logo

The truth, the whole truth…………

Bite Sunday 13th

Making progress. I think making progress means being able to align my intention with my actions with my new habit.

So what on earth does that mean?

Well, its aligning “I feel great with every bite I take” with enjoying a fair bit of great food and wine yesterday and honouring my new habit to tell the truth 100% about what I eat and drink in my WW food diary.


Yesterday was not random eating and drinking –  it was celebration and fun. Brunch with Yvonne’s  granddaughter who is going home after staying with us for a week and a fun time at the NZ School of Food and Wine event with my friend Fi. Our last girls having fun, drinking wine, dreaming of Italy and championing the Slow Food cause while she is still an official Auckland resident. An amazing time and bittersweet.

So I loved it all, wrote it all down and have a plan for the week to make sure I hit my WW points and my weight loss goals. There will be a fair bit of hitting the streets of the peninsula – Truffle will be in heaven.


Ooooby Crowdfunding- if you’re for local FOOD.

I love getting our Ooooby box – not only do we get to support our local growers, its helping us eat to the seasons. When I heard the founders were crowdfunding to take Ooooby to the next stage I wanted to know more.

So I went along to the launch. I had a great night meeting the founders, the Ooooby team, some growers, lots of supporters and got to find out all about what’s next. Wow – a night of inspiration and information.

You can find out more and decide if you want to become an Ooooby shareholder by clicking here or just keep reading.

Ooooby Crowdfunding 2015

The short of it!

And to be honest you will need to read the full prospectus.

The Ooooby mission is to make local food convenient, affordable and fair everywhere.

They way they are going to grow is in their own words “export bits not bites”, which means they are going to grow by exporting technology and know how, not food.

It’s a very cool plan.

And they need to raise money to do it – the founders have funded Ooooby up until now and they need help to grow.

So whats in it for you and me?

“Discounts on your groceries, potential dividends and the good feeling of knowing that you are contributing to a better food future for all of us.” Ooooby.

So think – is this something that inspires you and that you could support?

And if the answer is YES then you know what to do.

The Tomato Blog

Tomato Bottle

Gearing up for the Italian Festival on September 27th and sorting the Slow Food stall. This year, based on popular demand we hope to fundraise by selling organic tomato seedlings. Hope I say because with the help of my friend Ross I am growing the seedlings.

Pushing it, starting one month ahead of the when tomatoes should be planted. That’s worried me a bit but far so good.

        The seedlings in the incubator Ross built

Ross knows everything there is to know about growing stuff and much, much more. To name a few hats he wears – he is a seed saving evangelist, runs the Sunnyvale Gardener’s Exchange and is the man behind the Peasant Film Club.

Carlton Victory Heritage
                     Carlton Victory Heritage

So far we have planted all our seeds and have a fantastic crop of seedlings – Carlton Victory, Tommy Toe, Russian Red, Henrys Dwarf Bush Cherry and Baxters Early Bush Cherry – all from Koanga and all heritage and organic.

Getting my hands dirty
            Getting my hands dirty

Its been very hands on for me – I am loving transplanting the new seedlings into pots for the sun house.  Its a bit of a meditation and it doesn’t matter that I am pretty slow. So far three trays planted and three trays waiting.

All we need now is nice, warm weather and our tomatoes to grow.

A weekend in the country

                The very pretty girls

A weekend full of fun and adventure and a few surprises – who would have known that the small white poodle could mix it with the big boys and almost round up the sheep. Truffle now has a new best friend called Max. This of course did not stop her slipping back into her pink sweater and being uber cute by the Aga and charming our hosts.

New friend Max
                             New friend Max

Equally fabulous was that my journey towards “I feel great with every bite I take” took a delicious step forward  this week. It progressed from the obvious but profound understanding that I “can’t weigh what I want to weigh and eat the amount I want to eat”  to a relaxed weekend eating some very yummy treats and drinking a bit of wine. A very practical approach to WW helps here. Weigh in on Friday morning and start the week’s points on a Friday. If its a “big’ weekend the rest of the week can be more restrained. It’s working!

So tired after all the excitement of  life in the country – see you next week.


Despite the sniffle….

Truffle advocates walking
Truffle advocates walking

Another sore throat – not loving this winter but I am convinced using the imiquinod cream to get rid of the actinic keratosis on my hands (a legacy of bad sunburn while cycling in my youth) has made it worse – it is an immune response modifier. My hands are looking much worse before getting better – not pretty and definitley no photos.

Otherwise life is looking good.

Making progress

Now “I feel great with every bite I take” is not going to be a blow by blow, kilo by kilo description  of weight loss but I do have to say that I am 2.2kgs down with 20.8kgs to go – progress!

NO excuses

And this week is the “no excuses week” – eat to the weight watchers points and exercise like hell if I need some more – Truffle will be very happy about this. She fully supports walking as a strategy.

The great discovery

choc smoothie

What has 3 WW points and does not cost $9.50?

My new almond milk smoothie that can be made at home with a stick blender – delicious and healthy. Just blend together 200mls of almond milk, a banana, 2 teaspoons of cacao powder, 6 frozen berries and a teaspoon of honey.

To sign off here is a great photo from the TPPA – NO Way march.


Ciao for now.