Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Is a New Food Policy on Obama’s List?

An excellent article on the New York Times discussing the possibilities for changing the way America eats:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Slow Food Jewish Food & Music 2008 Video

Video of the wonderful Slow Food Jewish Food & Music 2008 is finally online here :

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Snail Pace

Number 21 of the Slow Food newsletter for New Zealand and Australia, Snail Pace, arrived in the post today. Lots of interest to read, I'm sure, but with thin type that has close line spacing and pages of white letters on a faded orange background I'm going to have find someone with better eyes to read it to me — any offers?

Also noticeable is that not one of the dozen or so articles discusses what's happening in New Zealand. This is a serious omission.

Your thoughts, convivium members?

Transition Towns in Wellington

The international Transition Towns movement is gaining momentum in New Zealand.

Here in the Wellington region we already have active groups in groups in Brooklyn, Hataitai, Johnsonville, Karori, Lower Hutt, Ngaio, Upper Hutt, Wadestown, Aro Valley and Wellington South.

The Transition Towns movement shares with Slow Food an overarching concern for local communities and their environments - and many in the movement are placing importance on traditional food production methods.

The most recent issue of Slow Food's Snail's Pace focuses on urban agriculture, and contains an article about permablitzes. Permaculture principles heavily inform the Transition Towns movement - and so you'll currently find many Transition Towns groups - including those in Wellington - at different stages of planning or carrying out permablitzes.

To find out more about Transition Towns in Wellington and its upcoming events, see the New Zealand Transition Towns website.

Friday, September 5, 2008


British activist George Monbiot again ... this time on growing your own fruit and the ills of modern varieties designed for supermarkets.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Jewish Festival tickets all sold now, sorry!

Buy your tickets for The Festival of Jewish Food and Music by emailing with the subject Jewish Food and Music Festival Tickets advising how many tickets you would like and your postal address. We will then reply confirming availability with bank details for online deposit.
More details here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

'Cooking with Simply Good Food'

Here are the details for the Simply Good Food CSA's next Farm Day:

'Cooking with Simply Good Food'
Saturday 23 August @ 11am-5pm

Start and Finish at the Featherston Railway Station.

Come and learn some tricks of the trade from Simply Good Food chefs Kelby and Roddy.


For more info about the CSA, see their website.

Monday, July 28, 2008

NZ Slow Food blogs

This year at least two other NZ Slow Food convivia have set up blogs - Slow Food Marlborough and Slow Food Waitakere. It seems like a great way to keep in touch with what Slow Food members are doing around the country.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Small is Bountiful

UK author George Monbiot (he who doesn't fly, and came to Wellington Writers and Readers Week via satellite link) has written a recent column on how small farmers offer the best chance feeding the world.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A festival of Jewish music & Jewish food

Aotearoa Slow Food, the Wellington chapter of the international Slow Food Movement and the Klezmer Rebs join forces to present an evening celebrating Jewish music and food with non-stop music from New Zealand's leading exponents of klezmer—the traditional dance and wedding music of East European Jews. An authentic meal of European Ashkenazi and Oriental Sephardic Jewish food will be prepared by Wellington restaurateurs, Maria Pia De Razza-Klein and Richard Klein along with members of Aotearoa Slow Food.

Proceeds from the event will be donated in support of the New Zealand delegates who will travel to Turin, Italy, in October 2008 to attend the Slow Food event Terra Madre, the world's largest gathering and forum of farmers and food producing communities. Visit to find out more.

Sunday 31 August 4 - 9pm
Odysseus Brotherhood Hall
146 Hobart Street

Doors open 3.30pm * cash bar 4 - 9pm * meal served 6 - 7pm * snacks available 5 - 8pm
$50 (music + meal - only advance sales) * $25 (music only - limited door sales)

Ticket sales start Monday 21 July at : 
Alistair's Music, 215 Cuba St * Maria Pia's Trattoria, 55 Mulgrave St

Information : * 021 405 616

Music : The Jews Brothers Band * Cafe Klezmer Band * Klezmer Rebs (with guests)

Food : Maria Pia De Razza-Klein * Richard Klein

We expect this to be a sell-out event so get your tickets early! The meal + music ticket is by advance sales only; limited music only tickets will be available at the door only if not sold out in advance.

Buy your tickets for The Festival of Jewish Food and Music by emailing with the subject Jewish Food and Music Festival Tickets advising how many tickets you would like and your postal address. We will then reply confirming availability with bank details for online deposit.

We also need volunteer help from our members and friends to help us manage the event: decorating the room, controlling the door, cooking, waiting tables, helping at the bar, cleaning up etc, so if you can help please email

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Simply Good Food Farm Days

The Simply Good Food CSA runs regular Farm Days which non-members are welcome to attend. They offer an opportunity to visit the CSA's gardens and orchards, engage with growers, and join in whatever farming activities are happening on the day.

The next Farm Day is on Saturday July 5. Here's the schedule for the day:

Start: 11:00am at Featherston Railway Station

Morning session: Enjoy a talk on some of the oldest Maori garden sites in the Wairarapa along the Cape Palliser Coast; includes a presentation by Colin Walker on the history of cultivation in New Zealand. Opportunity to help with seed processing.

Lunch: The Paddock.

Afternoon session: Visit the greenhouse with the new heating unit near Greytown and learn about winter indoor vegetable production

Finish: 5:00pm at Featherston Railway Station

Cost for the day is $20 per person or $40 for a family. This includes lunch, as well as transport to and from the station and between the different sites with guides from Simply Good Food.

RSVP by Wednesday July 2 to or (06) 379 7866.

(Pay on the the day or post a cheque to: The Wairarapa Growing Company Ltd, 76 High Street North, Carterton 5713.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

6 ways mushrooms can save the world (Video link)

Ramsey recently told me about the "Ted Talks" series of inspiring short lectures. A few days later I received this from another friend. In it, Paul Stamets talks about the absolutely fascinating world of fungi. Well worth viewing!

Australia now has a national Slow Food office!

The most recent news on the Slow Food website is that our Slowfood friends across the Tasman have now got a national Slow Food office. With 36 convivia and over 2000 members, Australia is now the fifth largest country in the Slow Food league of nations. Details can be found at

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Alice Waters on the future

Chef, restaurateur, food writer and food activist extraordinaire Alice Waters offered these thoughts at Terra Madre, a Slow Food event in Turin in 2006:

I believe that the destiny of humankind in the twenty-first century will depend most of all on how people choose to nourish themselves. And if we can educate these senses, and break down the wall of ignorance between farmers and eaters, I am convinced — because I have seen it with my own eyes time and again — people will inevitably choose the sustainable way, which is always the most delicious alternative.

—quoted in Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee

Sunday, June 1, 2008

"Grow Your Own" screening on Tuesday 10 June at 7.30 (Paramount Cinema)

I received an invitation from the Wellington Rotary Club to attend the screening of the British film "Grow Your Own". The trailer suggests that it's worth seeing:
The film screens at 8pm. The $25 donation includes a drink. Proceeds are being donated to the Changemakers' Refugee Forum. Further details can be had by emailing or telephoning Brian on 04 973 8533.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Down Home Diet

Today I had lunch with Christine Dann who has been travelling around the North Island interviewing people for a book with the working title The Down Home Diet. Her book is going to be about relocalising our our food supply, and how it can be produced sustainably. She’s looking at oil-free and low carbon ways of accessing, growing and eating food.

We talked about the Slow Food movement, what the Aotearoa convivium is doing and hoping to achieve in and around Wellington. Christine is looking for examples of how people are producing food and welcomes your stories — write to her at

From what she tells me, there's a lot of interesting things going on out there, a lot of interesting people doing good, food-related things. It’s to be published by Craig Potton Publishers towards the end of this year. I'll be keeping an eye out for it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Slow Fish - Convivium Event

Come join us on Saturday 24th May at midday at Lowry Bay.

This event is open to both members and non members
An r.s.v.p. would be helpful in case we need to make use of the café nearby.
Martin will be there rain or shine!
Ample parking is available at the site.

See you there!

Terra Madre - nomination of Colin Walker

Following our recent Slow Food event with Colin Walker of the Wairarapa Growing Company and Simply Good Food, I have submitted a nomination to Slow Food International for Colin as leader and representative of a NZ Food Community for Terra Madre 2008 in Turin.

Community supported agriculture - Simply Good Food

New Zealand's first community supported agriculture scheme is now up and running. Based in Carterton and delivering to Wellington and the Hutt Valley, Simply Good Food is delivering now. Take a look at their website and join up today.

Unlike CSA schemes overseas, they you can choose exactly what you want, rather than have to take a standard box. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wairarapa Organics Good Life Trail

The first event for 2008 that members of Aotearoa Slow Food convivium will be attending is the Wairarapa Organics Good Life Trail on Easter Monday 24th March 2008.

The Good Life Trail will give you the opportunity to visit three Organic producers in the Wairarapa : The Sprout House, the Peak Brewery and Mela juices. Click the logo for a brochure for details.