World Famous Rongo Heaphy & Pot-Luck Feasts

Off the Top of my Head:

By Paul Murray

One of the main objectives of the LivinginPeace Project is to provide all our people and our guests with meals made from freshly harvested, locally grown, organic, healthy, nutritious and delicious food grown on our permaculture farm.

LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm (Circa 2009)

LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm: Preparing Spring Garden Beds

We currently offer the Heaphy Conqueror’s Feast at Rongo, which is very popular with trampers or mountain bikers finishing the Heaphy Track, many of who have been eating dehydrated, desiccated, just-add-water “meals” for several days and are hungry for wholesome, fresh, green vegetables, succulent meats and luxurious desserts…so we provide a banquet of such food…the best feed in town for only $25 per person!

Heaphy Conqueror’s Feast: Wholesome, Fresh, Locally Grown, Organic, Healthy, Nutritious and Delicious food from the LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm

By growing the food to feed our guests, we make a significant reduction in the amount of energy required to provide meals to people visiting Karamea…we reduce the food transport miles, improve the freshness and taste of the meals, reduce the production cost of the food and vastly improve the quality of the repast as the food is fresher, organic, enzymatically charged, nutrient rich and healthy.

Making Compost on the LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm

We are able to offer such top quality meals for such a low price as we grow the food ourselves, which dramatically reduces the cost of putting meals on the table in front of hungry people. The primary producer also gets paid as he can deliver his produce straight to the market, without wholesalers and retail merchants clipping the ticket on the way from farm to consumer, who in turn, pays less for quality produce.

The return to the growers is also much better without middle-men adding to the cost of the end product…and we are able to value-add the farm produce by turning it into meals instead of selling it to a wholesale market. Take, for example, a pumpkin. If we sell the pumpkin to the wholesaler, you might get $5. However, if we take that pumpkin and turn it into 10 bowls of pumpkin soup and sell it for $5 per bowl, the return on the pumpkin is $50 instead of $5 and we can provide an excellent meal for a reasonable price and a good service to pour guests in the process…wins all round.

Mi-Chan Happy LivinginPeace Project Master Chef

For the chef, it is also a win as the food is fresher and of top quality…any chef will tell you, if you start with top quality food, their job is easier. The challenge for our chefs is to take the food we have available and turn it into top-quality meals. The LivinginPeace Project aims to produce meals with a no-waste model, so we prepare enough meals to provide for the number of guests we have staying with us. We know how many people we are going to feed on any given day, we know how much food to harvest and any food scraps, or leftover food is immediately composted and eventually goes back into the gardens to improve the soil fertility and produce more vegetables, fruit, fresh herbs, eggs and meat.

Garden Potatoes and Fresh Rosemary from the LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm

Karamea has a superb climate for growing a wide range of fruit and vegetables outdoors all year-round. The region is blessed with plentiful sunshine, plenty of rain and rich, deep fertile alluvial soil. The climate is mild, we rarely get as frost and can grow bananas, fejoas, tamarillos and  here as well as cooler climate fruits like blueberries and apples.

Winter Produce from the LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm

Happy Customers with Full Stomachs

Pot-Luck dinners are slightly different in that we ask everyone staying with us as guests to make their signature dish…we always crank up the competition among the different nationalities of guests by saying things like, “Well, I really love Italian food, but  think Greek food is even better.” Or, “Japanese food is amazing, but I love Korean food much more.” Such statements ensure the best quality dishes from around the world as everyone is quite proud of their national cuisine…except English people, who are culturally conditioned to eat over-cooked, nutritionally bereft, grey dishes made from boiling the Christ out of anything.

Rongo Pot-Luck Dinners are started in the morning by putting the sign out by the kitchen…and starting the agitation about who has the best international cuisine.

Pot-Luck at Rongo Tonight…Get Your Cooking ON!

At Rongo, we have a pot-luch dinner at least once a week…Rongo is world famous for such dinners and they are VERY popular with the wwoofers and guest alike.

Royal Wedding Theme Pot-Luck Dinner ay Rongo

Rongo Pot-Luck Dinners are Particularly Popular with the Ladies

Karamea is also very fortunate to have an excellent butcher in Karamea. Karaka SmallGoods produce a fantastic array of gourmet sausages, salamis, bacon, hamburgers and all cuts of meat. We purchase locally made produce from Karaka and use it to make meals for our customers. We also purchase locally grown organic food from other Karamea farmers, which helps the local economy.

“Moo” dreaming about fresh locally grown organic lamb

Karamea Gothic: A Bit of Humour on the LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm

Harvesting Potatoes on the LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm

Tending the Potatoes on the LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm

Sheepwork on the LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm

Heaphy Conqueror’s Feast at Rongo:

French Wwoofer MiMi with a Future Lamb Roast

Locally Made Rongo Burgers

Japanese Cuisine from Locally Caught Fish

Pizza Made From Karamea Karaka Salami

Tonight: TROUT!

Heaphy Conqueror’s Feast: Great food for Young and Old

Winter Brassicas in the Greenhouse on the LivinginPeace project Permaculture Farm

Raw Food Scraps go into the Worm Farm on the LivinginPeace Project Permaculture Farm

Come and Join us for a Heaphy Conqueror’s Feast or a Rongo Pot-Luck Dinner

But…Don’t Eat Too Much!

About LivinginPeaceProject

Paul Murray is the founder of the LivinginPeace Project. Paul originally from Australia, but have been living in New Zealand for 14 years. Before that he was in Japan for a decade working as a journalist. He met his wife Sanae in Japan and they married in 2008.
This entry was posted in Advertising, Agriculture, Art, Business, Economics, Education, Environment, Heaphy Track, Kahurangi National Park, Karamea, LivinginPeace Project, Money, Moo, MTB, New Zealand, Peace, Permaculture, Photography, Social Commentary, SuperMoo the KarameaWonderDog, Tramping, Travel, West Coast and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to World Famous Rongo Heaphy & Pot-Luck Feasts

  1. Not cool on the English comment man; not all of us were brought up eating grey stodge! Although great, true work with the rest of the writing.. I look forward to a feast on my return travels!

    • Well, I will concede that English food has improved Sophie…glad you liked the article…I put some controversy in to inspire comment! The family and I are currently in Australia, be back October 24 and look forward to seeing you soon, Cheers, P.

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