Monday, 12 April 2010
Back to basics: Seresin organic apprentice Erin Kenyon, 18, from Tauranga, milks a jersey cow.
Marlborough's Slow Food group was treated to a little slice of the simple life on Saturday with a visit to the land of milk and honey.
Seresin Estate near Renwick is best known for its viticulture, but beneath its grape growing exterior the company's biodynamic philosophy based on the work of Austrian Rudolph Steiner has created a few other simple pleasures.
Beehives produce honey while the fresh milk from jersey cows is churned into butter or whipped into cream.
Mr Steiner was famous for his ecological and sustainable farming system, which is closely aligned with the ideas behind organic farming.
Seresin Estate vineyard assistant Wendy Tillman said the earth was "alive" and needed to be taken care of.
"Agriculture these days has evolved into taking what you can from the land, but we have to replace what we take from it and leave as little footprint as possible."
The cow provided manure, which helped invigorate the soil, and also produced milk which could be used in the making of butter and cream.
The bees produced honey and pollinated plants, she said.
"Every biodynamic farm shouldn't be without a beehive or a cow, it's another integral organism."
Slow Food Marlborough was established in 2008 and celebrates produce grown in the region.
The group meets once a month at different locations around the region.
Committee member Chris Fortune said the concept was about "back to basics" and the fundamentals of how products were produced.
"We all lead such busy lives working our arses off, but quite often it's then simple things in life pass us by.
"Where does milk come from? How does it get to the table?"
A committee made up of about six people decides when and where the group will meet each month.
Mr Fortune said the group selected Seresin Estate for the latest round of Slow Food Marlborough because beneath its viticultural exterior it was the land of milk and honey.
"These guys are doing different stuff to most other wineries in Marlborough and New Zealand are doing."
The next day on the Slow Food Marlborough agenda is knife sharpening at NMIT on May 11.