Home-grown food best and cheapest

By Seamus Boyer

With money tight and food prices high, it may be time to go back to the basic food-saving tricks our mothers and grandmothers used.
Masterton supergran Wenerau Te Kanawa said old-fashioned cooking needed to make a comeback.
"Often, both parents are working and takeaways are the easiest thing to do, or it may be that no one has taught them how to cook.
"Mothers and grandmothers need to teach their kids how to cook and they need to be consistent about it. If you're not taught your ABCs when you're little, you won't be able to read or write when you're older and the same goes for cooking."
She said simple meals such as fish pie, pumpkin soup, beef stew and lemon chicken could be healthy as well as affordable and bulking them up to make them go further could be as simple as adding pasta or rice.
"You can bulk up your meals with pasta, rice, and lots of vegetables - 200g of mince can feed a family if pasta and vegetables are added."
"Supergrans" help people with cooking, meal-planning, housekeeping and budgeting.
Keen gardener Gareth Winter said to eat healthier and cheaper food people could grow fruit and vegetables. "All you need is a bit of lawn. Remove the grass and plant some seeds ... make use of household waste by turning it into compost and digging it into the garden."
Cabbage, carrots, beans, silverbeet and potatoes were easy vegetables that would grow almost year-round and would cost about $2 a vegetable for seeds that would feed the family for a year.
"It is certainly a lot cheaper growing vegetables from seeds than buying them from the supermarket," said Winter.
"If you have space in the garden then planting some fruit trees will also save you money.

They take a couple of years to be fully fruiting, but it's worth it, especially if you plant enough raspberries and strawberries to keep you going around Christmas time.
"When they get really expensive, you can just go and fill up a bowl of your own and eat them."
The flavours of fresh home-grown produce were also something to behold, he said, especially when comparing apples with apples.
"You try a supermarket apple and a home-grown apple and it's almost like eating two different things. You can't beat home-grown fruit and veges."

- Northern Advocate

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