People are used to eating seeds such as pumpkin, sesame and sunflower but wattle seeds were just for the birds . . . until someone came up with wattle-flavoured icecream.

It's that time of year again when Northland Regional Council puts a tasty spin on the weeds, animal pests and bugs it spends the rest of the time finding nothing very nice about.

The council has gone into the kitchen with NorthTec culinary students to whip up this year's wild food treat to give away at the Northland Field Days.

This year an extract made from wattle seeds is being used to flavour ice cream created especially for the Thursday to Saturday March 1-3 event.


Pest-as-ingredient is the attraction the regional council has used for years to lure visitors to its marquee at the popular Kaipara event.

Previous treats have included venison mini pies flavoured with herbs and onion, rabbit rissoles, possum burgers, pies and pate, wild pork and goat meat pies, rabbit sausages and even wasp larvae ice cream.

"It's great to have the opportunity to partner with the regional council, giving our hospitality students a chance to work on something truly unique for field days," NorthTec's director development Phil Alexander-Crawford said.

Kaipara ward NRC representative Penny Smart said the council expects to give away about 1500 individual 35g servings of icecream over the three days of field days from the council's usual location, site 251 on "Fonterra Road".

"We're hoping the icecream will be a slightly quirky, but effective, way to boost visitor numbers to view our displays, highlight one of the many plant pests affecting our region and, of course, showcase the culinary skills of the polytechnic students," Ms Smart said.