food@home is a veritable treasure trove of inspiration for those wishing to find, grow and/or eat closer to home and perhaps to the way nature intended. Gardener, cook and food researcher Christine Dann takes the reader on a journey touching on our human roots as hunter-gatherers to the rebirth and proliferation of the farmers market.

Author of Cottage Gardening in New Zealand and A Cottage Garden Cookbook, Christine Dann is eminently qualified to report on this meander into the fringes of a modern food revolution. From her first alfresco dining experience from a tin can on the outskirts of Christchurch at the age of eleven, Christine has nurtured a love of growing, cooking and, perhaps most importantly, enjoying food while creating organic food gardens in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Diamond Harbour before settling in her current rural abode on one-hectare on the Banks Peninsula.

She purveys practical advice on how families can get off the industrial food grid (exemplified by the modern mega-supermarket) to once again enjoy healthy, home-cooked food. The industrial food system has profited mightily from creating special foods for children to be eaten at separate places and separate times from adults. The author’s advice:

  1. “Eat well yourself and feed your children exactly what you eat, at the same time and place.
  2. Introduce new foods to children slowly, in small amounts, and don’t accept that a child does not like a particular food until it has been rejected more than 10 times.”

Strong words, but maybe necessary ones in a world in which our youth increasingly succumb to junk food and the resultant obesity, childhood arthritis, diabetes and the like.

Christine Dann explores areas and philosophies as diverse as the locavore movement, freeganism and the world-wide Food Not Bombs chapters that found important ways to help distribute food to the community after the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch quakes. You’ll have to read the book to find out more.

I recommend food@home for anyone wishing to expand their dietary and gardening repertoire and vocabulary. But, especially I recommend this book to anyone wishing to grow, procure and prepare food in a healthier and more sustainable way that can only help you and this planet we call home. In closing, I share with you the following words from food@home and from the Waikato Farmers’ Market website. If this doesn’t provide you with inspiration to invest more of your hard-earned dollars at your local market I don’t know what will:

10 Reasons to Shop at Your Farmers’ Market

1. Know where your food comes from.

2. Connect with the seasons through flavourful fresh produce

3. Support local farmers and artisan producers

4. Help promote responsible land use and preserve our cultural heritage

5. Do the environment a favour, reduce food miles

6. Enjoy the regional bounty brought to you with love and care

7. Contribute to the local economy

8. Give your body a hug with healthy food – and the occasional treat

9. Get to know the best farmers, growers and food makers in the [area]

10. Meet friends, enjoy the music and market fanfare



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Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See

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