24 February 2006

We welcome you to take part in a country fair day, celebrating what we do, enjoying our produce and that of our neighbouring districts, and having fun and games with the children.

The indigenous Maori people of New Zealand passed through our valley on their way to the West Coast for pounamu (greenstone or jade) and on their annual food gathering migrations. Then came the gold miners in the 1860s. Today gold is still found at the nearby Oceania Gold mine, the largest open-cast mine in the Southern hemisphere.

Then came farming, and with the need for access, the Otago Central Railway was built from Dunedin to inland Otago via Middlemarch. First sheep were farmed, then cattle with dairying in the first half of the 1900s, and in recent times deer. Today those local farmers will tempt you with samples of the delectable food they produce and answer any questions you might have about their farming.

But that isn’t all we produce. New Zealand’s first organically certified honey, Strathdale Honey, is produced from bees living off the clover on the local fields and is also available for tasting.

Further inland our neighbours grow an exquisite range of wines some of which are available today along with fresh fruit. To the south and west are wetter dairying areas,

from which we have delicious Whitestone Cheese to tempt your taste buds.

If it is sweeter tastes you yearn for then Mark Scorgie, whose family still farms in the Strath Taieri area, has Gourmet Ice Cream.

As roading improved, trains became less used and the railway line was closed. Two great things then happened. A Trust of train enthusiasts took over the running of the Train from Dunedin to Middlemarch so people like you could experience the magnificent views of the Taieri Gorge and the engineering feats that made the railway possible.

The remaining 150 km of closed line from Middlemarch further into Central Otago became a recreational Trail for the many thousands annually who walk, horse-ride or bike through the spectacular Otago scenery.

The Rock and Pillar Range to the west has a network of walking trails and stunning Alpine flora and fauna to explore. Today you will see a range of practical lifestyle clothing bearing the name of that mountain range and reflecting its essence. The Rock and Pillar Range is also home to the Otago skink (Oligosoma otagense), an endangered species of lizard featured on this page.

Through the valley runs the Taieri River, good for trout and salmon. The wider Strath Taieri covers 200,000 hectares and is home to some 650 people. We welcome you here today.

About Us
www.middlemarch.co.nz
www.otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz
www.railtrail.co.nz

About Venison
www.nzvenison.com
www.deernz.org.nz
www.cervena.com

About Beef and Lamb
www.nzbeeflamb.co.nz
www.meatandwoolnz.com

About Honey, Cheese & Ice Cream
www.strathdalehoney.com
www.whitestonecheese.co.nz
Gourmet Ice Cream. e: mark@gic.co.nz

About Wine & Beer
Michael Wintrop, Kiwines. www.kiwinesusa.com.
e: Michael@KiWinesUSA.com
www.peregrinewines.co.nz
EmpsonUSA base in Virginia
e: nbarber@empsonusa.com
www.pisarangeestate.co.nz
www.speights.co.nz

About Clothes
www.adventureoutfitter.co.nz

See photos from the event (Please note that slideshow may not run).

Hangi

About Hangi
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangi
Hangi Pit Preparation
Complete Hangi Instructions
Let's Make a Hangi game
Te Hangi children's online book (in Maori)
Hangi smoked lamb rump, wild rice, puha, kumara crisps - Recipe

 Hangi is a New Zealand Maori word for a method of cooking in an outdoor pit oven using red hot rocks and steam. Maori have cooked hangi for hundreds of years. It takes about 7 hours to cook a hangi from start to finish, so is saved for special occasions such as today!
       To “put down a hangi” involves digging a pit in the ground, heating stones with a large fire, placing first the hot stones, then the wire baskets of food on top, covering everything with wet sheets, and then wet sacks. Finally earth is put on top for several hours before uncovering (or lifting) the hangi. The water in the wet cloths turns into steam when heated by the hot rocks, and because the steam cannot escape, it heats and cooks the food.
       The meat used can include chicken, fish, shellfish, pork and lamb, and the vegetables usually potatoes, kumara (sweet potato), pumpkin, and corn on the cob.
       A hangi produces rich, succulent food with a flavour quite unlike anything else.
Enjoy!


A Fruit & Wine Tasting (continuous)
B Central Otago Fruit Tasting

1 Farm Animals
2 Gumboot Throwing
3 Vintage Machinery

Welcome by Strath Taieri Highland Pipe Band
12.10 Shearing No 12
12.15 School Dance Presentation No 23
12.20 Line Dancing No 13
12.30 Sheep Dog Working Demo No 27
           Stock Whip Display No 14
12.40 Line Dancing No 13
12.50 Shearing No 12
           Fire Brigade Display No 15
12.55 Sheep Dog Interview No 16
  1.00 Fashion Parade No 17
  1.10 Sheep Dog Working Demo No 27
  1.15 Stock Whip Display No 14
           Sheep Weighing No 25
  1.20 Kids’ Line Dancing No 18
  1.25 Fire Brigade Display No 15

The chart shows activities in chronological order.

C Cheese & Wine Tasting (continuous)
D Venison Cooking Demo & Wine Tasting
E Beer Sampling

11 Strath Taieri Highland Pipe Band (Welcome)
12 Shearing 12.10 & 12.50
13 Line Dancing 12.20 &12.40
14 Stock Whip Display 12.30 & 1.15
15 WAJAX Display by Fire Brigade 12.50 & 1.25
16 Sheep Dog Interview 12.55
17 Fashion Parade 1.00
18 Kids’ Line Dancing 1.20
19 Clothing Stall
20 Wool Display
21 Arts, Crafts & Antiques (display and sales)
22 Strath Taieri Visual Tour (in hotel)
Strath Taieri Highland Pipe Band (Farewell)

Key A-J: Food and refreshment venues (continuous). 1-27: Activities and displays.

F Gourmet Ice Cream
G Honey Display & Sampling
H Tea & Coffee
I Beef & Lamb Tasting
J Hangi

23 Strath Taieri School Dance Presentation 12.15
24 Local Entertainment (intermittent)
25 Sheep Weighing 1.15
26 Children’s Activities (intermittent)
27 Sheep Dog Working Demo 12.30 & 1.10

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