There’s a place in Hastings, in the North Island’s Hawke’s Bay, to visit for a most delicious weekday lunch, among an orchard and pack-house and alongside orchard workers too. It’s a staff canteen of sorts, a tremendous and classic kiwi food experience, and the sort of food place that makes you feel good to be out and about in the beautiful country that is New Zealand.
Green gate signs
You can’t miss them, as you travel rural Hawke’s Bay. You’ll spot green Bostock Organic signs, at gates of orchards and market gardens all around the place. Apparently there’s more than 50 properties, some owned, some leased – and all growing organic crops. It’s a warm and sunny climate around here, excellent country for growing.
A lot of organic apples….
Bostock New Zealand is the country’s largest organic apple producer, growing delicious organic apples for the last 20 years. John Bostock is the man behind the signs, a pioneer of this country’s commercial organic apple production. There’s more. The apples are famous, but also squash, onions and grain. And now John’s sons Ben and George are busy raising Bostock organic chickens. Their flocks thrive on a diet of certified organic green grass and juicy apples, as well as home-grown corn and barley. That’s control - from farm to plate, farming organic chickens among apple trees. It’s an impressive story.
And a staff kitchen for all
But a traveller’s way to enjoy what’s on offer - other than purchase the fruit, produce and poultry - is to head to the impressive Bostocks Organic Kitchen, for a treat of a delicious weekday lunch on orchard site.
A few years ago, Bostocks set up a company kitchen to feed the workers, with a French chef producing healthy, subsidised lunches. It’s an initiative that’s focused on supporting the workers. And, good news, the general public can pop in, and enjoy the premium organic staff meal too.
Head in through the gate off Kirkwood Road, there’s plenty of parking. Queue at the counter, speak to the chef, and order a small or large portion of the one meal on offer that day. Take a complimentary apple - how appropriate - and think about the fresh baking on offer, with coffee, for afters. And find a spot to sit on the deck in modern rural surrounds. Some others around are travellers, but many are Bostock staff, discussing the apple crop while taking a break from their pack-house or office activities, and enjoying organic meat and seasonal veggies.
The one meal on offer is posted on the Bostock website each week….think chicken stuffed butternut squash, with broccoli, pine nuts and mint couscous - or peruvian braised lamb with taco taco and cabbage salad. Wholesome, and satisfying. It sure sets you up for a good Hawke’s Bay afternoon.
It’s autumn, delicious apples are around. And, inspired by the Bostock organic story, we’ve got a simple apple (green or otherwise) and fresh herb slaw idea to try back at home base. Click here for more.
At The FoodPath NZ we love finding all the really special ways to enjoy New Zealand food. And this sure is a treat, at the source of growing good things. Our big thanks to Bostocks for the years of their organic food…and the Organic Kitchen.
One more thought - as if the staff meal weren’t enough. Continue on to New Zealand’s oldest (since 1926) ice-cream maker, Rush Munro’s, in Hastings…which Bostock has also owned for nearly 20 years. It’s another Hawke’s Bay icon, using real fruit, real cream, real milk. A delicious afternoon stop, and another special way to enjoy New Zealand food.
Your road trip companion…
To find more on The FoodPath NZ’s handpicked eateries and food producers, for our collection of spot on New Zealand food moments to check out on your next New Zealand trip, including the tremendous Bostock Organic Kitchen, Rush Munro’s Ice Cream Garden and more, download The FoodPath NZ’s app here.