Meet the grower: Cyril Sue
Ohakune Carrot and Coriander Soup
On the outskirts of Ohakune stands a large carrot which has made the town famous. So, where better to source the carrots for our delicious Ohakune Carrot and Coriander Soup? Mixed with fresh coriander, kumara, cumin, chilli, ginger and a touch of coconut cream, this is the perfect comforting winter warmer.
We picked the brains of Cyril Sue, our Ohakune based carrot farmer, to get an insight into his veggie knowledge.
Where did your love for farming begin?
I’ve always had a love for the land and working outdoors, since I was a kid. I can’t imagine working an office job.
What signifies a good quality carrot?
A good quality carrot should have a deep orange colour with nice green stalks. A well grown carrot generally has a solid, thick body too.
For first timers that might like to start growing their own veggies what are some top tips on getting started?
Fertile soil is a must and just being generally on to it with watering and weeding. Veggies need good exposure to sunlight and space to grow, so be aware of these factors when planting them. Always buy good quality seeds too, no amount of TLC can save bad quality seeds. Also, carrots don’t tend to deal well with being transplanted, so always sow where you plan to grow.
For people that haven’t visited Ohakune, can you tell us why it’s so special?
In terms of growing carrots, it’s the perfect temperature and has very fertile soil which isn’t too lumpy. In general terms, Ohakune is a great little town, very community minded and friendly. Plus, it’s great to have Mt Ruapehu on the doorstep. The town really comes alive in the winter with all the skiers and boarders.
Why would you recommend buying local produce?
I feel like it’s a no-brainer really. Local produce is always fresher and therefore tastes better and has more nutritional value. I also feel like you’re more likely to know exactly how your food has been grown when it’s from a local farmer. New Zealand farmers tend to have quite an organic approach, meaning you’re less likely to have any added nasties when buying locally.
Favourite and least favourite vegetable?
My favourite is obviously the good old carrot – you can’t beat it. And there is no least favourite, every veggie is a good veggie in my opinion.