Gardening wisdom and tastebud treats

BY PENNY WARDLE
Last updated 12:00 21/09/2010
jim mcdonald
DAD AND DAUGHTER: A tour around the gardens of Old St Mary's Convent in Rapaura ended with morning tea at the retreat for Jim McDonald and his daughter, Annie McDonald.

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Marlborough Slow Food subscribers were asked to taste the difference between sandwiches made from locally grown duck and hen eggs, at Old St Mary's Convent Retreat in Rapaura Rd on Saturday.

Twenty-six people wandered around the exclusive guesthouse and its grounds then shared a morning tea baked by manager Maria Kopp and owner Layonie Seque.

Among the guests was sustainability educator Annie McDonald, of Blenheim, who described the restored convent and its gardens as "a bit of a hidden jewel".

Highlights included a cutting garden growing flowers for indoor arrangements and a butterfly garden featuring butterfly-friendly species like buddleia and a brush fence to encourage chrysalises.

On the afternoon-tea menu were the egg sandwiches, lemon curd cake made from duck eggs, muffins featuring homegrown apples and scones with jam and cream.

Slow Food is an international movement of people interested in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how their food choices affect the rest of the world. There are more than 80,000 members internationally.

The Marlborough group is the third biggest in New Zealand, with 35 paid-up members of the international organisation plus 150 who regularly attend local events.

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- The Marlborough Express

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