The Goodness Garden Story

Meet Nikki from The Goodness Garden

The Goodness Garden has been part of the Napier Urban Farmers’ Market since October 2020 creating delicious homemade preserves made from local Hawke’s Bay produce that would otherwise go to waste.  Nikki enjoys the sense of community that being part of the weekly market offers, and being able to share a small slice of Hawke’s Bay with visitors to the area.

Nikki runs the business from home whilst also juggling her husband’s accounts, running their lifestyle  property and holiday accommodation, and even breeding rare breed sheep!

Read the full interview with Nikki below.

When did you start making preserves and why?

I can’t recall when I started making preserves, it’s something I’ve always done.  Most likely my first experience of preserving was summer holidays with my grandparents in Tauranga.  They had a big property with a large orchard and Nanna was always putting things in jars!  I got serious about making preserves when we moved to our lifestyle block 8 years ago.  We have an abundance of citrus trees and have planted a home orchard too.  With all this fruit on offer my desire not to see anything go to waste got me started again.

What do you enjoy about making preserves?

I enjoy the creative process, taking the raw ingredients, working out how to put together flavours that work and watching the magic of science at work getting jams and marmalades to set.  I get great satisfaction seeing the lines of filled jars cooling on the bench and much pleasure sharing them with people who enjoy our handmade goodness.

When did you join the Napier market?

I started at the Napier market in October 2020, but the development of The Goodness Garden started some months earlier.  I had, for some time, been looking for a business opportunity that would allow me to spend more time at home.  Following the first Covid lockdown in March/April 2020 (much of which was spent in the kitchen!) my husband suggested that maybe I should consider making a business out of preserving.  He had thought long and hard about what my point of difference would be and that was to take fruit from our community that would go to waste and use that in my cooking.  After much thought and deliberation, consultation with friends, research into MPI and Council requirements etc. The Goodness  Garden was born and so my journey into preserving got serious!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Napier market?

The sense of community – that everyone is creating, and bringing, something they are passionate about to our local community and being able to share a wee bit of HB with our visitors.  There is a comradery among the stall holders and it’s always fun to catch up with everyone each weekend.

What is/was your day job if you had one?

The Goodness Garden, our Airbnb holiday apartment, doing the accounts for my husband’s business, breeding rare breed sheep (my passion project), our dogs and keeping on top of everything a lifestyle property requires is my job!  Prior to setting up The Goodness Garden I did all those other things as well as work part-time for a local chiropractic practice in a front desk/admin role.

What is your favourite product that you make?

That’s a tough question!  Every product has its merits, it’s place on the table and ‘goes’ with something, but my favourite jam would be Blackcurrant, marmalade is Lime and Ginger, and savoury option would have to be Cashmere Chutney – an old family favourite and a recipe of my mother-in-law’s that is much loved by everyone and is also very versatile.

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