Penray Gardens in Otaki operate a ‘pick your own’ service, and they grow strawberries, tomatoes, apples, capsicums, onions, cucumbers, chilis and more. You can simply pop down, grab a basket, and head deep into the rows for succulent seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Under The Chili Patch moniker, Jane Bertelsen and her mother also use the produce to create a vast selection of seasonal preserves, pickles, chutneys, sauces, jams and relishes. The fruits are all spray-free, and no additives or preservatives are used in the jarred products. As you may suspect, chilis are the default fruit of choice, they appear in most of the preserves.
The Tomato & Chili relish is bitey, containing tomatoes, chili, vinegar, sugar, salt, and onions. This one is great in sauces, or with soft cheese. The Sweet Chili Sauce is divine, an excellent condiment to pork or chicken. There’s also a homemade Worchester Sauce, made from vinegar, salt, treacle and spices.