HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

First harvest of Moringa leaves
On the 9th of May New Zealand High Commissioner John Carter, BTIB’s CEO Terry Rangi, Minister of Agriculture Hon Nandi Glassie and local grower Danny Mataroa were invited by moringa grower Hugh Graham to plant a moringa tree at Graham’s Tupapa plantation.
Now, three short months later, Graham has invited them back to conduct the first harvesting of the leaves on their plant.
Graham’s moringa tea has been gathering a fair amount of traction from both local and international markets. Tuesday’s first harvesting saw the harvested leaves of New Zealand High Commissioner John Carter’s moringa tree added to a pre prepared salad, accompanied by chicken stew in which moringa had been added.
Graham had also prepared a moringa tiporo, lime, iced tea that consist of the chilled tea, to it tiporo (lime from Mauke) juice is added and sweetened with liquid honey.
“Unfortunately the honey is from New Zealand,” said Graham,” but we are hoping that someone in the Cook Islands will look at keeping bees and producing honey so that we can say our product is 100% locally produced.”
The moringa also has many other uses advised Graham. Not only can the seeds of the moringa be pressed to produce a product called ‘Oil of Ben’ named after its high quantity of behenic acid and is largely used as a perfume base. Extracting the sap is another avenue of the moringa’s resourcefulness as the sap is used on cuts, burns, rashes to aid in the healing process, and although moringa fertilizer is in its infancy stages in the Cook Islands, Graham further suggests that the 1:36 ratio of extracted moringa juice to water is a sufficient fertilizer for plants.
The growing interest in moringa as a health product has pushed demand to levels that exceed what Graham can supply. The moringa planted to date just yields enough to produce the tea leaves which are in high demand. -Maria Tanner

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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