Author Archives: Lorraine Upham

Helene Murray

I have been subscribing to Lorraine Upham’s Box Scheme since its inception some 12 years ago, having previously
dealt with her in her organic shop in Raumati.

For me, a single, it has proved of immense help, the benefits being:
delivery to the door, ease of purchase and payment, personal service as well as the bonus of certified organic

I am always pleased with the quality and variety of the fruit and vegetables and look forward to the surprises on

I would not be without this means of procuring my fresh goods, long may it continue.

Helene Murray
Raumati Beach

Leigh Cook

I have been buying organic vegetables from The Organic Connection for some years. It’s rather like receiving
a present each time they arrive, opening the box to find beautifully packed, fresh, organic and seasonal vegetables,
weekly or fortnightly according to your wishes. Even though the vegetables are seasonal the boxes always vary
in content and are given in generous amounts. To buy the same retail would cost much more.

Lorraine does an excellent and honest job of organising the vegetables from Paraparaumu. A newsletter is
produced explaining about any new type of vegetable arriving and recipes are reproduced for us as well. Any
changes in ordering are handled quickly and efficiently. I highly recommend this organisation.

Leigh Cook
Kapiti Coast

Natasha and Jack

We are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 boys, and have been getting a fortnightly box of organic vegetables from
The Organic Connection for the past 6 years. Partly for health reasons, partly for ecological reasons, we made
a conscious choice to buy organic vegetables, both as a way to look after and optimise our family’s long term
health and also to support the growers who are protecting the earth and conserving ancient ways of doing things.

We love getting our box – we get heaps in it and it makes us eat seasonally and more widely than we probably
would normally. There is often the mystery vegetable or fruit that i have to think “what do I do with that?” Helpfully
Lorraine provides recipes that are easy and yummy (and now I know what to do with things like Daikon and Chokos).
We find we have very little wastage and manage to incorporate everything we get into our diet.

It also makes the supermarket trip so much quicker, not having to stop, bag and weigh veges, and although buying
organic is a little more expensive, we think The Organic Connection box is a really economical way to buy organic
and worth it for the above reasons.

Lorraine is always very helpful, friendly and efficient and we would (and do) recommend The Organic Connection
to anyone.

Natasha & Jack
Hutt Valley

Adelaide Early Childhood Centre

We love getting our organic fruit and veggie box delivered every fortnight.   Not only is it super convenient and hassle free, it is also really great for our children to be eating organic, healthy food.   Whanau also love it and it helps to show our commitment to sustainable and healthy food practices.   Cheers Lorraine!!!

Karen O’Leary
Head Teacher & Fruit and Veggie Lover
Adelaide Early Childhood Centre

Jason and Bianca

“We are Jason and Bianca from Tauranga.   We emigrated here from South Africa via 12 years in the UK.

We have been using The Organic Connection for our vegetables for 5 years now and we think it is is great.

We love getting seasonal vegetables and also some that we have never heard of before – it is fun trying out new recipes and new tastes.

The most important thing to us though is knowing that there are no harmful toxins in our food.”


Pauline Senior  – Natural Health Consultant
Oakwell Lodge,  563 Upper Plain Rd.,
R.D. 8,   Masterton 5888
06 3777-279     027-2260-292

Natural Health Modalities include:
Bowen Technique (Bowtech) consultations and Adv. Bowtech seminars.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Therapeutic Massage
Specialist in Childrens Health and Colon Therapy.

The clinic is set in Oakwell Lodge, where we also offer the opportunity for small groups to enjoy the tranquil surroundings whether it is for a homestay experience, a retreat weekend for artists, or therapists wanting the chance to be introduced to a new modality.


My Husband and I live rurally in the Ruapehu region and work in Ohakune.
With the nearest fresh organic food stores a few hours drive away, we love the convenience of having the parcels delivered. The boxes are great value for money and delivery is reliable.
Definitely the most convenient way to get fresh organic vegetables all year round.
Many thanks

Miles Thompson

My wife and I live in Paekakariki and have a young family of four. We’ve used The Organic Connection for eight years now and in all this time we’ve always been delighted by the selection and freshness of our organic produce. We hope you’ll enjoy her organic boxes as much as we do.

Lorraine Upham Organic Connection

Nicola Young from Tommy’s talks to Lorraine about her Organic Connection

It’s easy to have misconceptions and prejudices; I’ve got plenty. When I arranged to meet Lorraine Upham, who runs an ‘organic fruit and vegetable box delivery service’, I confess I expected someone kitted out like a figure from a Bruegel painting (brown smock, handmade shoes, rather medieval). I certainly wasn’t expecting an immaculately groomed, stylish woman dressed in contemporary New Zealand clothes.

“People are always surprised I don’t look like a farmer and I certainly don’t have dirt under my nails. I grew up on a farm, but my background is marketing and I just happened to find a niche,” said Lorraine. She used to work in a Raumati vegetable shop, where customers kept asking for organics; she persuaded the owner to stock some organics, then started tracking down suppliers.

“Normally shops specialise, and the customers track them down. Instead, I gathered details of people interested in organics, found out what they wanted, then rang back when it arrived.”

Lorraine trawled the New Zealand countryside to source organic supplies (“it was all gumboots and mud!”) before setting up The Organic Connection; now she keeps in close contact with her suppliers by telephone and makes sure to take her all-important packing team out to a slap-up lunch once a year.

“I work from home, with a computer, a telephone and my dog, Miss Molly, although I spend a lot of time visiting customers. Some of my friends think I’m potty (especially men, often hardcore carnivores) although I’m not the one taking blood pressure medicines! Others are very supportive and totally understand the role of organics.”

It’s certainly a stress-free way to shop. Once the order has been set up, a box of seasonal fruit and vegetables is delivered weekly or fortnightly, packed with a peak-fresh liner; perfect for those who don’t have the time to trawl through shops, or like the convenience of a regular delivery; it cuts down the need to go shopping, and that saves money. Customers can also order on an ad hoc basis. Boxes are delivered to customers’ doors on Wednesdays or Thursdays, providing the order is made before Monday or Tuesday night.

The smallest order, the Baby Box, is enough for two people (or one hungry person for a fortnight). Customers have no idea what to expect, although Lorraine allows for some customisation to accommodate allergies, or the person who’s just bought a huge sack of potatoes. When I spoke to Lorraine, the boxes featured apples, pears and kiwifruit (all from cold storage), citrus (a year round staple) and cherimoya (a South American fruit, grown in New Zealand, which tastes of pineapple, passion-fruit, banana, mango and lemon); plus avocados, broccoli, beetroot, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, celeriac (“most people don’t know it, and think it’s an ugly turnip, although it’s delicious mashed, or made into the French classic, Celeriac Remoulade”), kale, cavolo nero (Tuscan ‘black cabbage’, often used in River Cafe cookbooks and loved by devotees of Italian food), pumpkin, yams and, of course, potatoes.

“I am experimenting with the idea of including recipes in the boxes; I certainly have them on my website with other information about the more obscure varieties, and I’m always happy to take phone calls, although it’s tricky when the customer doesn’t know the vegetable names. I deliver in North Island urban areas, as remote rural areas are fraught with transport difficulties.”

“Box deliveries are good for the organics industry, as growers can harvest what’s ready, rather than having shops dictating distribution times to them. If, for example, the cavolo nero is perfect, they can just pop a few leaves in every box.”

Lorraine finds her customers interesting. “Many are the upwardly mobile from other countries; currently I’ve got 46 nationalities on my books, including Japanese, Russians, Egyptians, Chileans, Serbians, Hungarians. They’re a long way from the image of muslin skirts and jandals. Plus professionals, academics, and people working in Wellington’s movie industry, with lots from Weta Digital.”

Young families are another major customer group. “Dad has a good job, Mum is at home with the kids; she’s often very conscious of their children’s diet, wanting to give them the best start in life. I’ve got a lovely group in Hataitai, and they make terrific scones when I visit!”

Organics fruit and vegetables may not have quite the eye appeal of the apple presented to Snow White by the wicked witch, but that’s more than compensated by the taste, and the ability to have them delivered.

The Organic Connection
T: 04 298 7377


Newsletter 5

Hi everyone

You have probably noticed in your boxes a shortage of greens and maybe the boxes aren’t jammed quite as full as usual.   I had a call Wednesday morning to say there are no greens except spring onions. We are doing our best to create appealing boxes with the available produce – roll on spring.
This edition we have an assortment of recipes contributed by clients and other friends ranging from
pumpkin served as a dessert to simple ways of serving some of the less common items we get in the boxes.

Dessert Pumpkin

I gave a few veggies including half a pumpkin, to new neighbours who I discovered, come from Serbia and don’t speak much English.  During my next visit I was surprised to learn that in Serbia pumpkin is generally pig food.   Here is how Mrs Markovich prepared pumpkin for humans.
Peel and cut into approximately 1” cubes
Add a little sugar and poach in milk until soft.   Serve with whipped cream.   Can be served either hot or cold

Brussell Sprouts

Shred finely and stir fry in either butter or oil for 1 minute.   Add a small quantity of water and cook for another two minutes.
After that I don’t have any more instructions but can imagine adding a little grated cheese.

Raw Vegan Salad

Thanks to Kelly Stubbs for this really tasty salad.
Finely slice red cabbage,
Finely slice fennel bulb
Stir through segments of mandarin
Grated carrot is an optional extra
Toss with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and orange juice.   All of this to taste.

Florence Fennel and Apple

Thanks to Jill Dunn for this recipe
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 Florence fennel bulbs sliced (reserve some of            the leaves as a garnish)
1 small onion chipped
1 large cooking apple peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
Heat oil and butter in a large frying pan with a lid.   Saute the fennel and onion for 3 minutes.   Add the apple, water, fennel seeds and coriander.   Cover the pan and cook gently until the apples and fennel are tender.
Serve sprinkled with a few chopped fennel leaves.

Carrot Soup

500g carrots – peeled and sliced
2 cups chicken stock
Big dot of butter
1 cup milk
½ cup cream
2 tsp tarragon
Saute carrots in butter.   Add chicken stock and bring to boil.   Simmer gently for 20 minutes.   Blend all,  reheat and add milk, cream and tarragon.   Heat gently, don’t boil or it curdles.
Keep warm and dry
All for now – regards